Nike suspended its multiyear deal with Deshaun Watson, after the allegations from 22 women working in the wellness and health industries, charged him stating that they were assaulted by the Houston quarterback.
Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin says, “any allegation that Deshaun forced a woman to commit a sexual act is completely false.” The 25-year-old Watson denied any wrongdoing as claimed by multiple women. He signed a deal with Nike in 2017 after his selection into the Texans in the NFL draft. He also signed deals with Rolex and Beats by Dre, etc. Details of all these endorsements remain undisclosed.
The women charged Watson with exposing himself during massage sessions last year and asking them to touch him inappropriately. The suit filed against Watson includes the intentional infliction of emotional distress and sexual assault.
Nike on Wednesday released a statement saying, “We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson,” and that the company will constantly and closely be monitoring the whole situation.
Two of the 22 women, Ashley Solis, a massage therapist in Houston, and Lauren Baxley revealed their identities. Solis’s statement read that Watson had assaulted her sexually on March 30, 2020, in her own home during massage therapy, the thing that Solis loves the most.
Replaying the whole incident, again and again, she says she’s trying to wake up from a scary nightmare. She is the first woman accusing Watson of sexual assault and revealed her identity in a public appearance on Tuesday.
Baxley’s letter at a press conference read that Watson inappropriately touched her hand with his genitals and exposed himself. It is not yet clear about the suit she filed against him, but Solis accused Watson of civil assault.
Rolex and Beats by Dre haven’t yet commented on continuing or terminating their contracts with the NFL star. Watson has a $160 million 4-year deal with Texans. Though the team’s office hasn’t released a statement about the contract’s future, the team’s general manager on the Texan podcast said that the allegations are being taken seriously.
Nick Caserio, the general manager for the team said that the allegations are troubling and they’ll let the legal process take care, as they cannot condone such things as an organization. The NFL says the investigation is underway, and a tweet from the Houston Police department on April 2 read that a criminal investigation on Watson is open.
The other brands might soon be reacting on the issue, as the allegations on Watson seem to intensify.