The man who owns Shines insists he doesn’t have an opinion about Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Wearing a navy blue smock smudged with varying hues of shoe polish, Earl Nash is eating Cheetos one by one from a snack-sized bag, sliding them under his face shield as Jeopardy! blares in the background.
Nash works inside an artificial labyrinth surrounded by an assortment of leather and suede projects in various stages of disrepair. He’s been shining shoes in Houston’s 5th Ward for more than 30 years.
“I’m not a sportsman, I’m a businessman,” said Nash, who earns as much as $20 for a shine.
Then, of course, he proceeds to ramble for the next 10 minutes about Watson, who is facing 21 civil lawsuits that accuse the quarterback of a range of actions during massage appointments over the past year, from refusing to cover his genitals to forced oral sex.
“This player, Deshaun Watson, has clearly given a positive image until this came up,” Nash said. “He’s donated money, he hasn’t been caught with no dope, he hasn’t been caught with no guns – and we thought he was the boy next door.
“Now the city is asking us to believe he’s now a flawed character, and we’re saying he’s been a good ballplayer and good citizen.”
Watson’s future in Houston and the NFL is the hottest topic in sports. The star quarterback had been seeking a trade from the franchise just a year after signing a $156 million contract. But now, no…