Deshaun Watson says he'll pay fines teammates received for visiting his cheesesteak restaurant
Deshaun Watson pays the bill for his teammates from Houston Texans to travel to his new cheesesteak restaurant. The trip turned out to be quite expensive.
The Texas quarterback said Wednesday he would pay the fines imposed by the NFL for violating the NFL's COVID-19 safety protocols, which prohibit gatherings of more than three players outside club facilities. At least seven Texas players were reportedly in attendance at the restaurant, a Lefty cheesesteak franchise in which Watson has a minority stake.
Watson himself was reportedly fined $ 7,500 while his teammates were docked with $ 5,000. He told reporters that teammates initially deferred his refund, but he insisted.
"I told the guys I would take care of it," said Watson. "We don't want to create other distractions."
Watson's full statement:
They all said "no we are going to pay it" because they really just showed the love and support, they didn't really care about the fine, which the NFL was really trying to do with it. So they just said, "No," but I just told them, "No, I just care, you just showed love and support and really just enjoyed the food." I really appreciate the support from the guys, my teammates and everyone who came by. They weren't really sweating, but at the same time I was just telling them that I would.
He should be able to afford it thanks to the four-year $ 156 million extension that Watson signed prior to the season.
Texan's players were maskless in Watson's restaurant
Watson had initially defended the gathering by claiming COVID-19 security protocols followed masks and social distancing, but readily available photographic evidence - as well as basic counts - stated otherwise.
Photos by Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle showed Watson and some of his teammates taking pictures in close contact and without a mask. The Texans were apparently not amused by the clear violation of protocol.
The Texans aren't the first team to be penalized for obvious COVID-19 violations. Several members of the Las Vegas Raiders have been fined up to $ 15,000 for attending a charity event that viewed them as maskless and mixed up.
In the Raiders' case, the fines came from the NFL. We'll see if the league decides to punish the Texan players after punishing the team itself.
Deshaun Watson covers his teammate's fines. (Photo by Carmen Mandato / Getty Images)
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