Home U.S The curious case of Deshaun Watson's March massage

The curious case of Deshaun Watson's March massage


The NFL never has investigated a case quite like Deshaun Watson’s.

Other NFL player conduct investigations typically have involved only a small number of incidents at most. By contrast, 22 women have sued Watson, accusing him of sexual misconduct during massage sessions in four states.

That gives the league 22 cases to consider with the Houston Texans quarterback, who could be suspended based on the findings, regardless of whether he is charged with a crime after a separate investigation by the Houston police.

“It only takes one case to justify discipline,” said the NFL’s former counsel for operations and litigation, Jodi Balsam, now an associate professor at Brooklyn Law School.  “So even if they can come to no determination after 20 cases, but in one case it’s a clear episode of some form of sexual assault or harassment, that’s enough for them to impose discipline. They don’t have to resolve every single factual dispute in every single case to justify discipline.”

Deshaun Watson has been accused of sexual misconduct by 22 women in separate lawsuits.

So then which cases are the most problematic for him?

Two of the 22 lawsuits appear to be more serious than the others because they accuse him of sexual assault.

Another case stands out because of its timing.

The latter happened on March 5, according to a lawsuit filed by a massage therapist in Georgia. It could make Watson look really bad or really innocent, depending on the viewpoint, which raises another issue about the scale of the league’s investigation: Even if a case is not damning on its own, any could provide clues that add to the pile of evidence for or against his culpability.


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