Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is expected to return to the NFL field after his 11-game suspension following sexual misconduct allegations.
Watson was the center of attention earlier this year after 24 women reported sexual misconduct accusing the football player of inappropriate behavior during massage therapy appointments, which included allegedly exposing himself. Twenty-three out of 24 lawsuits have since been settled.
Watson will return to play football this Sunday in Houston at the NRG Stadium. And it looks like his accusers want a front row to the game.
“Some of my clients asked to go,” the accusers’ attorney Tony Buzbee told PEOPLE. “They thought it important to make clear that they are still here and that they matter. I was proud of them for that. I have made that opportunity available to them. I haven’t been to a Texans game in many years. But, because they are going, I will go.”
He added, “I think it’s important to note each of these women is different. You can’t paint them with a broad brush. I would never encourage any of them to attend. Some never want to hear Watson’s name again. Others have put it in the past. Some are still angry. Others are defiant. Makes me proud they want to stand up and be counted rather than quietly go away. Good on them!”
Buzbee said the women want to “make the statement,” like, “‘Hey, we’re still here. We matter. Our voice was heard, and this is not something that’s over. [Sexual harassment and assault] happen every day in the United States.'”
The Cleveland Browns’ season has been like every other, defeating. However, last Sunday, the Browns had a turnaround of events, beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17-23. The Buccaneers’ loss also fueled further rumors that Tom Brady is having difficulty adjusting to his divorce from Giselle Bündchen.
Watson’s initial suspension was for six games but was bumped up to 11 games. Once a disciplinary action was made, Watson was thankful and released a statement.
“I apologize once again for any pain this situation has caused,” he said. “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.”