Fans Drag Cleveland Browns for ‘Tone Deaf’ Social Media Post

Getty Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns leads a huddle before playing against the Washington Commanders

The Cleveland Browns social media team got absolutely roasted for their International Women’s Day posts on Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday, March 8.

In March 2022, the Houston Texans traded quarterback Deshaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns, who signed him to a five-year, $230 million guaranteed contract, which is the highest guaranteed contract in NFL history.

In August 2022, quarterback Deshaun Watson settled 23 civil lawsuits from 24 women who said he sexually harassed and assaulted him during massage therapy sessions while he played for the Houston Texans. He was not indicted on criminal charges in the state of Texas, but the NFL was allowed to punish him independently of that and the league suspended him for 11 games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Reactions Pour in on Browns’ ‘Tone Deaf’ Post

Some social media users were pretty upset about the International Women’s Day post that the official Browns Twitter and Instagram accounts posted.

“On #InternationalWomensDay, we’re honoring the incredible leaders that power our organization,” wrote the team next to photos of the women who work for the organization.

One football fan wrote, “You gave $230 million guaranteed to a man who sexually assaulted 24 women. Tell me more about how you honor and respect the women within your organization though.”

“Were you honoring women when you paid Deshaun Watson record amounts of money?” wrote another Twitter user.

“Your quarterback has more sexual assault allegations than the Browns have wins the past 3 seasons,” wrote another user.

One fan acknowledged that it is probably not the fault of the social media team, writing, “Sorry to the Cleveland Browns interns, because I know that you were forced to post this. But my God what a tone deaf post.”

Another fan had a suggestion, writing, “You should celebrate women by not employing sexual predators. That’s step 1!”

“You gave $230 million guaranteed to a predator but okay, go off I guess,” wrote another fan.

A third fan added, “Did Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski run this past their wives for approval too?”

Similar comments were made on the Browns’ Instagram post.

“Nothing says we appreciate women like paying a sexual predator a ton of money to play QB,” wrote one fan.

Another fan added, “If you cared at all about women you wouldn’t have given a rapist the largest contract in NFL history.”

Deshaun Watson Has Denied Any Wrongdoing

In August, after the last of the 23 women reached confidential settlements with Watson, NFL disciplinary officer Sue Robinson presided over a three-day hearing and handed down the six-game suspension. The suspension was later upped to 11 games as part of a settlement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association, according to ESPN. He was also fined $5 million and ordered to have a mandatory evaluation by behavioral experts and undergo their suggested treatment program.

Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin has said all of the two dozen women were lying and that the attorney for the plaintiffs, Tony Buzbee, viewed Watson as a means to a “payday.”

The Houston Texans also reached confidential settlements with 30 women who brought forth claims related to Watson.

At the time of his 11-game suspension, Watson said in a statement that he is innocent of the accusations brought against him.

Watson’s official statement read:

I’m grateful that the disciplinary process has ended and extremely appreciative of the tremendous support I have received throughout my short time with the Browns organization. I apologize once again for any pain this situation has caused. I take accountability for the decisions I made. My focus going forward is on working to become the best version of myself on and off the field and supporting my teammates however possible while I’m away from the team. I’m excited about what the future holds for me in Cleveland.

He later said during a press conference, “I’ll continue to stand on my innocence, just because you know settlements, and things like that happen doesn’t mean that a person is guilty for anything. I feel like a person has an opportunity to stand on his innocence and prove that, and we proved that from a legal side, and just going to continue to push forward as an individual and as a person.”

Read More