Regardless of what the Houston Texans actually knew about former quarterback Deshaun Watson‘s massage habits, they arguably knew enough to justify finding out even more. Now, we’ll be learning exactly what they knew and when they knew it.
Attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the 24 women who have sued Watson for sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions, issued a statement on Wednesday indicating that he will add the Texans as defendants to the cases, along with others.
“Based on what we have learned from the Houston Police Department, we will soon be joining the Houston Texans organization and others as defendants in the ongoing lawsuits against Deshaun Watson,” Buzbee said. “Our team has thoroughly vetted each case. We are considering many others. These women are the true heroes in this sordid story. What has become clear is that the Houston Texans organization and their contracting ‘massage therapy company’ facilitated Deshaun Watson’s conduct. In many of these cases, the Texans provided the opportunity for this conduct to occur. We believe the Texans organization was well aware of Watson’s issues, but failed to act. They knew or certainly should have known. The Houston Texans organization provided rooms for Watson at the high-end Houstonian hotel for his ‘massages’; the Texans also provided massage tables and other support for Watson’s proclivities—ostensibly to protect their ‘asset.’ We intend to make sure all involved in Watson’s conduct are held accountable, in addition to and including Watson himself.”
Tuesday’s story from Jenny Vrentas of the New York Times explains that the Texans provided hotel rooms at The Houstonian for Watson, and that these rooms were used for some of his massages. Also, after one of the recent plaintiffs threatened to expose Watson on social media in 2020, the team’s director of security provided Watson with a nondisclosure agreement, which he then asked those who massaged Watson to sign.
It doesn’t mean that the Texans knew what Watson was doing. The argument will be that they failed to ask obvious questions once they became aware that he was receiving massages from multiple different women, especially since he had access to those services from the team directly.