Statement by NOW President Christian F. Nunes
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Deshaun Watson was able to prey on more than 30 women throughout his career because he was empowered by the NFL, an organization founded on the toxic masculinity that perpetuates violence against women. And though the league has repeatedly claimed it was committed to combatting the systems and behaviors that endanger women, its ongoing negligence continues to put women at risk.
If it is truly serious about change, the NFL must address the endemic misogyny that enables and rewards serial predators like Watson. Fines and suspensions are performative, empty, short-term penalties designed to protect the bottom line more than women’s lives.
While Watson’s return to the field may signal a return to the status quo for many, we cannot allow these women’s voices, nor the traumas they have experienced to be forgotten.
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The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the nation’s leading membership-based advocacy group dedicated to defending women’s rights, advancing equality and combating injustice in all aspects of social, political and economic life. Through educating, mobilizing, and convening a vast network of grassroots activists across the country, NOW advocates for national, state and local policies that promote an anti-racist and intersectional feminist agenda. Since its founding in 1966, NOW has been on the frontlines of nearly every major advancement for women’s rights and continues to champion progressive values today. More about NOW’s efforts and resources is available at NOW.org.