Houston, We’ve Had A Problem Here

TRIGGER WARNING: THIS ARTICLE TALKS ABOUT CLAIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SEXUAL HARRASSMENT

Deshaun Watson’s playing for the Houston Texans

Houston, we’ve had a problem. A big ass problem. A problem the size of Texas and all its Texans. Ok, I think I got all my wordplay in there. In all seriousness, the Houston Texans do have a problem and it comes in the form of their starting quarterback, well, more like their former starting quarterback. I don’t know what else to say for this introduction other than he messed up bad and it is all currently unfolding in front of us. This dude is going to need a hail Mary to save him, but as we all know those hardly ever work out.

Derrick Deshaun Watson was born in Gainesville Georgia on September 14, 1995, to Deann Watson and Don Richards. That’s the worst thing about getting older more and more of the professional athletes and the general population slowly starts to become younger than you. Although, I am enjoying my 30s much more than my 20s. But as usual, I digress.

During the fall of 2010, Watson started attending Gainesville High School and played for the school’s football team. Ok, this keeps getting more and more depressing. The year he started high school was the year I could legally start buying alcohol. Head coach, Bruce Miller, had planned to start a junior at quarterback but Watson won the starting spot instead, becoming Miller’s first-ever freshman starting quarterback.

During his time playing high school football, Watson set many state records. He rushed for 4,057 yards and had 68 touchdowns. During his junior year, Watson won a state championship and was named Junior All-American, 2014 Player to Watch, and 2014 Top 100 Recruit. He received offers from many colleges before committing to Clemson University on February 1, 2012. He was ranked top quarterback recruit for the 2014 class by ESPN 300. Well, he is just off to a fantastic start. Doing really big things. Deshaun Watson enrolled at Clemson in January 2014. While in high school Watson wore number four on his jersey, but at Clemson, that number had been retired after quarterback Steve Fuller graduated. I have absolutely no idea who that is. Ok, I just googled him he retired before I was even born. Anyway, Fuller thought so highly of Watson and the potential he was going to bring to the team that he allowed him to wear his coveted number four.  

Watson entered his true freshman year as the backup to starting quarterback, Cool Stoudt, but still managed to get extensive playing time. In three games he outperformed Stoudt by completing twenty-nine of forty-one passes, four touchdown passes that totaled 479 yards and no interceptions. He was named the Clemson Tiger’s starting quarterback on September 21, 2014. In Watson’s first career start against the North Carolina Tar Heels, he set a school record with six touchdown passes and threw for 435 yards. However, the good times couldn’t last forever (even though we all wish they could) and on October 11, 2014, Deshaun Watson broke a bone in his right hand in the first quarter of a game against the Louisville Cardinals. He missed the next two games and returned to play in a game against Georgia Tech. During that game, he suffered a fibular collateral ligament (LCL) strain causing him to sit out most of the playtime. He missed a game the following week but returned to lead Clemson to a victory over their state rival South Carolina the following week. It was later revealed that Watson played the game with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Do you guys remember that time Adrian Peterson tore his ACL, MCL, and I believe his LCL all at the same time during a game and his damn knee practically turned inside out. I don’t know, it was turned around or some shit and it looked BRUTAL. I saw it once when it happened and that was it because ESPN wouldn’t show a replay. I’m so surprised and happy that he was able to play again because a lot of people didn’t think he would. If you forgot all about that you’re welcome for the reminder. I really need to learn to stay on track here. Watson underwent ACL surgery a few days before Clemson’s bowl game against Oklahoma. 

In 2015 during his sophomore year Watson led Clemson to a victory against the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl, he threw for 189 yards, rushed for 145 yards, and scored a touchdown, earning him MVP honors. During a National Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide, he set a record for the most total yards in national championship game history, with 478 yards (405 passing and 73 rushing) against what was then the nation’s best defense. Watson threw for over 4,000 yards and rushed for over 1,000 yards to complete his sophomore season. Deshaun Watson was the first player to carry out this feat in the history of college football. Watson was named a finalist for the 2015 Heisman Trophy; this was the first time a Clemson player had been invited to the Heisman Trophy presentation. He would end up finishing third in the polls behind Heisman winner Derrick Henry, and Christian McCaffery running backs from Alabama and Stanford respectively. He would end up winning the Davey O’Brien Award, which is awarded yearly to the top college quarterback, and was named the 2015 ACC Player of the Year and ACC Offensive Player of the Year.

