The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) will host its annual convention in Cleveland from August 25-27 at the Huntington Convention Center.
The massage therapy convention will take place weeks after Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson received a six-game suspension for alleged sexual misconduct.
Watson was accused of sexual misconduct by more than 20 massage therapists.
Even though two grand juries said the allegations were non-criminal, he has already settled most cases.
AMTA released a statement regarding Watson’s situation, saying a massage therapist should never have to tolerate sexual misconduct.
AMTA releases statement on Deshaun Watson
“Massage therapists should never have to tolerate conduct outside the bounds of therapeutic massage therapy within a massage session. AMTA strongly believes that any client who steps over the line to inappropriate touch should face the legal consequences,” the statement reads. “And it’s disappointing to see such a relatively light punishment from the NFL levied toward Deshaun Watson in their findings of his violation of the league’s personal-conduct policy.
“If the NFL is concerned about professionalism and upholding high standards in the league, creating a safe workplace for all members of athletes’ care teams should be a priority. We hope the league is taking measures to ensure that the massage therapists on the Browns’ personnel and throughout the NFL, as well as those supporting individual athletes, are able to work in a safe and professional environment.”
AMTA also stressed that Watson’s legal team has handled the situation in such a way that puts massage therapists in danger by condoning his behavior.
“The alleged behavior, and the language used by the legal team and others involved in this case put professional, licensed massage therapists at risk by condoning inappropriate conduct in a massage environment,” the statement reads.