Adding to the chorus of veteran Cleveland Browns fans upset over the team’s decision to trade quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has 22 ongoing civil cases for sexual harassment and assault, another prominent Cleveland sports family is boycotting the team.
Andrea Thome, the wife of former Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Jim Thome, announced on her Twitter page Friday that she canceled the family’s Browns season tickets after the introductory news conference the franchise held for announce the Watson trade.
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“We officially canceled our Browns season tickets today and are requesting a refund as they were paid in full,” Andrea Thome wrote. “Very sad after 40 years as a fan, but this is my line in the sand. I believe in women. Especially when there are 22 of them. That press conference didn’t change my mind.
“They may not give us a refund. But I sent the letter today. If @Browns doesn’t refund, I’ll auction all the games and publicly donate every penny to different women’s crisis charities in NE Ohio, raising awareness week by week during the season”.
Jim Thome, a five-time All-Star first baseman and designated hitter who played 22 seasons in the MLB, including 13 in Cleveland, won the Silver Slugger Award in 1996 and hit 612 career home runs, ranking eighth on the all-time list. the times. .
In a series of subsequent tweets, Andrea Thome said she had written the letter to the Browns requesting the cancellation of the season tickets a week earlier, but left it sitting in the drafts folder “until I settled down.” It was Watson’s press conference that prompted her to send it.
She added in another message that her husband had surprised her with season tickets for Mother’s Day.
Watson denied any wrongdoing at Friday’s news conference, saying: “I know these allegations are very, very serious, but I have never assaulted any woman. I have never disrespected any woman.”
Earlier this month, the Browns acquired Watson in a trade and gave him a fully guaranteed, five-year, $230 million contract.
Watson, 26, sat out all of last season amid his trade lawsuit from the Texans and a series of allegations of sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions, including 22 civil lawsuits. On March 11, a grand jury declined to indict Watson on any of the nine criminal complaints against him.
Then on Thursday, a second grand jury in a different county in Texas also declined to indict Watson in connection with a case against Watson involving a woman from 2020. In Texas, a grand jury is required to find sufficient evidence of probable cause that a crime was committed. committed in order to return an accusation. Anything less than that may result in no charges.
Watson could still face disciplinary action from the NFL once the league-led investigation into the cases concludes.
Collaboration: Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, Mike Jones, Brent Schrotenboer
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jim Thome’s wife cancels Browns tickets over Deshaun Watson trade