NFL News

Plaintiffs in the Deshaun Watson case slam the NFL’s inquiry into allegations of sexual misconduct.

Deshaun Watson, the quarterback for the Houston Texans, is the subject of an NFL investigation as he faces 22 civil lawsuits alleging various acts of sexual assault, and two of his plaintiffs have gone public with their stories.
Licensed massage therapists Ashley Solis and Lauren Baxley come up about Watson’s alleged misbehavior in detail in Jenny Vrentas’ Sports Illustrated cover story on Friday, and were scathing of how the NFL is handling its investigation.
Baxley’s depiction of her interactions with NFL personal conduct investigators Lisa Friel and Jennifer Gaffney paints a negative picture of the league.
As compared to the Houston Police Department, Baxley believes they fell short in their questioning: “My forensic interview [with HPD] was highly polite and trauma-informed.”
They let me talk without interruption, whereas Lisa Friel and the [other NFL investigator] cut me off, questioned things, and circled around.
[…] Attempting to catch me off guard
They didn’t, but they were seeking for flaws that they could exploit.” As for Solis, she was enraged that one of the things the NFL asked her regarding her massage sessions with Watson was about her clothes.
The inference was that Solis was dressed provocatively, but Vrentas cut to the chase with Solis’ genuine response: “I wear what I always wear when I massage: yoga pants and a T-shirt.” Solis also claimed that the league was “taking a statement” against women and sexual assault survivors by allowing Watson to participate in Texans practices.
“Watson is entitled to a fair trial.”
But, the NFL and Roger Goodell have let me down.
“And by choosing inaction, they have failed the other women,” Solis continued.
Both Solis and Baxley have faced various sorts of trauma and heckling since coming forward publicly.
Solis said her private studio apartment was broken into not long after she first went forward with her charges against Watson at a news conference in April, and Baxley’s therapist diagnosed her with complex PTSD.
Although Watson reported to the Texans training camp to avoid being penalized, it was more to avoid being fined than to actually participate.
Watson requested a trade out of Houston prior to the flood of allegations brought against him, but his career remains in jeopardy until the NFL conducts its investigation.