NBA star LeBron James was taken to task after tweeting his support of an NFL quarterback who has faced multiple sexual assault claims.
Deshaun Watson, who was traded to the Cleveland Browns from the Houston Texans, threw three touchdown passes Sunday as the Browns defeated the Washington Commanders 24-10, according to Cleveland.com.
Along the way, James tweeted his support for Watson, who in the past had called for the NFL to back protests by NFL players, according to The New York Times.
“Yessir D Watson!! Another one. That boy getting his rhythm back!” James tweeted.
Yessir D Watson!! Another one. That boy getting his rhythm back! #Browns
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 1, 2023
Watson had been suspended for 11 games by the NFL in the aftermath of more than 24 allegations of sexual misconduct, according to the New York Times.
The league also fined Watson $5 million and required him to take part in a behavioral treatment program.
Although Watson was never charged by police, he has since settled the claims against him in all but two cases.
With that as the background, many were surprised James supported Watson, with one poster saying, “You can still delete this” and another writing, “No way is this real.”
you can still delete this
— niki grayson (unofficial) (@godsewa) January 1, 2023
Deshaun Watson got his rhythm back from what?
— Razzball (@Razzball) January 1, 2023
Thought he was hacked for a second no way this is real
— Grant (@GrantTripple) January 1, 2023
— Jiedel (@jiedel) January 1, 2023
You stopped being a cowboys fan because of Jerry Jones but you are now actively rooting for Deshaun Watson!?
— Jimmy Askins (@JimmyFromTheQ) January 1, 2023
The allegations against Watson said he behaved improperly during massages. Some of his accusers claimed sexual harassment or sexual assault. The allegations stemmed from Watson’s days with the Texans. Watson refused to play for the team in 2021 and was traded to Cleveland in 2022. Watson signed a $230 million, five-year contract with the Browns.
Writing on SkySports, Hannah Wilkes expressed her outrage that Watson was allowed back by the NFL.
“[T]he sum of all these parts is a system and a culture where women are repeatedly told, in a myriad of ways, that they are ‘less than.’ Their experiences are less important than the ability of an elite sportsman. Their collective voices are less powerful than a wealthy man. That they, essentially, don’t matter,” she wrote.
“In a sport that celebrates diversity and inclusion, one which is patting itself on the back for the number of women in coaching jobs, celebrating more women than ever in executive boardrooms and applauding having more female fans than ever, it matters,” she wrote.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.