In 2016, Watson became the first player since Jason White in 2003-2004 to win the Davey O’ Brien Award in consecutive years. He was also the winner of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and was the first repeat winner of the Manning Award. For the second year in a row, Watson was named one of the five Heisman Trophy nominees, along with Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook, and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson. He once again came up short and ended up watching Lamar Jackson claim the trophy. In 2017 Clemson beat Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship. Watson completed thirty-six of fifty-six passes totaling 420 yards and had three touchdowns. He rushed for forty-three yards and a touchdown. He was named the game’s offensive MVP. On November 8, 2016, Watson declared for the NFL draft. In December he graduated with a degree in communications after studying at Clemson for three years.

I promise we’re getting closer and closer to the juicy stuff. You know I always have to set the scene first. On May 17, 2017, the Houston Texans signed Deshaun Watson to a four-year, $13.84 million contract which included an $8.2 million signing bonus. Can some please give me a couple of mill for signing my name? I’m really good at it, I promise! Watson made his regular-season debut on September 10, 2017, against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He entered the game after quarterback Tom Savage was benched at halftime. In the third quarter of the game, he threw for his first NFL touchdown. He finished with 102 passing yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Oh yeah, the Texans lost. They lost to the damn JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS! That shouldn’t be surprising since we all know who the better football team in Texas is.

Deshaun Watson made his first NFL career start against the Cincinnati Bengals on September 14, 2017 (which also happened to be his 22nd birthday). In week three of the 2017 season, Watson helped his team the defending Super Bowl Champions, the New England Patriots. He threw sixteen touchdown passes in October, setting an NFL record for most touchdown passes thrown by a rookie in one calendar month. He was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month. His NFL career is off to a very good start. But as a said before not all good things can last and on November 2, 2017, Watson tore his ACL on a non-contact play during practice, putting an end to his rookie season. During his rookie year, he racked up 1,699 passing yards, nineteen touchdowns, and eight interceptions. He rushed for 269 yards and two touchdowns. On November 8th he underwent surgery on his right knee to repair his ACL. He was ranked 50th by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2018 list. He was named to the PFWA-All-Rookie Team, becoming the second Texans quarterback to receive the award since David Carr had done so in 2002. Just a little nugget of information for ya’ll. David Carr is the older brother of Las Vegas Raiders current quarterback Derek Carr. There is a twelve-year age gap between the two. David Carr retired from the NFL in 2012 before his little brother started playing.

On September 9, 2018, Watson returned for the NFL season opener against the New England Patriots. He threw for 176 yards with a touchdown and an interception and rushed eight times for a total of forty yards. Despite his performance, the Houston Texas lost 20-27. Deshaun Watson would have one of his best games of the season in week four against the Indianapolis Colts. He threw for 375 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception and ran for forty-one yards and a touchdown leading the Texans to a 37-34 overtime victory. A week later they played the Dallas Cowboys and that game ended in overtime as well but we’re not going to talk about that. Moving on! Suffering from broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung Watson played in week 7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, throwing for 139 yards and one touchdown. This time they beat that pathetic team 20-7. During the last week of the 2018 regular season, the Texans defeated the Jaguars again to clinch the AFC South. Watson finished the season with a career-high 4,165 passing yards, twenty-six touchdowns, nine interceptions, 551 rushing yards, and five rushing touchdowns. However, he also tied for the fifth-most sacks in an NFL single-season with sixty-two.

On January 21, 2019, Deshaun Watson was named to his first Pro Bowl, replacing the Super Bowl-bound Tom Brady. Ugh, I can’t stand that guy. He gets on all seven trillion of my nerves. Although, drunk, hat backwards TB12 is epic.

Deshaun Watson’s 2019 went pretty well but had no major highlights. Well, at least in my opinion it didn’t have many memorable moments. He finished the year with 3,852 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns, and rushed for 413 yards and seven touchdowns. So, let’s move on to the beginning of the end for Deshaun Watson, the 2020 season. On April 28, 2020, the Houston Texans exercised the fifth-year option on Watson’s contract, and on September 5th, he signed a four-year, $177.5 million contract extension with $111 million in guarantees, keeping him with the team through the 2025 season.

This marked the second-most lucrative contract in NFL history behind that of Patrick Mahomes. In week twelve against the New England Patriots, Watson threw for 344 yards and two touchdowns, he rushed for thirty-six yards and one touchdown, earning the AFC Offensive Player of the Week award. During a week twelve game against the Detroit Lions, he went seventeen of twenty-five passed for a total of 318 yards and four passing touchdowns. With that performance, Watson briefly became the NFL’s all-time regular-season career passer rating leader. He was surpassed by Patrick Mahomes five days later.

