Deshaun Watson: Wife of Indians legend Jim Thome cancels Browns season tickets over trade

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The trade for quarterback Deshaun Watson — who is facing 22 civil lawsuits over sexual assault allegations — has led to a backlash among fans of the Cleveland Browns

Now, the controversy over the trade has prompted one prominent sports family with ties to Cleveland to draw a “line in the sand.” 

Andrea Thome, the wife of Cleveland Indians legend Jim Thome, has decided to cancel the family’s Browns season tickets.

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Designated hitter Jim Thome of the Chicago White Sox celebrates with his wife, Andrea Thome(left), after hitting his 500th career homerun during the game against the Los Angeles Angels at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois on Sept. 16, 2007. 

Designated hitter Jim Thome of the Chicago White Sox celebrates with his wife, Andrea Thome(left), after hitting his 500th career homerun during the game against the Los Angeles Angels at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois on Sept. 16, 2007. 
(Photo by Matthew Kutz/Chicago White Sox/MLB via Getty Images)

Thome announced on Twitter Friday that she was canceling the tickets on the same day that the Browns held a press conference to introduce Watson and address the controversy surrounding the trade and his lawsuits. 

“Officially cancelled our Browns season tickets today and asked for a refund as they were paid in full,” Thome wrote. “Very sad after 40 years as a fan, but this is my line in the sand. I believe women. Especially when there are 22 of them. That press conference did nothing to change my mind.”

During the press conference, Watson answered multiple questions about the validity of the allegations and repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. When asked if he would be open to counseling, Watson said: “I don’t have a problem.”

“I understand the whole circumstance is very difficult, especially for the women’s side — the fans in this community. I’m not naive to that,” Watson said of the criticism his trade has drawn. “I know these allegations are very, very serious, but like I mentioned before, I’ve never assaulted any woman. I never disrespected any woman. I was raised by a single parent mom. … That’s who raised me.”

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski speaks during a press conference introducing quarterback Deshaun Watson at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on March 25, 2022 in Berea, Ohio.

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski speaks during a press conference introducing quarterback Deshaun Watson at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on March 25, 2022 in Berea, Ohio.
(Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

“I can’t speak on what people’s opinions are, because everyone has their own opinions,” he said, “but what I can continue to do is tell the truth, and that is I’ve never assaulted or disrespected or harassed any women in my life. Like I said before, I was raised differently. That’s not in my DNA. That’s not my culture. That’s not me as a person and that’s not how I was raised.”

NFL EXEC BLASTS DESHAUN WATSON’S NEW CONTRACT WITH BROWNS

If the Browns don’t offer a refund, Thome said she plans to auction off the tickets and publicly donate the money to different women’s crisis charities in northeast Ohio.

“They may not give us a refund. But I sent the letter today. If @Browns won’t refund—-I will auction off every single game and publicly donate every cent to different women’s crisis charities in N.E. Ohio, raising awareness week by week during the season,” she wrote. 

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski on Monday said he expects Watson to participate fully in the team’s offseason program beginning April 18.

Speaking at the NFL owners’ meetings in Palm Beach, Florida, Stefanski said the team has been welcoming of Watson despite his off-the-field issues, and the coach noted he will try and make sure those issues don’t distract the team. 

Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry, left, new quarterback Deshaun Watson, center, and head coach Kevin Stefanski pose for a photo during a news conference at the NFL football team's training facility, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. 

Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry, left, new quarterback Deshaun Watson, center, and head coach Kevin Stefanski pose for a photo during a news conference at the NFL football team’s training facility, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. 
(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

“I think that’s important for our players, coaches and our building in general,’’ Stefanski said, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. “We understand that there are questions, and we’re going to continue to have that dialogue. But at the end of the day, we also have our work to do. We have to focus on that. … You have to be present and be where your feet are. That will really be our approach to everything.”

BROWNS’ KEVIN STEFANSKI HOPES FOR ‘CLOSURE’ IN BAKER MAYFIELD SITUATION

Amid the backlash for hiring Watson, Stefanski said his team has tried to be “understanding of everybody’s viewpoint.”

“I want to just make sure that I’m available in our building to everyone to talk through because it’s not something that was taken lightly,” the coach added.It’s just too important. I wanted to make sure that everybody understood that this is something that took weeks, months, weeks of gathering information, of discussions and conversations. It’s not something we could take lightly.”

The trade for Watson, who agreed to a five-year, $230 million contract with the Browns, likely spells the end of the Baker Mayfield era. Mayfield has been the Browns’ quarterback since his rookie season after the team selected him No. 1 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Mayfield battled a shoulder injury last season as he started 14 games and threw for just 3,010 yards and 17 touchdowns, the lowest totals in his career. In 2020, Mayfield led the Browns to the playoffs for the first time since 2002, throwing for 3,563 yards, 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions. 

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Jim Thome, a Hall of Famer, had his number (25) retired by the Indians in 2018. 

Cleveland Indians batter Jim Thome watches as his solo home run goes over the right field wall during the second inning against the New York Yankees 19 June at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio.

Cleveland Indians batter Jim Thome watches as his solo home run goes over the right field wall during the second inning against the New York Yankees 19 June at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio.
(ANTHONY ONCHAK/AFP via Getty Images)

He currently ranks eighth on the MLB all-time home run list, with 612.

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report



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