By: Teddy Grant
Nike and Apple’s Beats by Dre have ended their relationship with Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson after over 20 women accused the NFL star of sexual assault.
“We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson. We will continue to closely monitor the situation,” Nike told BNC in a statement.
On Tuesday, two massage therapists publicly came forward and alleged sexual misconduct, a claim that Watson denied.
Ashley Solis, one of the women, filed a lawsuit alleging civil assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to CNN.
In a statement, Solis said that the quarterback purposely touched her with his penis.
“At one point, he purposely exposed the tip of his penis from under the towel. Watson was at this point fully erect and moved his body so he could expose himself more,” the lawsuit states, according to CNN. “As a result of his moving of his hips, Watson purposely touched Plaintiff’s hand with the top of his erect penis.”
Black News Tonight host Marc Lamont Hill questioned why the companies pulled out from its deals with Watson now, saying that it should have happened months ago when allegations against Watson surfaced.
Hill added that rape culture allows “various forms of sexual abuse, sexual misconduct [and] various forms of harm” to go unchecked for extended periods.
“A sea of allegations and it still wasn’t bad enough for companies to pull out until now,” Hill said. “Why was this not bad for business sooner? The answer is that people don’t care about sexual violence in this country to the extent that they should.”
Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, shot back at Solis’ attorney. Tony Buzbee sought “hush money on behalf of Ms. Solis to quietly settle the allegations the month before he filed the first lawsuit.”