The NFL has another media headache on its hands.
It comes at a time when the league is trying to rein in all the fans that left because of the anti-American anthem protests.
Now one NFL sex scandal just took an unexpected turn for the worse.
All hell broke loose for superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson after he demanded a trade from the Houston Texans.
He was suddenly hit with 22 allegations of sexual misconduct from massage therapists, and criminal charges soon followed.
Watson was essentially forced to sit out the entire 2021-22 season while the threat of prison time loomed over his head.
However, a grand jury chose not to indict Watson, and he was quickly traded to the Cleveland Browns where he signed a fully guaranteed $230 million contract.
But Watson is not out of the woods yet.
Two of his accusers appeared on HBO’s Real Sports, and now another accuser has come forward.
From The New York Post:
Another lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct has been filed against Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson…That brings the total to 23 in all. According to the report, the plaintiff changed her mind about filing the civil suit after watching the HBO ‘Real Sports’ segment in which two of Watson’s accusers, Ashley Solis and Kyla Hayes, came forward and spoke with Soledad O’Brien about the alleged incidents. The two massage therapists talked about their alleged experiences with Watson in detail, with Solis saying Watson deliberately grabbed himself and ‘put his penis on my hand,’ while Hayes said Watson kept intentionally touching her with his penis as she was trying to massage him.”
Watson is still trying to settle all of the lawsuits, but he has another big problem on his hands.
The league has yet to announce his suspension.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has shown that he will suspend players even if they are not found criminally guilty of anything.
There is a possibility that Watson could be suspended for the entire 2022-23 season.
If that’s the case, that would mean Watson would lose two years in the middle of his prime.
Watson and his lawyer Rusty Hardin have remained in damage control mode, attempting to burnish Watson’s image, which was once squeaky clean.
Hardin said, “We have received numerous unsolicited comments…from many licensed massage therapists who have worked with Deshaun in recent years. These women describe him as a gentleman and a model client who never engaged in inappropriate conduct. Indeed, before these salacious claims, everyone who associated with Deshaun described him as an outstanding, respectful, and compassionate man.”
The NFL is expected to announce a decision on Watson’s status soon.
The Browns are reportedly bracing for the worst, as they are looking to bring in an experienced backup in case Watson misses extensive time.