On Friday, HBO announced that several of NFL Quarterback Deshaun Watson’s accusers will be interviewed by Soledad O’Brien on the next episode of Real Sports.
The episode is set to air at 10 p.m. on Tuesday. Soledad O’Brien will conduct the interview.
Tuesday’s episode of HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel will have @soledadobrien sitting down with “several women who have accused Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct… for their first ever national TV interview,” per an HBO press release.
— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) May 20, 2022
Watson is facing 22 civil suits alleging various degrees of sexual misconduct from female massage therapists who worked on him while he was a member of the Houston Texans. In March, two grand juries declined to indict him on criminal charges.
Deshaun Watson at his introductory press conference with the Cleveland Browns (Getty)
The quarterback has steadfastly denied any allegations of wrongdoing. However, while the courts declined to bring criminal charges against him, the burden of proof for the NFL is far lower. The league has not meted out any discipline to Watson while the case has made its way through the courts. However, with Watson’s arrival in Cleveland and NFL the season fast approaching, the league will likely have to choose between suspending Watson, putting him on the Commissioner’s Exempt list (a provision that allows a player to still be paid but not participate in team activities), or publicly stating a reason why they will not take any of those actions.
It will be interesting to see what impact the appearance of Watson’s accusers on a widely-viewed cable network has on any decision regarding punishment by the league.