NFL releases statement after Deshaun Watson accuser goes public

By Vincent Frank
Dec 20, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) during warmups before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Houston-based attorney Tony Buzbee held a press conference on Tuesday in order to introduce to the public the first of 22 women who have accused Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual assault and/or misconduct.

Ashley Solis read made a tearful statement as she expanded on allegations of sexual assault the masseuse has levied against Watson in a civil case.

Solis also noted that she’s been in contact with local authorities in the Houston area. That comes after the Houston Police Department opened a criminal investigation into the allegations.

The NFL has now responded in kind.

“The allegations are deeply disturbing and we take these issues very seriously,” the NFL said in a statement. “Immediately following news of the first allegations last month, and as has been reported, we initiated an investigation under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. We are continuing to closely monitor all developments in the matter.”

As noted in the statement, the NFL did open an investigation into the matter last month under the guise of the league personal conduct policy. The more women that come forward to accuse Deshaun Watson of either sexual assault or sexual misconduct, the harder it is going to be for the NFL to remain largely quiet regarding one of the faces of the league.

Right now, Watson has not been charged criminally. However, under the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, criminal charges are not needed for a player to face punishment. Thus far, 22 women have come forward to accuse Watson.

Obviously, the major backdrop here from an on-field standpoint is Watson’s previous request of a trade. Until his legal situation is cleared up, that’s highly unlikely to happen.