The Cleveland Browns Tried to Honor International Women’s Day. Wow, That Was a Bad Idea.

A year after trading for Deshaun Watson, the center of several sexual assault lawsuits, the Browns made a tone-deaf tweet

Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns looks on before the game against the Washington Commanders at FedExField on January 1, 2023 in Landover, Maryland. Watson, who at one time faced 20+ lawsuits regarding alleged sexual assault or harassment, is the QB for the team, which tried to honor International Women's Day.
Any organization that pays $230 million to Deshaun Watson isn't an ally to women
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

On International Women’s Day (March 8), the Cleveland Browns attempted to honor the women who work within their organization via Twitter. Unsurprisingly for a team that gave $230 million (guaranteed) to an alleged sexual offender, the effort met with significant backlash.

Last year the Browns traded for the former Houston Texans quarterback, who was hit with multiple civil lawsuits related to alleged sexual misconduct toward female massage therapists (Watson was never charged criminally and has denied all charges; the NFL suspended him for multiple games in 2022).

Deshaun Watson Trade to Browns Sparks Surge in Donations to Cleveland Rape Crisis Center
While Watson will not face criminal charges, 22 civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault and harassment are still active

So the Browns, at the very least, should have sat the day out on social media — much like the FBI when it comes to Martin Luther King Jr. or Donald Trump with Cinco de Mayo. International Women’s Day is a global day to “celebrate women’s achievement…raise awareness about discrimination…[and] take action to drive gender parity.” If you’ve gone ahead and made an alleged predator the center of your franchise, you’ve pretty much said you don’t care about the women within your organization.

“On #InternationalWomensDay, we’re honoring the incredible leaders that power our organization,” the team tweeted.

The replies, or at least about 95% of them, were not kind.

On Reddit, the reaction was even more fierce, with over 1,500 comments, many pointing out that the team should have simply said nothing.

The only vaguely justifiable reason for the Browns posting anything on this day is if the NFL demanded a social media post from every team — in which case, the league should be equally roasted for its terrible judgment.

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