Browns and Watson present little regard to girls

Deshaun Watson‘s attorneys appeared on a Houston sports activities radio station on Friday to debate the 23 civil lawsuits towards the Cleveland Browns quarterback, all of them from girls alleging various ranges of sexual impropriety they had been subjected to throughout therapeutic massage appointments with Watson.

Toward the tip of the interview, legal professional Rusty Hardin made a blithe remark that was equal components ignorant and rage-inducing, and probably of curiosity to NFL investigators.

“I don’t know how many men out there now that have had a massage that perhaps occasionally there was a happy ending. Alright?” Hardin started. “Maybe there’s nobody in your listening audience that ever happened to.

“I wish to level out: if it has occurred, it isn’t a criminal offense. OK? Unless you might be paying any individual additional or so to offer you some kind of sexual exercise, it isn’t a criminal offense. … Doing one thing or saying one thing or being a manner that makes you uncomfortable will not be a criminal offense.”

Hardin has said there was consensual sexual activity between Watson and some of the women. Based on the fact that 23 women have filed lawsuits, not all of the massage therapists Watson had appointments with consented to what happened during their interactions with him.

Hardin is trying to win his client points in the court of public opinion, but at this point, whether or not what Watson did was criminal doesn’t matter. Two grand juries declined to indict him on charges, which means he’s free of criminal inquiry but his innocence is still up for scrutiny in civil court.

Hardin saying “making somebody uncomfortable will not be a criminal offense” is callous, untrue, and also not the discussion at this point. What matters now is whether Watson engaged in behavior that he can be held liable for in civil court. There’s a far different standard in civil court than criminal court. The NFL’s personal conduct policy also has different standards.

What always matters is consent.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson walks on the field during an NFL football practice at the team's training facility Wednesday, June 1, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard)

As Deshaun Watson faces civil lawsuits from 23 women, the NFL is investigating if the Browns quarterback violated the league’s personal conduct policy. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Thinking you’re funny by mentioning a “blissful ending” during a radio interview and minimizing, yet again, the women who are making accusations is why rape culture persists.

It is why a culture like the one in the Washington Commanders’ front offices festered for years.

It’s why, despite Watson facing these numerous allegations, the Cleveland Browns acquired him from the Houston Texans, signed him to the largest guaranteed contract in NFL history, and gave flimsy and wholly unsatisfying answers when pressed on why they did so given Watson’s considerable baggage.

It’s why women in all walks of life, from all backgrounds, keep their stories of sexual harassment and assault quiet. Select family and friends might know them, but as women we’ve been shown again and again over decades that work supervisors or human resources officers or the police and the legal system that delivers “justice” for a very narrow population of citizens, will do nothing of consequence.

So mostly we keep them to ourselves.

Hours after the interview, Hardin scrambled to clarify his comments via a statement. It read in part, “On a Houston radio present interview right this moment, I discussed {that a} therapeutic massage that has a ‘blissful ending’ will not be unlawful, that means it’s not unlawful for somebody to have consensual intercourse with a therapist after a therapeutic massage except the intercourse is for pay. Deshaun didn’t pay anybody for intercourse. I used to be utilizing the time period hypothetically and never describing Deshaun’s case.

“I have reiterated to others it’s not ok to do anything that a woman does not agree to do. These women have alleged assault in their pleadings. I was speaking in a hypothetical situation. If there is a consensual sexual encounter after a massage, that is not a crime nor the basis for a civil lawsuit. I was not talking about what Deshaun did or did not do or expected or did not expect.”

A yikes interview adopted by a yikes assertion. Watson could also be a creep, however no matter he is paying Hardin in billable hours is an excessive amount of.

Hardin has now completed fairly the about-face over the previous 12 months. Initially he implied the entire accusers had been liars. Now he is saying there was sexual contact between Watson and a minimum of a few of the therapists, but it surely was consensual, despite the fact that practically two dozen lawsuits point out not all of them had been, not within the girls’s eyes.

His assertion and clarification are nonetheless smearing the ladies, implying all of them are intercourse staff and propagating a trope. What’s turn out to be clear is that Watson was at minimal hoping for a sexual encounter with many if not the entire girls he made appointments with and had little to no real interest in therapeutic therapeutic massage; if he needed intercourse staff he certainly might discover them, and pay for the anonymity and discretion that may have stored him out of the scenario he is in now.

Some of the ladies who’ve accused Watson of wrongdoing labored with him greater than as soon as; some accusers mentioned his habits escalated with every go to till it grew to become insufferable. These girls had been by and huge working their very own micro-business, and having a consumer like Watson might have been a boon, so that they tried to tolerate it till they could not anymore.

It’s a well-recognized predicament for lots of ladies.

It’s comprehensible {that a} girl enthusiastic about probably having an NFL quarterback as an everyday consumer would give him a second probability even after an preliminary assembly left her feeling distressed. Maybe she’d misinterpreted his actions the primary time and he’d be higher the second time. Or possibly she might internalize just a little little bit of discomfort if it meant she received a deep-pocketed consumer with quite a few teammates who may also want a therapeutic massage therapist.

Deshaun Watson clearly would not care how he made a few of these girls really feel. Rusty Hardin clearly would not care how Watson made a few of these girls really feel. The Cleveland Browns clearly do not care.

Trying to wave off incidents like those Watson has been accused of are why they proceed to occur. Ignoring the idea of consent and an individual’s proper to say sure or no is why they proceed to occur.

It’s why girls nonetheless are so usually afraid of what else will occur to them in the event that they converse their reality. People like Dan Snyder might be protected, attorneys like Rusty Hardin will smear accusers, quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson will get assured contracts.

It’s long gone time for it to cease.

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