Licensed massage therapist in Middleburg Heights reacts to Deshaun Watson signing with the Cleveland Browns
Quarterback has been sued by 22 women in Texas claiming sexual assault, misconduct during massage sessions
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - For many, Deshaun Watson becoming the Cleveland Browns’ new quarterback has been difficult to process. Watson is accused of sexually harassing and assaulting 22 massage therapists.
Beverly Briggs, a licensed massage therapist for 17 years and a lifelong Browns fan, has been conflicted since the announcement of Watson joining the team.
“I know there are two sides to every story and I’m going to wait to see what happens,” Briggs said.
Friday, Watson said he has worked with roughly 40 massage therapists in five years which, from Briggs’ vantage point, seems strange.
“Good massage therapists are like good hairdressers,” Briggs said. “If you find a good one, you stay with them.”
In a study by the University of New Brunswick, 74.8% of the massage therapists surveyed said they have experienced sexual harassment by clients at some point.
Some of the allegations against Watson include exposing himself and forcing a massage therapist to perform a sexual act on him.
A second grand jury in Texas declined to indict Watson on criminal charges, but the civil suits are still ongoing.
Briggs said students receive extensive ethics training to ensure the safety of both the client and themselves.
“The State of Ohio Medical Board is incredibly strict about how you have a client on the table and how they are draped,” Briggs said. “There are no towels, it’s all linens. The only thing that is out is what you are working on.”
While this case has cast a light on the massage therapy industry, Briggs hopes this conversation breaks the stigma surrounding it.
“If they come in and they are really hurting when they walkout and they feel so much better and the pain is gone that’s why massage therapists do it,” Briggs said.
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