Columbus Crew fans protest Cleveland Browns signing Deshaun Watson
Saturday’s home game was the first since Haslams snapped up Watson on March 18. At a press conference after the move, Jimmy Haslam said he had given his wife and daughters a veto over the deal and added that Watson had been “largely vetted”.
After Watson’s introductory press conference, Jimmy Haslam told reporters (via Cleveland.com) that a counselor experienced in sexual misconduct cases and a family member advised him, “Your daughters and Dee should have a veto over this trade. If they’re not for it and one of them is not for it, you shouldn’t do it.”
He said he discussed it with Dee and his daughters Cynthia and Whitney, who are part of the Haslam sports group which operates the Browns and Crew. According to Dee Haslam, neither girl was in favor of calling off trade talks. “Everyone was okay to do this – some later than before, but everyone was okay to go ahead with this trade for Deshaun,” Jimmy Haslam said.
After Saturday’s show, Haslam Sports Group said in a statement that it planned to speak with Nordecke executives about the Watson acquisition. “We respect our fans’ ability to express themselves as long as they follow club policies and procedures,” he said (via the Columbus Dispatch). “Last week, we scheduled a meeting with the Nordecke Board of Directors and our investor-operator group to discuss this and other topics as we pursue our intentions to create a constructive, positive relationship. and transparent to better support our Crew players and fans.”
In a statement, Jeff Barger, director of communications for Nordecke, confirmed the invitation, adding that “Nordecke supports our members’ right to speak.”