How many sexual assault allegations are too many sexual assault allegations? That is the question the NFL may have an unsettling answer for shortly as their Deshaun Watson problem has reared its ugly head once again.
Houston Texans’ elite quarterback Deshaun Watson is now openly available for trade discussions according to ESPN. To be on the trade block implies that his current employer feels there is a desire from other franchises to bring Watson into their organization. Yes, the Texans believe that teams are willing to overlook 22 sexual assault allegations from 22 different women that allege Watson is a sexual predator. Not only would these teams be willing to overlook these heinous allegations, but they would also be willing to make him the face of their franchise.
The NFL’s Big, Familiar Deshaun Watson Problem
One might assume the Houston Texans to be foolish, the sad truth is, they’re probably right. To state it simply, the NFL just doesn’t care about criminality towards women. If they did, Watson would have been placed on the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s exempt list months ago. He wasn’t.
Now, as training camps open all around the league, Watson is ready to report to camp, and the sports world is provided another reminder that if you can throw a football, you don’t really have to worry about exposing your genitalia to women in their place of employment.
The Ugly Truth
Everyone involved should be ashamed. The Texans, Roger Goodell, Deshaun Watson, and most importantly, every other owner who isn’t pushing for Watson to be placed on the Goodell’s exempt list ASAP. The message is loud and clear, the NFL doesn’t care about the women affected by the behavior of men who hold power over them in nearly every way possible.
The NFL owners know that, where today it’s the Texans quarterback, tomorrow it will be a Cowboys tight-end or a Ravens offensive lineman. The investment of these billionaire owners supersedes the safety of the people who have to be subjected to their enabled behavior.
Today, we speak about Deshaun Watson’s 22 allegations of sexually criminal behavior. Two years ago, we listened to Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill tell the mother of his child that she, and their child, should be terrified of him. Hill would go onto making the biggest catch in the super bowl later that season. Hill, too, was “investigated” by the NFL. Like Watson, Hill was never placed on the Commissioner’s exempt list.
Don’t buy the PR. Whether it be Watson, Hill, or Brett Favre, the NFL has never intended to hold their star players accountable for their disgusting actions. No matter the name, the story stays the same. And when Watson finds his new home in the coming weeks, good luck to that fanbase. This isn’t just a Deshaun Watson problem…it’s league-wide. Joe Mixon, Greg Hardy, Dan Snyder. Between sexual harassment, assault, or domestic violence, the NFL needs change.
As a father of four young ladies, I fully embrace that there is much more to the game than putting W in the win column. Having to explain to your children why your favorite team sought out the services of a potential serial sexual predator is a task no fan should have to undertake.
The sad truth is, they don’t have to. If Roger Goodell and his billionaire sponsors would choose accountability over athleticism, we all could enjoy this game so much more.