Beats, Nike Halt Deals with Deshaun Watson

    • Beats by Dre ‘parting ways’ with Watson, a move that started before allegations.
    • Nike announced that it was suspending its relationship with Watson.

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Beats by Dre is the latest brand to distance itself from Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson amid more than 20 allegations of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct. 

A source with knowledge of Watson’s deal with Apple-owned Beats by Dre told Front Office Sports on Wednesday that the brand was “parting ways” with Watson and had plans to end the relationship before the first allegations were made public in March. 

Earlier Wednesday, Nike announced it had suspended its sponsorship deal with Watson and “will continue to closely monitor the situation.” 

“We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson,” Nike said in a statement to FOS.

These developments come a day after Ashley Solis, one of 22 women who have filed lawsuits against Watson, told reporters that her career as a massage therapist had been “forever tainted” by a session with Watson in her home in March 2020 — allegations made in the first Jane Doe lawsuit filed against Watson in Harris County, Texas.

A criminal complaint was also filed with the Houston Police Department. 

Watson has denied any wrongdoing. His legal team, led by attorney Rustin Hardin, released emails between a lawyer at Watson’s sports agency, Athletes First, and Solis’ attorneys that were exchanged before the lawsuit was filed on March 16 and appear to downplay the seriousness of the claim. 

“We did not think that the facts showed that Deshaun did anything wrong with their client,” said Scott Gaffield, general counsel at the Athletes First.