Adding to the chorus of long-time Cleveland Browns fans upset over the team’s decision to trade for quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has 22 ongoing civil cases alleging 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 press conference the franchise had to announce the Watson trade.
SPORTS NEWSLETTER: Sign up now for daily updates sent to your inbox
“Officially cancelled our Browns season tickets today and asked for 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 women. Especially when there are 22 of them. That press conference did nothing to change my mind.
“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.”
Jim Thome, a five-time All-Star first baseman and designated hitter who played 22 seasons in MLB — including 13 in Cleveland — won the Silver Slugger award in 1996 and hit 612 career home runs, good for eighth on the all-time list.
In a series of subsequent tweets, Andrea Thome said she had written the letter to the Browns requesting the cancelation of the season tickets a week prior, but let it sit in draft folder “until I cooled off.” It was the Watson press conference that prompted her to send it.
She added in another message that her husband had surprised her with the season tickets for Mother’s Day.
Watson denied any wrongdoing at the Friday press conference, saying: “I know these allegations are very, very serious, but I’ve never assaulted any woman. I’ve never disrespected any woman.”
Earlier this month, the Browns traded for Watson and gave him a fully-guaranteed, five-year $230 million contract.
Watson, 26, sat out all of last season amid his trade demand from the Texans and 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 related to a case against Watson involving a woman from 2020. In Texas, a grand jury is required to find enough evidence of probable cause that a crime was committed in order to return an indictment. Anything less than that can result in no indictment.
Watson could still face discipline from the NFL upon the conclusion of the league-led investigation into the cases.
Contributing: 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