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NFL investigating sexual misconduct, sexual assault allegations against Texans QB Deshaun Watson

Mike Jones, USA TODAY
·2 min read
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The NFL has opened an investigation into allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct that multiple women have leveled against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

League spokesman Brian McCarthy told USA TODAY Sports Thursday evening, "the matter is under review of the personal conduct policy."

Three massage therapists have filed lawsuits against the quarterback, accusing him of sexual misconduct or assault in three different events during the 2020 calendar year.

The allegations became public earlier this week. The 25-year-old Watson, in a statement on social media Tuesday night, denied any wrongdoing, stating that he has, "Never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect." Watson also said that he looked forward to "clearing my name."

Deshaun Watson faces an NFL investigation.
Deshaun Watson faces an NFL investigation.

Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the three women, disclosed on his Instagram page Thursday that the NFL was investigating Watson -- posting an image of what appeared to be a letter from NFL special counsel for investigations Lisa Friel. The letter, which was labeled "Confidential," was addressed to Buzbee and asked if his clients would cooperate with the league's investigation. Buzbee later deleted the post.

Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, told ESPN on Wednesday night that Watson “has a great reputation here in the Houston area and the allegations are really inconsistent with the kind of person he is.”

The Texans released a statement Thursday about the investigation: “The NFL informed us today that they will conduct an investigation into the allegations made in the civil lawsuits filed against Deshaun Watson. We will stay in close contact with the league as they do.

"We continue to take this and all matters involving anyone within the Houston Texans organization seriously. We do not anticipate making any additional statements until the NFL’s investigation concludes.”

Watson is well-respected around the NFL and heavily involved in charitable activities both in Houston and his home state of Georgia.

Watson has been at odds with the Texans this offseason after requesting a trade because of his distrust of ownership and management. Watson in September signed a four-year, $156 million contract, but after the firing of coach Bill O’Brien four weeks into the season, and the hiring of general manager Nick Caserio this offseason, Watson soured on the organization.

The Texans to this point have rebuffed teams wishing to engage in trade negotiations.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL investigating sexual misconduct allegations against Deshaun Watson