This marked the second-most lucrative contract in NFL history behind that of Patrick Mahomes. In week twelve against the New England Patriots, Watson threw for 344 yards and two touchdowns, he rushed for thirty-six yards and one touchdown, earning the AFC Offensive Player of the Week award. During a week twelve game against the Detriot Lions, he went seventeen of twenty-five passed for a total of 318 yards and four passing touchdowns. With that performance, Watson briefly became the NFL’s all-time regular-season career passer rating leader. He was surpassed by Patrick Mahomes five days later. In December 2020 Deshaun Watson was fined $7,500 by the Texans for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols after he and several teammates had a gathering at the opening of his new restaurant without wearing face masks. Well, I guess Deshaun Watson also owns a restaurant, who knew?

He finished the 2020 season with 4,823 passing yards (the most in the NFL), thirty-three touchdowns, and seven interceptions. This season was by all major measures, the best in franchise history, leading in passing touchdowns, passing yards, and passer rating. He became the first player to lead the league in passing yards on a team with at least twelve losses since Jeff George of the Oakland Raiders in 1997. To think he had this amazing season just to turn around and have it all ripped out from under him.

Following the 2020 season, Watson requested a trade by the Houston Texans after becoming disgruntled with changes in the front office and coaching staff. The Texans were not willing to negotiate with other teams regarding the trade, leading to a standstill with Watson until the emergence of the sexual-harassment allegations. I told you guys the juicy stuff was coming. When it comes to sport my dad and I are two peas in a pod. Actually, we are two peas in a pod in many ways since I’m almost a carbon copy of him. So, naturally, my dad was the first person I told about the sexual-harassment allegations against Watson after the alert came across my phone. My dad was like “What, no way?” and I was like “Yup.” and he was like “That’s crazy” and I was like “Mmmhmm”. It was a very deep and meaningful conversation. Despite the off-field controversies and Watson’s poor standing with the team, he was allowed to participate in training camp on a limited basis. He would still be the starting quarterback and free-agent signing Tyrod Taylor would be sitting as his backup. The Texans general manager told the media that Watson’s situation would be handled “one day at a time”. Watson was not officially suspended or placed on any reserve list but he was ruled out of the opening game of the 2021 season for “non-injury reasons/personal matter”. Deshaun Watson still hasn’t been suspended by the Houston Texans and remains on their fifty-three-man roster although Taylor has been named the starting quarterback. That man hasn’t seen playtime in quite a while.

On March 16, 2021, a Houston massage therapist filed a civil lawsuit delivered by attorney Tony Buzbee against Watson claiming that Watson had touched her with the tip of his erect penis while asking her for sex during a visit to her home for treatment in March 2020. Come on Deshaun you were poking the poor girl with the tip of your ding-dong? Get it together my dude! You can’t just go around poking people with that thing! Watson of course vehemently denied the claims, stating that; “I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect.”. According to the statement, the massage therapist immediately ended the session and cried after the incident.

A few weeks later, two additional NFL players contacted the massage therapist on Watson’s recommendation. The suit also claims that Watson later reached out to the massage therapist and apologized for his actions. So why try and deny it? If you didn’t do it you would have nothing to apologize for you…. you….ass face. The very next day, another massage therapist represented by Buzbee claimed that Watson had met her at the Houstonian Hotel in August 2020, completely undressed and refused to cover up. He directed to (guys, I can’t make this shit up) massage his anus and penis while making moves that caused her to touch above mentioned penis. She also claimed that Watson only paid half of the charges due for her services.

On March 18, 2021, yet another civil lawsuit was filed against Deshaun Watson, alleging that he had forced a massage therapist to give him oral sex before she blacked out in an office building in December 2020. So did she pass out due to lack of air or what? The therapist further alleged that after Watson left, she was so shaken that she defecated on herself. On March 18th, the NFL announced that it would investigate all sexual assault allegations made again Watson. On March 19, 2021, Tony Buzbee announced that nine more civil suits had been filed against Watson, bringing the total amount to twelve. He also claimed that twenty-two women contacted his office regarding Watson’s actions while receiving massages. Wow, March is not his month. Buzbee requested that the Houston Police Department and the Harris County district attorney investigate all claims and pursue criminal charges against the Texans quarterback. One of the nine new civil suits alleges that Watson attempted to forcibly kiss a woman, and another (civil suit number thirteen) alleges that he attempted to assault the same woman on two separate occasions. 

On March 22, 2021, a fourteenth lawsuit was filed by a woman who called Watson a “serial predator”. The incident allegedly took place in California. This was only the second of the fourteen allegations to take place outside the Houston area. The traveling massage therapist claimed that when she arrived at the address that Watson had given to her, he told her to follow him to a room and “locked the doors behind him”. After the door was locked Watson allegedly “forced the Plaintiff’s hand onto his penis”. The therapist also claimed that during the massage he told her, “I will not have you sign an NDA but don’t ever talk about this”. The woman also alleges that Watson reached out to her on Instagram in December 2020,“acting as if nothing had happened”. Who is he to have her sign an NDA in the first place? Like what in the actual f***, Deshaun?

