NFL Twitter was frustrated by the way Al Michaels glossed over the reasons for Deshaun Watson’s suspension and made light of his penalties.
The NFL suspended Deshaun Watson for 11 games because the league determined allegations that he sexually assaulted more than 20 massage therapists were credible.
There, we just said what the Amazon Prime broadcast of Thursday Night Football apparently wasn’t willing to say.
Al Michaels was on the call on Thursday night as the Browns battled the Steelers. When the time came to discuss the status of Cleveland’s suspended quarterback, he disappointed his audience and they let him know it on Twitter.
NFL Twitter lays into Al Michaels for Deshaun Watson approach
Michaels skirted around talking about Watson’s actual misconduct. Then he made several insensitive comments relating to the measures the NFL has put in place to protect the women in Watson’s orbit.
For example, Watson must use in-house massage therapists and has to go to therapy. Michaels related it all back to a joke that amounts to how much money it takes to convince a man it’s not worth it to commit more sexual misconduct.
He put a cherry on top by talking about the Browns exhuming Otto Graham to play quarterback for them.
Michaels’ broadcast partner Kirk Herbstreit didn’t escape criticism.
At least Herbstreit didn’t put his foot in his mouth, but his silence was noted.
Watson’s situation is a delicate subject for the NFL and its broadcast partners. It’s not exactly a surprise that they don’t want to have these conversations. However, the people handling these segments should take responsibility for the seriousness of what they’re discussing.
It’s going to be hard enough to watch the conversation turn towards just football when Watson makes it back on the field. Sugarcoating it now just makes it more frustrating.