Deshaun Watson had 24 civil suits against him, many of which he settled after a Texas grand jury elected to not press criminal charges against him. His six-game suspension from retired Judge Sue L. Robinson brought a ton of backlash.
The NFL would soon appeal and the two sides negotiated on an 11-game suspension. In the aftermath of the settlement, the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center issued a statement to ESPN.
According to ESPN’s Michelle Steele, the CRCC said it “stands with those who have been hurt by Deshaun Watson.”
“While traditional avenues of criminal justice may have failed his accusers, today’s NFL and NFLPA settlement of increased punishment is a step towards validating their experiences,” the statement continued. “Healing comes to survivors in many forms.”
CRCC president Sondra Miller adds that the center “applauds anytime resources are dedicated to the prevention of sexual violence. In order to eradicate rape and sexual assault, we must hold sex offenders and the systems and institutions enabling them, accountable.”
He is also required to undergo evaluation and treatment.
Attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the women who have filed civil lawsuits against Watson, called out NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement:
Twenty-five women filed civil lawsuits against Watson between March 2020 and March 2021 accusing him of sexual assault or misconduct during massage therapy appointments while he was with the Houston Texans.