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Texans QB Deshaun Watson during a game against the Indianapolis Colts, December 2020. Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Nike on Wednesday suspended its endorsement deal with Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who faces multiple lawsuits and criminal complaints alleging sexual assault and harassment.

Why it matters: 22 women have filed civil lawsuits against Watson, accusing the athlete of sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions. Two of the women went public on Tuesday for the first time detailing their allegations.

What they're saying: “We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson,” Nike said in a statement, according to AP. “We will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

The big picture: Beats by Dre has also ended its sponsorship deal with the quarterback, according to ESPN.

  • Houston police are investigating two criminal complaints against Watson, who has denied all wrongdoing.
  • One woman who spoke at the press conference on Tuesday said Watson "is my assaulter and my harasser, he assaulted me at my home doing what I love most, massage therapy."
  • Watson's lawyer, Rusty Hardin, has said that he believes "any allegation that Deshaun forced a woman to commit a sexual act is completely false."
  • The NFL announced in March it was investigating the allegations made against Watson as well.

Go deeper

2 of Deshaun Watson's accusers go public with sexual misconduct claims

Deshaun Watson in action for the Houston Texans against the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium in Houston in January. Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

A woman who went public Tuesday with sexual misconduct allegations against Deshaun Watson said she has filed a criminal complaint with police, the second known criminal complaint made against the Houston Texans quarterback.

Driving the news: Ashley Solis said at a news conference in Houston that she's a "survivor of assault and harassment" and "Watson is my assaulter and my harasser, he assaulted me at my home doing what I love most, massage therapy." Watson has denied any wrongdoing.

Updated 6 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."