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Alabama linebacker says he was trying to help Watson

Former Alabama linebacker Ryan Anderson told Al.com writer John Talty on Wednesday he did not rudely ask Deshaun Watson to leave a local Alabama bar last Friday, but instead “simply made a suggestion” that the former Clemson quarterback should go.

The story on Al.com was the first one where Anderson spoke publicly about his side of the story after Watson made national news last week when allegedly Anderson and some Alabama fans harassed Watson to leave Innisfree Irish Pub in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where Watson was having lunch with friends.

A couple of phone videos made the rounds on social media that showed Watson getting up and leaving the bar. One of the videos shows Anderson in the background with a younger woman’s voice in the background apologizing to Watson for the way some of the Alabama fans were acting.

Earlier this week Anderson’s publicist came out and said his client did not ask Watson to leave. In a phone interview with Talty, Anderson explained his side of the story.

“It was blown out of proportion. I didn’t ask him to leave,” Anderson said to Al.com. “I simply made a suggestion. I told him it wasn’t smart for him to be there and if he had finished eating, he should get up out of there. That’s all it was.”

Anderson, who recovered a Wayne Gallman fumble in the Tigers’ national championship game win over the Crimson Tide on Jan. 9, said Watson understood and got up and left. According to the story, Anderson followed up with a text and phone call to Watson to make sure there were no hard feelings.

“I just let him know what I was trying to do,” Anderson said in the story. “I was trying to help him.”

 

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