What to Know About Deshaun Watson and His Allegations


Lauren Grafe, Co-Editor-In-Chief

There has been a recent debate on Deshaun Watson’s sexual misconduct allegations. Before I get into my opinion, here are some facts that I discovered on the matter.

Deshaun Watson attended Gainesville High School in Georgia. He became coach Bruce Miller’s first-ever freshman starting quarterback. Watson committed to Clemson University in 2012 and was the top quarterback recruit for the 2014 class. He had offers from other division 1 schools: Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami (FL), and Ohio State, among many other schools. Clemson Tigers reached out to Watson young which came to their benefit because Georgia reached out too late. 

In 2014, he received the All-ACC award as a freshman for his division. He completed 93 out of 137 passes for 1,466 yards; he also scored 14 touchdowns for the Clemson Tigers. Out of 330 snaps, Watson only threw two interceptions. His completion rate for passes was 67.9% while also having the best national passing efficiency rate. Deshaun became first in school history in passing efficiency, first in yards per passing attempts, first in offensive yards per play, second in completion percentage, and tied for tenth in passing yards. He also became the first in school history for passing efficiency and completion percentage by a freshman, passing yards, passing touchdowns, and total offense by a first-year freshman. Another accomplishment he achieved was being awarded three-times for ACC rookie of the week, as well as many other achievements. He tore his ACL this year but did not want to let his team down, so he decided to play through it and won the game for his team against South Carolina. In Dabo Swinney’s words, “We thought we were going to have to take him off the field in a stretcher because of how good he played.”

He was awarded many awards his sophomore season, but one of the bigger ones include the Davey O’Brien and Manning Award as the nation’s best quarterback. This is the national quarterback award, and this is a huge accomplishment for star quarterbacks. He led his team to a national championship game against Alabama after a speedy recovery from his ACL tear. He worked hard to get back and knew before the season started that this was going to be a special season. Nick Saban after the game told a reporter, “It wasn’t that our defense did not play well; it was how Clemson had an awful good offensive team, and their quarterback just made a lot of really good plays.”  Although Clemson lost 45-40, they played a fantastic game and scored a lot of points against the champions. 

The tigers came back better than ever. Watson’s junior season was a successful one, and they wanted to win the championship since they fell short the year before. Sure enough, Clemson won the game 35-31 which broke the school record for wins by a touchdown or less. According to the NCAA schedule, they played the most difficult schedule out of any team and still managed to come home with the championship title. The tigers became the sixth program in forty years to win the national championship in the season playing the nation’s most taxing schedule. This year, Clemson defeated the nation’s number three, two, and one teams: Auburn, Florida State, Ohio State, and Alabama. This was a huge accomplishment because these teams combined have won the last seven national championship titles.

Watson only played for Clemson during his first three years of college. He was drafted before his senior year of college by Houston, Texas in the NFL draft at pick number 12. He was the third quarterback to be drafted in the 2017 draft. He signed a four-year contract with the Texans. His first season with the new team started off strong with a win in his first-ever career start in the NFL against the Cincinnati Bengals. However, his rookie season ended when he tore his ACL during a practice. Two seasons later, in 2019, Watson had his best NFL performance in his career. He had a career-high of 4,165 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, 551 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. He replaced Tom Brady in the Pro Bowl which was Watson’s first appearance in that. And in his 2020 season, he led the NFL in passing yards. He signed an extension with the Texans until 2025 because of his incredible season: leading number of passing yards in history, passing touchdowns, and passing rating.

The quarterback’s career came to a standstill in 2021. There were allegations against Watson for sexual misconduct, and before this happened, he asked the Texans for a trade. There were 22 lawsuits filed against him, starting with a massage therapist (Ashley Solis). Watson did not play any games during this season and the lawsuit is still pending. The therapist accused him of non-consensually touching her, and other women agreed and filed their complaints. 

By 2022, many women had opinions on the matter: 24 have sued him, a woman sued but withdrew because of “privacy and security concerns, two women filed criminal complaints but did not sue, at least 15 therapists supported him who gave him massages, at least four therapists from Genuine Touch contracted with the Texans, five women identified by the plaintiffs’ lawyers during the investigation for their civil suits, and at least 15 other women whose appointments with Watson were confirmed through interviews and records reviewed by The Times.

For some reason, the Browns still chose to receive Deshaun Watson and continue to have him on the team. Deshaun has not played in a single Browns game, so far. Yet, he is still being paid a ton of money. There is no way that Watson should have a job right now, and it is unreal that a man would have such allegations. Football fan, Eric Lanzer, says “I don’t think someone who has had this many allegations could possibly be innocent with all of them. I believe that no matter how great of an athlete he is, he cannot undo what he has done, or make it better.” He may be a great football player, but it does not excuse his actions. Also, if there are that many women that have been affected by Watson and are taking a stand, something should be done. The NFL has great lawyers, so who knows what will end up being the final ruling. There’s only one thing I know for sure: If he is proven to be guilty, he should not have a job and be making millions of dollars.