The NFL just ended an incredibly tumultuous year.
COVID-19 restrictions almost derailed a season that culminated in a poorly viewed Super Bowl.
Now an NFL star’s career could be in jeopardy after one shocking sex scandal.
Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson is one of the best and highest paid young players in the NFL.
After the 2020-21 season, Watson announced that he refused to play for the Texans again after the organization made a series of bad moves including trading star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and not consulting him upfront after ownership allegedly promised they would.
But now Watson is making headlines for an entirely different reason..
As many as 22 women have come forward to accuse Watson of sexual misconduct.
Watson is accused of inappropriate behavior with masseuses in the Houston area.
The most troubling allegation thus far is that Watson coerced a women into performing a sex act on him.
After the first accusation, Watson came forward and said he refused to settle out of court and would fight the allegation in order to maintain his good name.
However, in light of a spate of new and similar allegations from other masseuses, Watson has gone quiet and hired an attorney.
Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the civil suits against Watson, also said that he would be referring evidence to law enforcement in order to empanel a grand jury.
From ABC News:
“If granted, the grand jury would then decide, through witness testimony closed to the public, if there is enough evidence to succeed at trial and in turn determine whether charges should be brought against Watson by the state of Texas.”
The allegations against Watson come at a bad time for everyone involved.
Any teams wanting to trade for Watson will have to put their plans on hold, the Texans won’t be able to get value for him if they’re inclined to cave to his demands, and Watson is stuck in the city until his legal issues blow over.
Also, New York governor Andrew Cuomo is mired in a sexual harassment scandal, so the #MeToo movement has been revived.
Watson has been a beloved figure in Houston and has skated controversy outside of kneeling for the national anthem on Thanksgiving Day.
Even if Watson is cleared of wrongdoing, the allegations against him raise lingering questions.
One of the biggest head scratchers Watson will have to answer was why he was reaching out to comparatively underqualified masseuses on Instagram when he’s an elite professional athlete worth over $100 million.
According to Watson’s attorney, his regular masseuse was unavailable due to COVID-19, but the story still doesn’t add up entirely.
The allegations have also cast suspicion on the Texans because the slew of accusations have come as Watson has dug in his heels regarding his trade demand.
Regardless of how the legal process shakes out, Watson likely isn’t going anywhere any time soon.