CLEMSON — Nike has suspended its endorsement of Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, according to a report from CNBC.
The former Clemson quarterback has been accused of sexual misconduct in 22 lawsuits. Watson and his lawyer Rusty Hardin have denied the allegations, stating that the claims are a failed blackmail attempt. All of the lawsuits have been represented by Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee.
“We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson. We will continue to closely monitor the situation,” Nike said in a statement to CNBC on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Ashley Solis became the first woman who has filed a lawsuit against Watson to speak publicly. Solis said in a press conference she was giving Watson a massage in March 2020 when the alleged sexual assault occurred. According to Solis, since then she has suffered “panic attacks, anxiety and depression.”
The Houston Police Department announced on April 2 it was opening a criminal investigation after a complaint was filed against the quarterback.
Watson played at Clemson from 2014-16, leading the Tigers to the national title as a junior during his final college season.
He was drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft by the Houston Texans and has been named to the Pro Bowl three times. He led the NFL in passing this past season.