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Nike Suspends Endorsement Deal With Texans QB Deshaun Watson

'We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and ... will continue to closely monitor the situation,' Nike told CNBC
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Nike  (NKE) - Get Nike Inc. Report has halted its endorsement deal with Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, the sports apparel giant told CNBC Wednesday. Watson has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by multiple women.

“We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson. We will continue to closely monitor the situation,” Nike said in a statement to CNBC.

A total of 22 women have filed lawsuits against Watson accusing him of sexual misconduct.

Nike recently traded at $137.63, up 0.3%. The stock has more than doubled over the past six months, as its digital sales have surged during the pandemic.

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On Tuesday, two of the plaintiffs became the first to reveal their names, Sports Illustrated reported. Both women, Ashley Solis and Lauren Baxley, are massage therapists.

"I am a survivor of assault and harassment. Deshaun Watson is my assaulter and my harasser," Solis said in a statement. "Watson assaulted and harassed me on March 30, 2020, in my own home, doing what I love most: massage therapy."

The 22nd lawsuit against Watson was filed on Monday, SI reported. That suit focuses on a massage session in Nov. 2020, alleging Watson "assaulted and harassed plaintiff by touching her with his penis and exposing himself."

The suit also claims that Watson has "used more than 50 different women for massages," adding that "some made clear that they were unlicensed, and others made sure they did not specialize in massage therapy."

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