The Texans fined Watson $7,500 and the rest of his teammates $5,000 for attending an opening event for Lefty’s Cheesesteak. The players, including Watson, violated the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols by gathering at the restaurant, some without masks.
However, Watson has now offered to pay his teammates’ fines for supporting his new business venture. Or more accurately, he’ll likely be paying his teammates back after their fines are taken out of their game checks. The league requires its players to pay their own fines.
Reporter Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle relayed some of Watson’s comments on the matter on Wednesday.
“I told those guys I’m going to take care of it; they don’t have to worry about it,” Watson explained. “I’m going to handle that, and we’ll keep going on. We don’t want to cause any other distractions or any unnecessary things going on. That’s going to be handled by me and my team and we’re going to continue to go with the flow.”
Deshaun Watson Appreciates His Teammates’ Support
On Dec. 15, Deshaun Watson welcomed some of his teammates during the grand opening of his new cheesesteak franchise. Social media posts showed six Texans players beside each other in a photo without masks on during the event.
The quarterback is a minority owner of the new Houston restaurant and took part in some of the event’s pictures. It also included offensive linemen Tytus Howard, Roderick Johnson and Laremy Tunsil, running back Duke Johnson and receiver Brandin Cooks. ESPN’s Sarah Barshop reported that defensive end Charles Omenihu attended the grand opening, as well.
According to the NFL’s COVID-19 guidelines, the league doesn’t allow players to gather in groups of three or more outside of team facilities. Additionally, the players are required to wear masks outside of team facilities.
Watson said that his teammates wanted to pay their own fines. However, he said he appreciates their love and support for coming to the event. Therefore, he’s stepping up to take care of the fines.
“Honestly, they were all saying at first, ‘Nah, we’re going to pay it,’” Watson said. “They showed the love and support. They didn’t really care about the fine with the NFL was really trying to do with it. I told them I’m going to take care of it.
“You guys were just showing love and support and really just enjoying the food. I really appreciate the support from my guys and my teammates and everyone that came by. They weren’t really sweating the fines, either. At the same time, I told them I was going to do it,” he added.
[H/T Houston Chronicle]