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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Opinion: Deshaun’s game

Opinion+writer+Jordan+Nixon+discusses+the+details+of+Houston+Texans+quarterback%2C+Deshaun+Watsons+trade+in+light+of+multiple+active+lawsuits.%26%23160%3B
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Opinion writer Jordan Nixon discusses the details of Houston Texans quarterback, Deshaun Watson’s trade in light of multiple active lawsuits. 

There are 11 men on both sides of the football at any given time, and just as many women have accused Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct and assault. Sadly, NFL leadership prioritizes profit over morals.
Watson, the 26-year-old star quarterback of the National Football League’s, or NFL, Houston Texans, is on the trading block — along with the 22 active civil lawsuits filed against him dating back to March 2021. Since then, both the Houston Police Department and the FBI have opened investigations, all the women have revealed their identities and Watson has set his sights on bright skies as a member of an ailing Miami organization. (Not without losing several cushy endorsement deals, of course.) 

Details of said investigations are unclear, but we’re not the only ones in the dark. For instance, nearly two dozen women don’t know when or if the whirlwinds of accusing the leader in passing yardage for the 2020 season of “coercive and lewd” behavior will cease. Will their alleged perpetrator walk free, amass his millions and maintain his livelihood, or will the truth come out? Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner since 2006, is twiddling his thumbs, too. But unlike him, we aren’t making hundreds of millions to hide behind claims of too little information to make decisions. 

The rotting head is stinking up the place. Since accepting the position, Goodell has had his fair share of scandal. Think deflategate: Tom Brady and the New England Patriots’ attempt at using ‘softer balls’ to win football games and the 20 pages worth of decision. Let’s not forget the blacklisting of Colin Kapernick, former quarterback. Or the infamous Ray Rice incident that prompted a beefed up domestic violence policy and a two-day turned six-day suspension preceding Rice’s ultimate termination from the league. 
To be fair, Goodell’s campaign hasn’t been all bad. He has done tremendous things for the league by diversifying its internal operations. He’s saved a couple of necks, too. 
The problem is that Goodell has an exempt list: the guaranteed “get out of jail free card” afforded only by the brightest stars. It’s essentially paid leave. Think of it as a “don’t worry, we’ll take care of you because you put butts in seats and money in pockets” clause. It’s meant to alleviate the burden of  “unusual circumstances” players may be three feet deep in. Morality is put in the back seat. Beneficiaries of this list include personalities like Adrian Peterson, Michael Vick and Ray Rice; Deshuan Watson may be the next addition to the list that keeps on listing. 
The NFL is perhaps the only place in America where a Black man would not be prosecuted for one accusation of sexual abuse, let alone 22. As of 2017, Black men are “three-and-a-half times more likely to be innocent than white defendants that have been convicted of sexual assault,” according to CNN Politics. In the United States, home of the American dream and land of the free? Attribute this fact to “own race bias,” a concept that speaks to the difficulty white women have when identifying Black male assailants.
It’s safe to say abusers in the NFL are safe to stay, at least while on Goodell’s watch, despite the odds being against them — at least for a short time, that is. 

Goodell and his band of merry white men don’t care about the violence inflicted upon women. If they did, the NFL’s questioning of Ashley Solis, the most recognized of the alleged victims, wouldn’t have included one about what she was wearing during her encounter with Watson. If they did, we would have bared witness to some resolve in the last six months. It’s not Goodell’s job to protect the interests of the women and children victimized by his list’s assignees, nor is it to operate in the land of morals and ideals; what’s moral about the most able-bodied of men smacking into one another for entertainment, anyway? 

Jordan Nixon is a psychology senior and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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