Cleveland Rape Crisis Center sees uptick in donations after Browns trade for Deshaun Watson
A Cleveland-based rape crisis center has seen donations rise since the city’s NFL team acquired former Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was accused of sexual misconduct by 22 women, Crain’s Cleveland Business reported.
The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center (CRCC) said it has received more than 1,650 donations since Friday, with many of the donations coming from Cleveland Browns fans upset about the trade.
The organization also said that its hotline calls skyrocketed 130 percent since the news broke, with hundreds of survivors reaching out, according to Crain’s Cleveland Business.
“We’ve had survivors say, ‘I’ve been a lifelong Browns fans, my family are Browns fans, but I’m also a survivor and I am absolutely outraged by the decision,” CRCC Director of Community Engagement Donisha Greene told the outlet. “They’ve said, ‘I’m donating the cost of a season pass or here’s $22 for the 22 women whose voice is silenced.”
Watson, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, was traded to the Browns on Friday for multiple draft picks. Watson sat out for the entire 2021 NFL season while seeking a trade from the Texans.
The Browns acquired Watson a week after a Texas jury rejected nine sexual assault claims against Watson, meaning the star quarterback won’t face any criminal charges.
Twenty-two women had accused Watson of exposing himself, touching them with his penis or kissing them without their consent during massage appointments in the past years.
In a statement on Sunday, the Browns officially announced the Watson trade, saying the team did “extensive” research into Watson before completing the deal.
“We are acutely aware and empathetic to the highly personal sentiments expressed about this decision,” Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam said in a statement. “Our team’s comprehensive evaluation process was of utmost importance due to the sensitive nature of his situation and the complex factors involved. We also understand there are still some legal proceedings that are ongoing and we will respect due process.”
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