- The Washington Times
Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Nike has suspended its endorsement deal with Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson on Wednesday.

The move comes on the heels of 22 women filing civil suits against Watson for alleged sexual misconduct.

“We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson,” Nike said in a statement released Wednesday. “We will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

Ashley Solis, one of the women to publicly come forward, spoke at a Tuesday press conference. She has suffered from “panic attacks, anxiety and depression” since Watson’s alleged sexual assault in March 2020.

The Houston Police Department announced Friday on Twitter that it has opened an investigation after a complainant filed a report against Watson.

According to Yahoo Sports, Nike’s move isn’t a clean break from Watson. But the future of that relationship is in doubt.

Watson and Nike have had a deal since 2017. ESPN reported that Beats by Dre also ended its endorsement deal with Watson on Wednesday.

Watson and lawyer Rusty Hardin have denied the allegations, claiming the civil suits are failed blackmail attempts.

“I believe that any allegation that Deshaun forced a woman to commit a sexual act is completely false,” Hardin said (via the New York Times).

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