The Houston Texans have removed quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is facing 22 civil lawsuits from women alleging non-consensual sexual contact during sports massages, from the intro of their in-house TV show "Texans 360."
The show has an intro that lasts about 20 seconds, and features multiple highlights of players making plays and hyping each other up. In the previous version, which you can see at the start of the video below, Watson is featured twice. At the 30-second mark you can see him throwing a pass, and at 39 seconds he's seen diving for a touchdown while being tackled.
In the intro at the start of the latest "Texans 360," which was posted on Youtube April 10, Watson's highlights have been removed, though you can still see him in the background of a different play.
Watson's legal battle continues
Watson's removal from the intro comes after a week of significant developments in his ongoing legal battle.
At the start of last week, Texans owner Cal McNair and his family released a statement to season ticket holders that condemned sexual assault and expressed their commitment to the legal process and the NFL's ongoing investigation. It notably contained no words of support for Watson.
In a news conference several days later, two of the 22 women currently suing Watson in civil court publicly identified themselves. For the first time, a woman spoke live about what she allegedly experienced while trying to give a sports massage to Watson. That woman, Ashley Solis, has also filed a criminal complaint with the Houston Police Department, which is being investigated.
Also last week, Watson began losing major sponsors. Beats by Dre reportedly ended their endorsement deal with Watson, which had been struck in 2017. Reliant Energy ended their relationship with Watson, choosing not to extend his contract as a "brand ambassador." Nike didn't end their sponsorship deal with Watson, but chose to suspend it. They released a statement saying they were “deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations” against Watson and would continue to monitor the situation.
On Friday, Watson and his attorney won the right in court to know the identity of his accusers. While two women have publicly identified themselves, all 22 civil suits were filed by Jane Doe to protect their identities. These women will likely have to re-file their suits using their legal names.
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