Two days later, the Lions decided to part ways with head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn, a move fans were pressing for since the end of 2019.
So to show their appreciation for Watson dismantling of their team and forcing ownership’s hands, Lions fans immediately flooded Watson’s charity—the Deshaun Watson Foundation—with donations. The effort appears to have been led by the Lions Reddit page, which urged users to donate $13, matching Patricia’s win total over 43 games. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, donations totalled $1,070 as of Sunday morning, less than 24 hours since the team fired its head coach.
Team owner Sheila Ford Hamp did admit that the Lions’ performances over the past two weeks—blowout losses to the Panthers and Texans—played heavily into her decision to fire both Quinn and Patricia.
“Both of those games were extremely disappointing,” Ford Hamp said on Saturday. “It just seemed like the path going forward wasn’t what we wanted it to be. So yes, we thought this was a good time to make the change.”
Watson, whose charity aims to provide education, housing and health to underserved communities, is returning the favor to Lions fans. Per Rapoport, Watson is matching the donation and giving the first 100 donators free lunch at Lefty’s, a restaurant he is heavily invested in. If you want to join other Lions fans in donating, click here.