After hearing how the public is criticizing NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson, I also want to chime in on all that is going on. I want to look at all which has transpired, put it in context and bring enlightenment towards our social justice system of “guilty until proven innocent” when it comes to any black man who is accused by a woman for anything. Though it shouldn’t need to be stated, yet nonetheless, I do not condone rape nor do I desire to perpetuate any gender biases. This blog is simply my opinion on Deshaun’s situation.
What is going on?
I will create a timeline of bullet points to bring context to his situation, as it can be a little confusing. Especially since most have already prejudged him as a rapist, sex offender, afflicter of women and overall bad guy who can play football.
- In March 2021, a woman accused Deshaun Watson of sexually exposing himself and sexually assaulting her during a massage which he privately arranged through Instagram. She gained representation by Tony Buzbee (a high profile lawyer who just lost a campaign for mayor of Houston, TX). Only a few days after she files, dozens of other women file claims of sexual misconduct towards Watson. After a few weeks, Watson’s lawyer publicizes a woman’s attempt to blackmail Deshaun Watson, as she asked for money for exchange for her silence.
- Also note that Watson never kept silent during the allegations. He publicly advocated his innocence, along with 18 professional massage therapists who came to Deshaun Watson’s defense. They say they never felt uncomfortable or that he demanded anything outside the scope of a professional massage. However, he did state that on some occasions consensual sexual activity took place during the massages.
- A year later, in March 2022, Watson was cleared by a grand jury of criminal charges related to the sexual misconduct allegations against him in Harris County. He is traded by the Houston Texans to the Cleveland Browns, which gave him a five-year contract with a guaranteed $230 million in pay, the most guaranteed money in league history.
- Now, in August 2022, Watson still denies any wrongdoing, and has settled 23 of the 24 civil lawsuits accusing him of coercive and lewd sexual behavior during past massage appointments.
Why do people want to punish Deshaun?
For the life of me I cannot understand why so many people want a harsh punishment for Deshaun. He already lost a year of his life defending himself against criminal allegations that were ultimately dismissed. He has lost his integrity. He has lost endorsement deals worth millions. He didn’t even play football last year due to all of this. Now, the NFL is suspending him for 6 games this upcoming year for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
I wish people in the media would be honest. The public wants Deshaun to suffer for a crime he wasn’t charged with committing. So many people in the media want to defame Deshaun because of their prejudgments, biases and feelings. I feel that’s wrong. What gets me is I never heard one apology from anyone in the media for their judgmental criticisms after he was cleared by a grand jury for criminal charges related to all the sexual misconduct allegations.
What is the lesson to be learned?
The truth of the matter is a successful young black man cannot live life freely. Deshaun may or may not be truly innocent of sexual misconduct, no one truly knows except he and the alleged victim. Nevertheless, we all know he is guilty of being ignorant of reality.
He made the mistake of taking his success for granted. He should’ve learned from Kobe’s mistake, that you cannot have casual sex and make sexual advances towards a woman you don’t trust.
Why is it always men who are condemned of sexual misconduct? When has a successful woman or female athlete ever been charged with making inappropriate sexual advances? Why is it that many female athletes face little to no criticism even when found guilty of wrongdoings? Inquiring minds want to know.
Watson has been found guilty in the court of public opinion. He can’t even avoid punishment for an alleged crime he was never charged with.
In my opinion Deshaun is the victim not the victimizer. He is a victim of being treated as guilty even though he has never been charged with anything. He is the one who is forced to pay money to settle civil suits. He is the one who lost a portion of his career. He is the one who was blackmailed and criticized by media. Honestly, he is fortunate to still even have a job. I believe if he was a man of poor character, the NFL would have fired him and he would have trouble finding a high school football coaching position.
The lesson for today is no matter your intentions, a man in a high position will always face punishment for immoral behavior. Ask David about Bathsheba.