Deshaun Watson will play in the NFL regardless of what happens with the swath of sexual misconduct lawsuits against him, a former star tight end said Thursday.
Antonio Gates, who is likely to be a Hall of Famer after spending his entire 16-year career with the San Diego and Los Angeles Chargers, told TMZ Sports he believes Watson was too good of a player to be sidelined for the rest of his career.
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“He seems like a good dude. Obviously, he made some — I don’t even know if he made these mistakes. But, if he did, hopefully he can recover from them. This is the land of the free. You always get second chances,” Gates told the gossip website.
“I do [think he will play again.] He’s too good of a player, so I do. Hopefully, when all this unfolds, we’ll see how it goes.”
ASHLEY SOLIS, FIRST WOMAN TO ACCUSE DESHAUN WATSON OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, SPEAKS OUT: ‘I WILL NOT LET HIM WIN’
Watson has denied the allegations from 22 women, who all describe similar instances of the Houston Texans quarterback exposing himself and harassing them during massage sessions. His lawyer, Rusty Hardin, released testimonials from 18 women who said the opposite of what the accusers say.
Hardin also filed an emergency motion Thursday trying to unmask the women who filed Jane Doe lawsuits against the quarterback. He also blasted the accusers’ attorney Tony Buzbee.
“We have said this before and we want to say it again: Deshaun did not force, coerce or intimidate anyone to do anything against their will. When we asked Mr. Buzbee to identify his clients weeks ago, he refused and told us to file a motion,” Hardin said.
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“Today we filed that motion. As discussed in our filing, Mr. Buzbee’s use of anonymous lawsuits violates Texas law and the basic concept of fairness. It is clear that, for Mr. Buzbee, this case has never been about seeking justice in a courtroom, but destroying Deshaun’s reputation to enhance his own public profile and enrich himself. While I understand that anonymity often is used as a shield for victims, Mr. Buzbee is using it as a sword. While shielding his clients from public scrutiny, Mr. Buzbee continues to use their anonymous allegations to destroy Mr. Watson. This is simply not right. And we look forward to resolving these matters in court.”