Nike has suspended its endorsement deal with Deshaun Watson after mounting allegations of sexual misconduct. In a statement made to CNBC on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the top apparel company said Nike would be monitoring the situation moving forward.
“We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson. We will continue to closely monitor the situation,” Nike said, via CNBC.
That decision comes less than 24 hours after the first woman to file a sexual misconduct lawsuit against Watson, Ashley Solis, came forward to tell her story publicly.
There continues to be a back-and-forth between Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, and the lawyer representing the alleged victims, Tony Buzbee. Following the press conference with Solis on Tuesday, Hardin released a statement saying Solis wanted $100,000.
That was quickly labeled “old news” by Buzbee, however.
As more details emerge surrounding the various lawsuits, things are beginning to look more and more bleak for the Houston Texans star quarterback. Since March 16, 22 massage therapists have come forward.
That’s not something Nike or any other company endorsing Watson can ignore.
Now, it should be noted that the endorsement is being suspended, not terminated. Therefore, the suspension could be temporary, pending the outcome of the lawsuits. But this is just the latest development in an unfortunate story, regardless of how it turns out.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.