June 29, 2022



Columbus Crew soccer fans protest Browns trading for Deshaun Watson

2 min read

Jimmy Haslam – who was at Saturday’s match at Lower.Com field, located a couple hours south of Cleveland – hasn’t spoken to the media since the day of Watson’s introductory press conference, but the Haslam Sports Group did release a statement about the protest from the Nordecke Supporters’ Section, which is the passionate fan base of the soccer club.

“We respect our fans’ ability to express themselves as long as they follow club policies and procedures,” the statement read. “Last week, we scheduled a meeting with the Nordecke board and our investor-operator group to discuss this topic as well as others, as we continue our intentions to create a constructive, positive and transparent relationship to best support our Crew players and fans.”

After sending the Texans six draft picks – including three first-rounders – in exchange for Watson, the Browns gifted the quarterback with a five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract. It gives Watson the second-highest annual salary ($46 million a year) in the NFL and the largest guarantee in league history.

During Watson’s introductory press conference on March 25, Browns general manager Andrew Berry said, on the advice of attorneys, the team didn’t attempt to speak to any of the 22 women who have filed suit.

Jimmy Haslam said he spoke with his wife Dee and adult daughters Whitney and Cynthia to make sure they were OK with the Browns trading for Watson.

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The Browns have received plenty of negative reaction since the trade, including Andrea Thome, wife of baseball Hall of Famer Jim Thome, canceling the family’s season tickets and fact-checking anyone who came after her for that decision on Twitter.

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