Deshaun Watson took the field for the first time this season after an eleven-game suspension. It seems the NFL schedulers knew what they were doing when they chose Watson’s first game back from suspension to be a home game for his former team, the Houston Texans.
The Cleveland Browns quarterback was suspended 11 games and paid a record $5 million fine after the league appealed what many believed to be a lenient six-game suspension. His suspension resulted from accusations by more than two dozen women of sexual misconduct in massage appointments.
As the former Texans signal-caller took the field at NRG Stadium in Houston, fans of the Texans showered boos on Watson. In the sixteen-second clip below, we hear a chorus of booing reigning down from the stands.
Plenty of fans online weighed in on the reaction to Deshaun Watson taking the field in his former team’s stadium. Many seemed genuinely pleased Watson received an inhospitable greeting.
“W Texans fans,” one person wrote. “Good,” another commented.
Another fan replied by tweeting an image of a young boy at the game wearing a Deshaun Watson Texans jersey. However, on the back of the jersey, the young boy had duct-taped over the name “Watson” and written “Dorsett.” Once Watson was traded from the Texans, wide receiver Philip Dorsett inherited the #4 jersey, which makes this picture even more hilarious.
Fans React to NRG Stadium Booing Deshaun Watson
However, one fan claimed that it wasn’t directed at Deshaun, although most disagreed with that take. “Fans always boo the opposing team while they run out. Stop trying to twist this into a Deshaun thing.”
While it’s true that fans boo for opposing teams, the overwhelming and resounding boos here definitely translated to an overt dig at Deshaun Watson.
Before 2021, Watson was viewed as an upstanding figure and a star-in-the-making. His off-field woes didn’t allow him to play at all in the 2021 season, and he’s just now debuting this season.
Back in 2021, Watson started getting sued by more than two dozen female massage therapists for sexual harassment and sexual assault. At the time, Watson denied any wrongdoing. His denials persisted even after settling 20 claims of sexual misconduct.
Watson also had disputes with the Texans’ front office further complicated by his mounting legal issues. Because of the constant onslaught of lawsuits pressed by these women, Watson wasn’t able to play at all last year.
Watson was then traded to the Cleveland Browns this past offseason by the Houston Texans. Earlier this year, he signed a five year contract worth $230 million. It is one of the most expensive contracts in NFL history.
We’ll see how his first NFL action since the 2020 season pans out against his former team.