Nike Suspends Deshaun Watson Endorsement Deal
Nike is reportedly suspending its endorsement arrangement with Deshaun Watson.
According to USA Today, the move makes the apparel company the first major sponsor to publicly distance itself from the Houston Texans quarterback amid sexual misconduct and assault allegations made by almost two dozen women.
In a brief statement provided to the newspaper on Wednesday (April 7), Nike said it is “deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations” and has suspended its relationship with Watson and “will continue to closely monitor the situation.”
Beats by Dre, hours later, ended its partnership with Watson, according to a person close to the situation. The source told USA Today of the development, but was not authorized to speak on the matter publicly.
Currently, 22 women have accused Deshaun Watson of either sexual misconduct, sexual assault, or both. Ashley Solis, the first woman to file a lawsuit against the pro football player, said during a Tuesday news conference that Watson “is my assaulter and my harasser.”
Watson has denied any wrongdoing. Last month, he tweeted a statement in which he labeled the allegations a “publicity-seeking.”
“I have not yet seen the complaint, but I know this: I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect,” he wrote. “The plaintiff’s lawyer claims that this isn’t about money, but before filing suit he made a baseless six-figure settlement demand, which I quickly rejected. Unlike him, this isn’t about money for me — it’s about clearing my name, and I look forward to doing that.”