On April 2, 2021, the Houston Police Department announced that it would investigate . As of April 5, 2021, twenty-two lawsuits have been filed against Deshaun Watson, though eighteen professional massage therapists have since expressed support of his character, stating the allegations go against their past and current experiences with Watson.

Buzbee has since reversed his stance on sending evidence to the Houston Police Department because Watson’s lawyer Rustin Hardin has a son in the police force. He instead alleged that would he would send evidence from his clients “elsewhere”, while also criticizing Houston Police Department chief Art Acevedo. Both Hardin and Acevedo have criticized Buzbee’s statements, with Hardin saying that he and his client would “always remain available to any law enforcement or regulatory agency who desires our cooperation”. On April 6th, two of the twenty-two women who filed lawsuits publicly identified themselves during a press conference. 

Ashley Solis, the first woman to identify herself, claimed that Watson exposed himself and touched her hand with this erect penis before she ended a session that was taking place at her home. During the press conference, Solis said that she suffers from panic attacks, anxiety, and depression resulting from the sexual assault. She stated: “People say that I’m doing this just for money. That is false. I come forwards now so that Deshaun Watson does not assault another woman”. On April 7, 2021, Nike and Beats By Dre suspended their endorsement deals with Watson. Reliant Energy and H-E-B stated they do not plan on continuing to engage with Watson in the future.

Two days after losing his endorsement deals, Hardin claimed that some of Watson’s messages did lead to some “sexual activity” but that it was consensual. Later that same day two judges ruled that thirteen of the twenty-two lawsuits must be refiled within two business days or risk dismissal and that four of the accusers must refile using their current names. I’m not sure what that means. Maybe they changed their names or maybe some of them got married or divorced. I don’t know. Attorneys also announced that twelve women would reveal their names voluntarily. The judge granted Watson’s attorneys’ emergency motion requiring the release of the other accusers’ names.  

Two days after losing his endorsement deals, Hardin claimed that some of Watson’s messages did lead to some “sexual activity” but that it was consensual. Later that same day two judges ruled that thirteen of the twenty-two lawsuits must be refiled within two business days or risk dismissal and that four of the accusers must refile using their current names. I’m not sure what that means. Maybe they changed their names or maybe some of them got married or divorced. I don’t know. Attorneys also announced that twelve women would reveal their names voluntarily. The judge granted Watson’s attorneys’ emergency motion requiring the release of the other accusers’ names.

Well, as of now this is where the tale ends. You guys will be the first to know as more unfolds but it’s not looking good for Deshaun Watson. I’m wondering if we see him back on a football field any time soon. Maybe not ever again..

Thanksgiving is fast approaching so I just thought I would share some things I’m thankful for. First and foremost, I’m thankful for the journey I have taken throughout my life. From who I was as a kid to who I am now. The confidence I have gained over the years and the ability to be my true self is a feeling I can’t even describe. I’m so thankful for Nick, I could not have asked for a better husband. We have been through so much and we just keep coming back stronger than ever. His unwavering support is something I will never be able to repay him for. His patience when dealing with me is phenomenal. He is just everything I could have asked for and more. I’m so incredibly thankful for my mom & dad. Truly, I don’t think I could have had more perfect parents.

The sacrifices they have made to give my brother and me everything we want in life. The fact that they noticed that something was not quite right with me when I was young and springing into action to get me the help I needed. Both of them always believing in us and pushing us to be the best version of ourselves. Something my dad has told me from a young age was to always believe in yourself, everything has to come from within, from you. I don’t know how they do it but they manage to be the perfect balance of friends and parents and to me, that’s very special. That has really stuck with me through life and has helped get me through so many things. Their love for one another and their dedication to their marriage are so inspiring. I could go on and on. I really have the best parents. I’m thankful for my brother, Eric, who has my back no matter what and who I know will have my back until the end. Always supporting me and making sure I’m doing alright. Just always being there as a brother and friend. Partners in crime, that’s us. Last but certainly not least I’m so thankful for all my readers. I’m so passionate about sports and true crime is so interesting to me. I feel honored that you enjoy what I write. Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

11/11/21 – Update: The Houston Texans have agreed to trade Deshaun Watson to the Miami Dolphins. He WILL NOT take Tua Tagovailoa’s starting spot.

Sources:

“Deshaun Watson” – Wikipedia

“Attorney for women suing Deshaun Watson” – ESPN

“What To Know About the Lawsuits”- New York Times

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