The NFL got another black eye at a terrible time.
Ratings for the 2020-21 season took a big hit.
Now one league superstar’s sex scandal just took a turn for the worst.
The NFL has been dealing with self-inflicted wounds for years.
The anti-American anthem protests started by Colin Kaepernick and spurred on by far-left activists caused the league’s ratings to crash.
COVID-19 hysteria and empty stadiums put a damper on the NFL’s 2020-21 season.
Now Deshaun Watson, one of the league’s superstars, faces the league challenge of his lifetime.
Watson has been accused by over 20 masseuses of inappropriate sexual conduct during sessions.
When the first allegation was announced, Watson quickly brushed it off as a shakedown.
But as the accusers have piled up, Watson has gone dark and hired renowned defense attorney Rusty Hardin.
Making matters worse for Watson, several corporations have ended endorsement deals with him.
Nike released the following statement:
“We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.”
Beats by Dre headphones, which was acquired by Apple for $3 billion, terminated its contract with Watson.
In the midst of the #MeToo era, companies aren’t even waiting for due process to play out.
Masseuse Ashley Solis was the first accuser to go public.
She said she suffers from “panic attacks, anxiety and depression” as a result of Watson’s harassment.
Hardin tried to throw cold water on the litany of accusations against Watson by producing affidavits from 18 masseuses who said Watson behaved like a perfect gentleman.
However, that doesn’t help his case in the court of public opinion.
A professional athlete who recently signed a $160 million contract visiting over 40 masseuses, many of them unlicensed and relatively inexperienced, only raises more questions about Watson’s behavior.
Other NFL players have received league suspensions from commissioner Roger Goodell before their cases were adjudicated, so there’s a strong possibility Watson might not play during the 2021-22 season.
Watson requested a trade from the Houston Texans after abysmal moves from management, and the hiring of a new general manager without his input, which he was promised.
The Texans had a steep asking price for a younger superstar quarterback that teams were willing to pay, but the numerous allegations shut down his trade market.
The NFL is a big loser in the entire ordeal.
Watson was one of their marquee young household names, and not only might he not play in 2021, his good-guy image has been tarnished forever.
Other athletes have been able to bounce back from sex scandals, but Watson’s timing couldn’t be worse.
Celebrities have been “canceled” for a lot less than what he’s being accused of.
The longer the case drags on, the more Watson’s career hangs in jeopardy of being permanently destroyed.
Losing a player of Watson’s caliber would be a black mark for the NFL that it simply cannot afford right now.