Sports

Deshaun Watson’s Case and Testing the NFL Standards

Twenty-two opponents. No, this just came in, make it 23. Wait, now it’s 24.

Should the NFL suspend Deshaun Watson, a quarterback who received $ 230 million from Cleveland Browns despite being accused of harassment and assault by a growing list of massage therapists?

Sure, the league can do this, and given the predictions, it would not be surprising if they did. But should it?

If you go to the Browns message board, search via Twitter or just chat with other women, many people are making the point that Watson, a former Houston Texans quarterback, should not miss the NFL pass again.

The suspension of several games this coming season, their minds are going, is not enough. Also no season, or two, leave. If America’s well-known sports league honors its promise to stand up for women and victims, Watson should be banned.

Watson “should never play in the league,” said Brenda Tracy, a national rights activist who travels across the country advising college students and professional athletes to fight bullying and harassment. “It is ridiculous. I do not understand the length of these leagues to protect these men. He has to go. “

Of course, such a move has never occurred before. Watson boldly declares his innocence, especially now that two Texas officials have decided not to prosecute him – though this is not always the case when women speak abusively.

If banned, then he would force the league to be reinstated. It may even evade guilt. Let him go.

The sign would have been sent: The NFL is no longer willing to put games and legends and money ahead of everything.

I am writing this with a trembling stomach. I still remember what Watson revealed to Jenny Vrentas of The New York Times, whose report this week shows that the 26-year-old 26-year-old did more suspicious things than anyone else thought.

Watson, we know now, visited at least 66 massage therapists for 17 months, from the fall of 2019 to the end of 2021. Among them were Instagram followers and women working at a spa along the main street. .

Knowing full well that their bodies are their lifeblood, senior NFL players often do not find the most professional players to be able to loosen their legs.

Having 66 massage therapists is not a crime, but in reality, it is a galaxy far from the norm.

Of the 66, some represented Watson, publicly stating that he was innocent. But last week, two other women filed lawsuits against the court, bringing the total number of defendants to 24. Some women who patted Watson did not call a lawyer or police later, but told The Times that Watson appeared to be looking for him. than to be free from pain. His statistics revolve around the title, and showcasing Watson’s brutality and merit is an interesting one.

A woman who complained about the most recent suit claimed that Watson was playing with her nipples during a massage and that this would eventually satisfy her and diminish her dignity.

A woman who decided not to delay the case or police complaint told Vrentas that Watson repeatedly asked for sex during the massage, including “asking” her to put her mouth on his penis.

“I just had to say, ‘No, I can’t do that,’” she said.

Watson and his well-coordinated legal team deny any wrongdoing. He admits to sex three times, but only after massage, and always to the encouragement of women. “I understand the seriousness of what has been said,” Watson told a news conference in March. “I have never beaten a woman. I did not despise a woman. ”

His claim to innocence was reinforced when the Browns, a formerly proud team that now wants to compete so as to lose respect, gave him a better chance than Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson: $ 230 million, each. the coin is said to be authentic.

Meanwhile, NFL investigators are looking into the allegations and Commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to decide soon on Watson’s sentence. His reputation is not encouraging.

In 2014, Goodell, under duress after the video evidence was published, admitted he had not properly handled Ray Rice’s domestic case and vowed to do well. But what has changed other than empty promises and an advertising campaign that seeks to attract female fans?

In 2018, Kareem Hunt of Kansas City, who at the time was one of the most trusted athletes in football, was photographed pushing a woman to the ground and kicking her. The NFL suspended Hunt for eight games although the woman did not object. Think about who signed Hunt after Kansas City sent him the goods.

Cleveland Browns did. Obviously, a half-season suspension does not send a real message.

It’s hard to see how anyone could take the NFL seriously when it says it cares about women and the behavior of everyone associated with the league. Not a gentle response to Rice and Hunt. Not long after Antonio Brown played Tampa Bay with the stars in the 2021 Super Bowl when he was charged with harassment and charged with rape. Not when the league is failing to properly punish Washington Commanders, a team with insults that have plagued even team owner, Daniel Snyder.

The League must send a very strong message that sex will not be tolerated.

I know that expulsion may appear to others as a severe, severe punishment. A big part of NFL fans say Watson should not be punished at all. Innocent until proven guilty, say these apologists, part of a club that pays more attention to bread and sports than to doing what is right.

But the NFL can do as it pleases.

Imagine Watson managing a car dealership. Imagine her boss finding out that she had been charged with 24 counts of sexual misconduct. How long will they have to work?

Imagine Watson being an NFL player who few have ever heard of. Could it be getting a second chance from teams and leagues? Pa. Travelers do not get a second chance. It is different from a star (unless you are a star who bows to the national anthem and directs anti-police protests against Black people).

If you really want to think of something, imagine that you are a massage therapist who relies on a wealthy, famous client you have never met, and in the end you feel so hurt and humiliated that you quit the job forever, as did one of Watson’s opponents. Probably a factor as to why they’re doing so poorly.

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