Houston — Nike has suspended its approval agreement with Deshaun Watson in allegations of sexual assault and harassment of the Houston Texans quarterback.
“We are deeply concerned about the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson,” Nike said in a statement released Wednesday. “We will continue to monitor the situation carefully.”
Watson has been accused of sexual assault or harassment in a proceeding filed by 22 women. One of those women, Ashley Solis, said at a news conference Tuesday that she was assaulted and traumatized when she tried to give Watson a massage in March 2020.
The Associated Press usually does not appoint victims of sexual assault, but Solis chose to publicly identify herself.
Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, questioned Watson’s allegations, calling it “useless” and claiming it was made after a failed attempt to intimidate the client.
Houston police said last week they were investigating Watson after someone submitted a report to the agency about Watson. Tony Busby, who represents 22 women, said it wasn’t Solis who submitted the first report to the police, but another of his clients.
The NFL is in contact with Busby during its own investigation.
Watson signed a contract with the Nike when he joined the NFL in 2017. Last November, he worked with the company to provide a jersey to Yates High School in Houston. George Floyd graduated from Yates in 1993 and played soccer at school.
Watson’s red Nike Cleats, worn when Houston defeated the Atlanta Falcons 53-32 in the fifth week of 2019, were sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Watson was the first player in NFL history to pass at least 400 yards and five TDs in a single game and achieve less than five unfinished games.
Solis said in a statement that she has suffered from panic attacks, anxiety and depression since the alleged assault and is worried about working as a massage therapist.
“I went into massage therapy to heal people, heal their minds and bodies, and bring peace to their souls. Deshaun Watson robbed me of it,” Solis said in her proceedings. He added that he was not asking for money.
However, in a statement, Hardin claimed that Busby had sought “$ 100,000 hash money” on behalf of Solis before the proceedings were filed.
In a recent email to season ticket owners, Texans chairman Cal McNair, whose family owns the team, is aware of the proceedings against Watson, and the team “takes these claims very seriously. “.
“While we wait for the conclusions of these investigations, we express a strong stance against all forms of sexual assault. Our family and the entire Houston Texans organization are deeply plagued by all forms of abuse. We are blaming this kind of behavior, “says McNair.
Watson was one of the league’s top quarterbacks and led the NFL in the yard through last season. He signed a four-year $ 156 million contract extension with the Texans in the last offseason, but was dissatisfied with the team’s direction as Houston sank 4-12. Watson requested a deal in January.
Nike suspends Deshaun Watson sponsorship in allegations
Source link Nike suspends Deshaun Watson sponsorship in allegations