Aaron Wilson, the Houston Chronicles’ Texans beat reporter, is no longer working for the newspaper after comments he made on a Boston radio show, according to Defector.
Wilson, who has covered the Texans for the Chronicle since 2015, appeared on “The Greg Hill Show” on WEEI on March 19, and the reporter expressed his doubt regarding the civil suits being filed against Deshaun Watson for alleged sexual assault.
During the radio appearance, Wilson called the lawsuits “a money grab” and “ambulance chasing.” There are now 22 women suing Watson after they say the quarterback hired them for massage therapy, then allegedly sexually assaulted them. The Houston Police Department also announced April 2 that it was opening an investigation into a complaint received regarding Watson.
But Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, has called into question the motivations of attorney Tony Buzbee — who’s representing the women suing Watson. Wilson, apparently, shared Hardin’s skepticism of Buzbee.
“In his case, you know, it’s kind of you don’t negotiate with terrorists,” Wilson said on WEEI. “People are demanding money, they’re asking for money. It kept escalating, it kept going up and up and up. You’re talking about more and more funds, I’m not going to say how much it got to, but my understanding is, you know, that there was an admission that, it was, you know, something, you know just that this was, you know, just a money grab.”
Wilson also wrote a lengthy feature about Watson, quoting friends and associates of the quarterback — some of whom were anonymous — saying they didn’t believe the allegations in the lawsuits. According to Texas Monthly, some of the Chronicles’ reporting surrounding the Watson case has “generated consternation among its staff, with multiple reporters bringing concerns to upper management.”
According to Defector, sports editor Reid Laymance announced that Wilson no longer worked for the paper during a sports staff meeting at the Chronicle on Friday afternoon. Laymance didn’t mention why Wilson was no longer employed, Defector reported, but he did reiterate to employees the need to be mindful of what they say on other platforms.
In a statement posted to Twitter on Saturday, Wilson apologized for his remarks on WEEI last month. He said he displayed an “unintentional lack of sensitivity to the serious nature of these type of allegations, and I sincerely apologize for my remarks. I didn’t maintain my own high standards that I’ve established and applied during my two decades covering many other similarly important and delicate situations in the NFL.
“I will proceed much more carefully going forward and learn from this moment,” Wilson’s statement continued. “I am committed to outstanding journalism now and always.”