BSSF Blog: Deshaun Watson Loses His Sponsorship with Nike

Nike+suspended+their+endorsement+of+Houston+Texans+quarterback+Deshaun+Watson+amid+22+allegations+of+sexual+assault+and+sexual+misconduct+in+civil+lawsuits.+%28Courtesy+of+Twitter%29

Nike suspended their endorsement of Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson amid 22 allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct in civil lawsuits. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Grace Coyne, Contributing Writer

Nike suspended their endorsement of Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson amid 22 allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct in civil lawsuits.

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

Two of the accusers came forward and gave emotional statements of Watson’s misconduct. “I was afraid,” said Ashley Solis, who took several long pauses to compose herself as she read from a statement at a news conference Tuesday at the office of her lawyer, Tony Buzbee, who is representing all 22 women. “I’m not afraid anymore. I’m here to take back the power and take back control. I’m a survivor of assault and harassment. Deshaun Watson is my assaulter and my harasser.”

Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, has claimed that the allegations against his client are “meritless” and has countered the allegations as a failed attempt to blackmail his client.

The Houston Police Department and the NFL have been in contact with Buzbee during their investigations. Other factors may affect the case, including any potential developments found by the police and the NFL. The NFL’s inquiry could lead to a possible suspension of Watson while they look into the allegations against him.

Watson became endorsed by Nike in 2017 when he joined the NFL. His Nike red cleats that he wore in Houston’s 53-52 win over the Atlanta Falcons during week 5 in 2019 were sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Texas chairman Cal McNair, whose family also owns the team, said they were aware of the lawsuits against Watson and that the team takes “these allegations very seriously.”

“While we await the conclusion of these investigations, we express our strong stance against any form of sexual assault. Our family and the entire Houston Texans organization are deeply troubled by any form of abuse, and we condemn this type of behavior,” McNair said.

Watson is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and just signed a $156 million contract with the Texans last year. He is projected to earn $10 million from his contract this season.

Following Nike’s suspension of Watson’s endorsement, Beats by Dre also suspended their endorsement of the star quarterback. Time will tell if his stance in the league faces the same fate.