Here’s a quick reminder to the chronically underemployed Deshaun Watson fans out there that, you, in fact, are not like him. Watson was welcomed back to work today, being allowed back inside the Cleveland Browns’ headquarters a day after the team suffered an embarrassing loss to the Los Angeles Chargers—and most importantly, while he’s still suspended from the NFL.
That’s right: Watson isn’t even halfway done with his eleven-week suspension that resulted from the two-dozen civil lawsuits by women in Texas who claimed he sexually harassed them during what were supposed to be routine massage sessions. Watson settled most of those cases and been handed his punishment by the NFL, so I’ll spare a reintroduction of all the details. What’s important here is this: Watson still has defenders who still argue, absurdly, that his employer had no right to impose any discipline on him because he was never charged with a crime in connection with any of the allegations.
I call these folks chronically underemployed because while I’m sure many of them have actual jobs, it’s just that it’s hard to imagine what kinds of jobs these folks work, because in every company I’ve ever been in, it’d take less than 24 publicly-embarrassing lawsuits claiming I did heinous things to women to get fired. Suspended would be getting off easy. In fact I’ve been suspended from a job before and the literal definition of such a thing is that I couldn’t come back to work until the suspension ended. That was the entire point.
This, and the fact that none of them would be spared a worse fate than sitting home a few weeks while still on the payroll, seems to be lost on a select group of Watson fans and defenders. They see joy, and in some measure vindication in the fact that he’s allowed back inside the building in Berea, Ohio, for workouts and meetings (but not practice at this point). Their hope is that Watson’s return foreshadows a late season run to the playoffs, if only Jacoby Brissett can avoid the kind of stumbles that cost the Browns yesterday’s game.
If that happens, at least they won’t have to worry about their work schedules conflicting with kickoff.