Colts LB Mad Media Paying Attention to Deshaun Watson Allegations Over Former Unknown White Player

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Deshaun Watson has been accused of sexual assault by 20 different women, yet Colts linebacker Darius Leonard isn’t happy that the story is receiving the coverage it is. More specifically, Leonard is mad that the media has covered the civil lawsuits more aggressively than allegations that Chad Wheeler assaulted his girlfriend.

Leonard’s tweet is dishonest and his comparison is foolish. Let’s take it step by step:

Deshaun Watson is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Chad Wheeler is an unknown former offensive tackle whom the Seahawks waived in January. Fair or not, stars receive more coverage, positive or negative, than random backups. This is why Watson’s on-field performances on Sundays are weekly topics across talk-radio and Wheeler’s fail to make a niche Reddit message board.

For the same reasons, the media spent months on sexual assault allegations against Ben Roethlisberger but opted to avoid covering Jarron Jones when he was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and strangulation after an altercation with his girlfriend. You are probably wondering who Jarron Jones is. You may be hearing his name for the first time — after all, he is an offensive lineman on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad. Due to those credentials, his horrific attack barely made the news.

For more context, Jarron Jones is a black man and Roethlisberger is white. While that seems meaningless — and, on its face, is — it’s noteworthy in this case because soon after Darius Leonard’s first tweet, he implied that white players like Wheeler receive more favorable press because of racism.

I’m not sure what else Leonard could’ve been implying there, but either way, like Leonard’s other arguments, the idea that racism plays a role here can be debunked with more than one example.

If the media is afraid to cover allegations against white players but picks on black players — why were reports that Tom Brady possibly used deflated footballs covered far more frequently than most of the violent crimes black players have committed? Maybe, just maybe, it’s because Brady, like Watson, is a superstar quarterback.

The media also isn’t “killing” (to use Leonard’s word) Deshaun Watson. In fact, given the magnitude and possible ramifications of the story, Watson has been covered lightly. OutKick’s Clay Travis argued why last week:

I’ll tell you. The American sports media — and the American media in general — is so captured by identity politics at this point that objective and honest journalistic coverage is nearly impossible to find. The sports media is paralyzed by their own wokeness. Without an easy villain to fit into the identity politics narrative — who is the villain here, the 16 women or the black quarterback? — the sports media’s victimization pyramid collapses on itself.

The American sports media has gone so overboard in the direction of the left wing identity politics universe that most in sports media are afraid to utter a word here. Because the minute you say anything, you risk alienating one of the pillars of the woke sports media establishment. If you don’t #believeallwomen, then you are turning your back on vulnerable women to help protect an extremely powerful man. But if you believe the women, then you are criticizing the black quarterback, who has come to represent the apex of the victimization pyramid ascendant in modern sports culture today.

ESPN has covered the lawsuits against Watson far less aggressively than Drew Brees supporting the flag, Peyton Manning’s 20-year-old mooning scandal, and Brady’s Deflategate.

Would ESPN analysts provide the same benefit of the doubt to a white player accused of sexual assault by 20 different women? Probably not. Domonique Foxworth of ESPN admitted that he roots for white QB Josh Allen to fail because Allen’s fans like the American flag and dogs. ESPN’s Mark Jones celebrated white player Nick Bosa’s ACL tear because Bosa stood for the national anthem. So yeah, I have some doubts that Allen and Bosa would be awarded the same due process by the sports media that some black players have.

Finally, there isn’t much more to say about Chad Wheeler’s case. Talking points and interest drive media coverage. There’s no interest in Wheeler and there is nothing else to add other than stating the news, which was covered nationally, including by OutKick. Leonard compares Wheeler to Watson, a superstar who recently requested a trade that would have altered the league. No one can discuss what Wheeler’s team should do about him because he doesn’t play for one. He also never made much of an impact on the league or on sports media even when he was on a team — the guy barely played.

Media coverage is full of double standards, hypocrisy, agendas, favors, dishonesty, and lies — no one points these out more than me — but none apply to Darius Leonard’s argument. This was a big swing and a staggering miss.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics..

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.


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  1. The indoctrination has been so effective, the woke culture so incredibly ingrained, and….with full protection from the media…. you can basically say anything is “white supremacy / racist” and you will not be required to answer for your childish, political claims.

    • the shameless media robots.
      the college professors.
      pathetic politicians.
      the corporations & their wokeish commercials (see Cadillac recently).

      ALL TELLING the same coordinated lie that we are actually still in 1952 Hattiesburg, Mississippi – then I guess people actually come to believe it.

      • Regarding college profs…I am at this moment in a battle with a university dept head (the dept in which my two students are enrolled) for sending out BS virtue signaling emails. I just told him if he agrees to stop sending emails to all the students, I will go away. If he does not agree, I am going all the way to the top and will make his life miserable. It will be his choice.

  2. Yes the indoctrination has been to make everything about skin color and race which determines the public reaction rather than actions or just how high up the food chain the guy is.

    I guarentee you…I’ve been around some white guys who have at least talked liked they have personality traits of a sexual predator…I don’t have any sort of comradery or looking the other way for their actions because we share the same skin suit. They are quite often awkward and disgusting.

  3. With an ever-dwindling handful of White Superstars (Bye Bye Drew Brees and Philip Rivers) … The NFL – like The NBA – has evolved into an extension of Black Culture in America circa 2021. That reality is endorsed and aggressively supported by a woke-ified national sports media.

    If that reality bothers “Joe Fan” then Joe can choose other forms of sports entertainment that are less-so. Such options do exist. The short / mid / long term effects on attendance and viewing audience remains to be seen.

  4. If Big Ben did this it would be the biggest news story – sports or otherwise – in national media – the privileged redneck predator coupled with female victims (some non white) would overtake any DNC press release they were obligated to publish.

    What surprises me a little though is that BLM isn’t mad about the lack of coverage. I’m serious. It feels like the MSM is deliberately downplaying to push the left’s race-war strategy. But it also feels like the QB might be getting less coverage bc no one cares. Which in a weird way feels bigoted – like Black rapes matter too, y’all.

  5. I don’t watch Wokecenter anymore or anything else on ESPN except for live sports, so I have no idea what they are talking about. I wish I had alternatives to watch live sports too.

    My guess is Watson is getting kid glove treatment. Who is Darius Leonard? Never heard of him. Of course, I really only watch Redzone, so an average defensive player barely registers. I only watch full games during the playoffs.

    I am not surprised by this given how shitty and untruthful our media is. They promote this behavior along with other billionaires and monopolistic corporations (I know, redundant since large corporations also own the media).

  6. Maybe he should not have hit send? Give Watson his day in court and get all the evidence. Don’t give in to the race card in any way. That seems to be the status quo these days. Either he did this or he did not. Plain and simple.

  7. Leonard is an ignorant, racist tool but he’s doing what minorities do…stick up for their brothers no matter what. On the other hand look at all the white, woke liberals who can’t wait to call out other whites as racist. Makes them feel virtuous.

  8. History shows many (maybe most) of the allegations like this are bogus, and that’s my opinion too on this case. I always ask why are there no videos or at least audio? Everyone has a phone and if bad chit is happening, freaking record it! That’s the only true way to know if it was innocent, wasn’t a set-up, or that the female was or was not okay with it. Where is the audio/video? The question is especially valid for the women that claim this happened more than once.

  9. The more I read about Watson’s case, I’m beginning to believe that he was trying to hustle his way OUT of Houston before all of this hit the fan. The team didn’t have the same sense of urgency, it seems, as Watson, so that threw a wrench in the gears.

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