Deshaun Watson is in a troubling situation right now as he eyes a dicey battle against 22 lawsuits suing him for sexual assault and harassment.
The Houston Texans quarterback was already in a weird place with the NFL as he had just demanded a trade from the organization which drafted him, a year after signing a massive extension with them.
Watson felt like he wasn’t getting the respect he deserved and was unhappy with some of the personnel moves that management had made. After that, the hammer really came down when 22 women stepped forward, suing Watson for sexual assault and harassment, related to his apparent inappropriate behavior during massages.
For the victims who stepped forward, the process was not an easy one, and they recalled some harrowing stories of how they were treated by Watson. Now, the star has his NFL future in question.
Human trafficking unit reportedly issuing subpoenas in Deshaun Watson investigation. https://t.co/cbLjCc9j3d
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) August 14, 2021
Alex Solis And Lauren Baxley Detail Harrowing Experiences With Deshaun Watson
Sports Illustrated recently ran an interview focused around two of the victims suing Deshaun Watson, Alex Solis and Lauren Baxley, who opened up on how terrible the entire ordeal was.
NFL investigators are in on the Deshaun Watson case, and they are conducting their own interviews to see what really happened. However, they haven’t created the friendliest of environments according to Solis:
“This woman asked me what I was wearing, which honestly really pissed me off. She explained that that’s something that she has to ask—which I don’t believe at all. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be wearing that would suggest that I don’t want you to put your pe*is on my hand. Do I need to wear a turtleneck?”
Solis also went into detail about her experience in the massage room with Watson and what eventually pushed her to take action against him:
“Any time I started to feel uncomfortable, I just kept hearing everybody’s voice about how great of a person he is and how much he does for the city. So I was undermining myself in what was really happening, what was really going on. I thought, ‘This can’t be happening. He’s a good person. There’s no way.’ … I just kept telling myself, O.K., one more time; if I feel like something’s not right one more time, I’m going to say something. Unfortunately, I didn’t speak up as quickly as I would like to have, maybe the way that everyone thinks that they’re going to respond when something like that happens. But with somebody who does have a status and could literally just take your career out, when I’m just getting started and I don’t have any certifications or degree in anything else—where does that leave me? I just started crying. I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I felt disgusting. He looked disgusting. I wanted to go shower and scrub myself until I bled. I just wanted him gone.”
Lauren Baxley recounted similar experiences with Watson, sharing in Solis’ thoughts about how Watson was incredibly disturbing in the massage room, but she felt uncomfortable speaking up immediately since it could damage her career.
“I knew he could destroy my reputation as a professional massage therapist, if he somehow turned it around that I had initiated some sort of sexual contact. I was terrified. Not just for my career, not just for my license getting revoked, but also for my personal relationship with my partner. … There were layers and layers to what was happening in my mind, but physically, I felt like I was chained to that table.”
All in all, the story is extremely disturbing to hear and think about. Watson is ‘innoncent until proven guilty’, but these stories make you think and wonder a little. It’s sad to see someone like Watson, one of the bright young stars in the game, go out like this, but at the same time, he should be held accountable if he is guilty.
The NFL has yet to put him on the exempt list, and he still maintains that he wants to leave the Houston Texans, but aside from that, nothing is clear cut on his status in the league. You can read the full Sports Illustrated piece here:
SI Daily Cover: In the first media interviews by two plaintiffs in the Deshaun Watson lawsuits, women detail their sessions with the quarterback, what they say were problematic dealings with the NFL and the aftermath since revealing their identities https://t.co/Q7Gi8H0xqB pic.twitter.com/FMJSWMbs8J
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 13, 2021