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Why are 10 of Deshaun Watson’s accusers attending his first game back for the Browns after suspension?

According to their attorney, Watson’s accusers intend to show that despite any settlement, what happened to them is very much not OK.

Why are 10 of Deshaun Watson’s accusers attending his first game back for the Browns after suspension?
Nick CammettAFP

This coming Sunday, the Browns QB will make his highly anticipated return to the field of play, but he will find that a handful of those in attendance, won’t be there to cheer him on or either of the teams for that matter.

Deshaun Watson’s accusers will attend his first NFL game post suspension

It’s been sometime since Deshaun Watson played in the NFL, but on Sunday he will be making his 2022 NFL debut after serving a length suspension for his part in a sexual misconduct case involving some 25 women. Interestingly, reports now confirm that several of the women who filed civil suits against him are planning to be in attendance at the game. According to attorney Tony Buzbee, who represented all of the plaintiffs in Watson’s case, at least 10 women will be in the stadium when Watson’s Cleveland Browns take on the Houston Texans. The Houston based attorney also explained that the women intended to be there “to kind of make the statement, ‘Hey, we’re still here. We matter. Our voice was heard, and this is not something that’s over. [Sexual harassment and assault] happen every day in the United States.’”

How did Deshaun Watson get here?

If you’ve been following, you will recall that Watson was sued by 25 women in connection with allegations that ranged from sexual harassment to sexual assault. Buzbee, the attorney for all 25 women, filed their lawsuits across a 16-month period which started back in March of 2021, when a massage therapist filed a single civil suit in which Watson was accused of sexual misconduct. From that point, the number of women who came forward with similar accusations increased rapidly. As per reports, Watson settled in 23 of the cases brought against him, one was dropped and the other is still ongoing. Indeed, Lauren Baxley, the woman who has yet to settle explained in August that she will not walk back on her accusations against the Browns quarterback.

“Watson still refuses to admit that he harassed and committed indecent assault against me,” Baxley wrote in a statement. “Any settlement offer he has made has been a dismissal of his evil actions, and I know that unless there is an authoritative intervention, he will continue his destructive behavior.”

A look back at the Deshaun Watson scenario

It’s worth noting that Watson’s former team, the Houston Texans, were also hit with 30 lawsuits related to the Watson case. Indeed, Watson was still on Houston’s roster when some of the alleged interactions would have taken place. As per reports, the Texans settled the varying cases back in July. Where Watson himself is concerned, when he takes the field on Sunday it will be the first time he’s doing so in 700 days. Do recall, that Watson not only missed the first 11 games of the 2022 campaign, but did in fact sit out the entire 2021 season with the Texans. Following his trade request in January of that year, no deal could be negotiated and just two months later, the first of his accusers filed a lawsuit. On those grounds, it’s interesting to note that the Browns who traded for Watson in March this year, did so knowing full well that there were more than two dozen suits filed against him and more over, that he would likely face some kind of suspension. Ultimately, here we are.


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