In probably the most unexpected twist to the ongoing pile of drama that is the Houston Texans, Deshaun Watson is being sued in civil court for many, many counts of disgusting behavior ranging from inappropriate suggestive comments to, well, what can only really be understood as rape. As of right now, there are no criminal charges, and everything is alleged and basically “he said/she said”, but with a frightening amount of shes involved.

The allegations all paint the same basic image: Deshaun likes to try and manipulate and coerce masseuses. He gets them to work on him, and once the masseuse has begun to work on his muscles, he slowly escalates what he’s asking for until it gets violating and completely inappropriate, using his fame and power in the situation to get these women to go much farther than they want to. It’s gross and predatory.

I haven’t followed Watson’s career trajectory all that closely, but as far as I can tell, this has blindsided pretty much everyone. Watson didn’t seem like a sketchy guy before this. He didn’t seem to have rumors surrounding him like a Jameis Winston. Before these lawsuits broke into the news, he was basically a hero, fighting the good fight against a dipshit owner and his wormtongue of a right hand man. I can’t say definitely if I believe the lawsuits have merit. There is still too much unknown in this case. What bothers me is the knowledge that where there is smoke, there is fire. Right now, there is a frightening amount of smoke. If even one of these cases is true, Deshaun Watson is not a good person. The more women come forward, the harder the problem is to dismiss. Nobody would have bought one woman saying America’s friendly dad Bill Cosby raped her. The force that broke that case open and changed our understanding was the sheer scope of people coming out.

That said at this point I can’t necessarily blame any fan who refuses to believe it. The timing of all this is certainly a bit suspect. The very public feud with management has spurred a lot of speculation about the strings being pulled and who is pulling them. Did the Texans release all this to damage his reputation? Make no team want him? To make them look better in the feud between the two sides? Did Watson get in a public fight and start this substantial feud because he knew this suit was coming and his camp wanted to try and bury it with bigger drama? Everything is so open to interpretation right now. I can fully understand any fan who still wants to hold onto the unknowns in Watson’s favor. There is a significant part of me that also doesn’t want to believe it either.

There is a certain depressing fact about being a sports fan, or even just a fan of celebrities in general. All of us have at one point adored a scummy person. If you root for a sports team, you’ve had to come to terms with the fact that one of your favorite players was probably a piece of shit. In fact, you might have known that player was a piece of shit and still rooted for them anyway. You either completely disavow that person (usually depending on the severity of the crimes involved), or you just kind of accept that the person was bad even if the player was great. I have a Lawrence Taylor funko pop on my work desk. I didn’t buy it, it was gifted to me (I would never willingly purchase a funko pop) but I still proudly stuck him next to my monitor. Lawrence Taylor was a piece of shit, but damn he was good at football and a historical icon for my team. When I look at it, part of me feels proud to remember how fucking cool he was, and another part of me gets sad at all the human damage he caused. It’s not one or the other. He was both.

I’m not sure really where I’m going with this, which is kind of the problem for cases like this where the facts are obscured behind closed doors that we will likely never see open. Deshaun might be a predator. If you are optimistic that he’s not, don’t attack the people who have already turned on him and want him off the team, because frankly that side is just as understandable. Coming to terms with someone you like possibly becoming someone you can’t isn’t very easy.

In the meantime, we are just going to have to wait this one out a bit and see if whatever side we’ve fallen on ends up being the side that is proven or at least accepted as the correct side. As for me, I don’t want him to be a scumbag, but I’m thinking that he is. It’s a fucking bummer and I hope the women get some justice.