Nike, Beats by Dre halt Watson sponsorships

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HOUSTON — Nike has suspended its endorsement cope with Deshaun Watson, and sources informed ESPN that Beats by Dre is ending its sponsorship of Watson amid the sexual assault and inappropriate conduct allegations towards the Texans quarterback.

“We’re deeply involved by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson. We are going to proceed to intently monitor the scenario,” Nike mentioned in an announcement Wednesday.

Houston-based Reliant Power mentioned in an announcement that its relationship with Watson was scheduled to finish this spring and that the corporate has “no plans for future engagements or contracts with him.”

Twenty-two ladies have filed lawsuits against Watson over the previous month that allege a “disturbing sample” of conduct throughout therapeutic massage and remedy classes. On Tuesday, Ashley Solis publicly spoke about her allegations, saying Watson “robbed” her of the sensation that she was therapeutic individuals as a therapeutic massage therapist.

Watson’s model partnerships embrace Rolex and a neighborhood partnership with H-E-B. He additionally joined Lefty’s, a cheesesteak franchise, opening a restaurant in Houston close to NRG Stadium in 2020.

The NFL has launched an investigation into Watson underneath its private conduct coverage, and NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy on Tuesday known as the allegations towards the quarterback “deeply disturbing.” The Houston Police Division additionally has an open investigation into Watson, with out specifying what he has been accused of.

Watson has publicly denied any wrongdoing, and Rusty Hardin, whose legislation agency is representing Watson, mentioned final month that he believes “any allegation that Deshaun pressured a girl to commit a sexual act is totally false.” Hardin mentioned in an announcement final week that he and Watson will “absolutely cooperate with the Houston Police Division.”

In response to Tuesday’s information convention, Hardin’s legislation agency mentioned in an announcement that Tony Buzbee’s legislation agency, which is representing the plaintiffs, “sought $100,000 in hush cash on behalf of Ms. Solis to quietly settle the allegations the month earlier than he filed the primary lawsuit.”

Final week, 18 ladies launched statements by way of Hardin, saying that they’ve labored with the Texans quarterback and that he “by no means made them really feel uncomfortable or demanded something outdoors the scope of an expert therapeutic massage.”

Watson’s lawyer mentioned the statements have been voluntary and have been from ladies who’ve collectively “labored with Deshaun greater than 130 occasions over the previous 5 years.”

On Tuesday, Buzbee mentioned one of many ladies who gave a type of statements additionally despatched a direct message regarding Watson saying she stopped working with him as a result of she was “listening to an excessive amount of stuff about him messing with different individuals.”

“That is two completely different tales,” Buzbee mentioned. “Now, am I suggesting that the 18 ladies had dangerous experiences? I do not know. Am I suggesting there is a purpose they got here ahead? I do not know. That is a query so that you can ask. However what I do know is that what was mentioned publicly by this one particular person and what was mentioned privately have been two fully various things.”