In an effort to score points in the court of public opinion, lawyer Rusty Hardin has released three statements on behalf of Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. All of those statements have raised separate questions regarding the allegations contained in 21 lawsuits against Watson.
The latest statement, which contains on-the-record accounts from 18 massage therapists who claim that Watson engaged in no misconduct with them and, for some of the 18 massage therapists, attacked the credibility of those who allege otherwise, has prompted many to do the math and to ask the simple question of whether it makes sense for Watson to have had at least 40 different massage therapists in such a relatively small window of time.
Former NFL offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod fueled that skepticism with a now-deleted tweet in response to our item regarding the latest Hardin statement. “I played 12 years,” Bushrod tweeted, “I think I had half of that throughout my whole career.”
Bushrod, in response to the tweet, was asked by another user whether football players usually stick with one massage therapist for an extended period of time.
“Yes,” Bushrod said in the reply, which also has been deleted. “No way I could have multiple therapists per game week.”
This doesn’t mean Watson did something wrong with the 21 plaintiffs who have sued him or the woman who told her story (but hasn’t sued Watson) to SI.com. But it does cause many to ask why Watson or anyone would need to have 40 different massage therapists. Which opens the door to prompting more questions as to why he has so many massages with so many different people.
Also, the claims from 18 massage therapists that Watson acted appropriately doesn’t necessarily mean the other 21 are incorrect are lying. It’s possible that all 40 people are telling the truth.
It’s also possible that the rules of evidence in Texas will regard any testimony from these 18 massage therapists as inadmissible in a civil or, if it happens, criminal case. But anything and everything is admissible in the court of public opinion. The real question is whether Hardin’s latest effort to boost Watson’s case there has helped, has hurt, or has had no net impact.