August 18, 2022
Browns QB Deshaun Watson Suspended for 6 Games by the NFL Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Cleveland Browns Quarterback Deshaun Watson Two dozen women in Texas were suspended for six games on Monday after being accused of sexual misconduct during a massage treatment, a disciplinary official said of the behavior was “more than any previously reviewed by the NFL.” stronger.”

The sentence handed down by the officer, former federal judge Sue L. Robinson, was significantly less than the punishment sought by the NFL: an open-ended suspension of at least one year and a fine of at least $5 million for individual violations of the league. conduct policy.

Watson, who played four seasons with Houston before being traded to Cleveland in March, recently settled 23 of 24 lawsuits alleging sexual assault and assault by women during treatment in 2020 and 2021.

Cleveland Browns Off Season Workout
Deshan Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns walks off the field after a Cleveland Browns off-season workout on June 1, 2022 at the Crosscountry Mortgage Campus in Berea, Ohio.

Nick Cammet/Diamond Images via Getty Images


The NFLPA announced in a statement Sunday night that they would not appeal the impending decision, but the NFL still can, CBSports.com informed of, The NFL has three days to appeal.

Robinson wrote in the conclusion of his 16-page report, “Although this is the most significant sentence ever imposed on an NFL player for charges of nonviolent sexual conduct, Mr. Watson’s pattern of conduct is greater than any reviewed by the NFL.” is strong.” ,

Even though the only discipline in the collective bargaining agreement is a fine or suspension, Robinson mandated as a condition of reinstatement that Watson must “continue his massage therapy to club-guided sessions and access to a club-approved massage therapist for the duration of his career.” should be limited.”

He added that Watson must have “no adverse involvement with law enforcement and no additional violations” of the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

The NFL Players Association had already said it would abide by Robinson’s decision. If both parties appeal, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or a person designated by him will make a decision in accordance with the terms of the CBA. The union could then attempt to challenge that decision in federal court.

During a three-day hearing before Robinson in June, the league imposed at least a one-year suspension and a $5 million fine for 26-year-old Watson, two people familiar with the discussion told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Because the hearing was not public.

Watson, who has signed a fully guaranteed $230 million, five-year contract, will lose only $345,000 if the suspension remains unchanged as his base salary this season stands at $1.035 million. His $45 million signing bonus is not affected by the suspension.

In a statement, the league thanked Robinson for reviewing “the vast record … that resulted in the discovery of multiple violations of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy by Deshan Watson.”

“In light of their findings, League Judge is reviewing the implementation of Robinson’s six-game suspension and will make a determination on next steps,” the statement said.

Brown’s owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam said in a statement that they “respect Judge Robinson’s decision” and that they “know that Deshon regrets that this situation has caused great suffering to many.”

Watson can continue to practice and play in exhibition games before the suspension begins in the first week of the regular season. He can return to practice in Week 4 and will be eligible to play on October 23 when the Browns play in Baltimore.

As he and his teammates began their stretching period on Monday before practice in Berea, Ohio, they cheered fans.

“We’ve got your back, Watson!” One shouted.

Brown’s first-team offense would be switched to Jacoby Brissette’s backup while Watson would be sidelined.

In a press conference on Monday, Browns head coach Kevin Stefansky told reporters, “As you know, I’ve always said and tried to be consistent that I’m going to respect the process, and as You saw today, that process will continue today’s decision. It’s a process jointly agreed with the NFLPA and the NFL. It was bargained collectively. So I’ll respect Judge Robinson and his opinion for now, until I get more information may not be available.”

Stefansky would not go into specifics as to how the organization or Watson would personally handle the suspension, repeatedly saying that he had not yet read the full report.

“I feel incredible sympathy for anyone affected by this decision,” Stefansky said. “It’s something I don’t take lightly. I’ve talked to women in my organization, I’ve talked to women in the community. And it’s something I’ll continue to do.”

After learning of the ruling, the NFLPA issued a joint statement with Watson on Sunday night, saying they would not appeal Robinson’s decision and urging the league to follow suit.

“Every player, owner, business partner and stakeholder deserves to know that our process is legitimate and will not be tarnished by the will of the League Office,” the union said in a statement.

While the NFL pushed for a severe penalty, the union argued that Watson should not be punished at all because he had not been convicted of any crime.

Two grand juries in Texas refused to indict Watson on criminal complaints brought by 10 women.

This was the first case for Robinson, who had been jointly appointed by the NFL and the union to deal with player misconduct – a role previously held by Goodell.

Watson, who took the Pro Bowl three times with the Texans, has seen his playing career stalled by accusations. He was ruled out of the 2021 season after demanding a trade before the allegations surfaced.

In their lawsuits, the women accused Watson of exposing themselves, touching him with their penis, or kissing him against their will. A woman alleged that Watson forced her to have oral sex.

Watson has denied all wrongdoing, insisting that any sexual activity with the three women was consensual. He publicly insisted that his goal was to clear his name before entering a confidential financial settlement with 20 women on June 21.

“The case began because a woman had the power to move forward and make her voice heard,” said attorney Tony Buzby, who represents women in civil lawsuits. “Her courage inspired many others with the same experience. None of this saga would have happened without that one brave voice. One person can make a difference.

Buzby said that although some of his clients have “strong feelings” about the NFL’s proceedings, he added that the civil process and the NFL’s disciplinary process are “very different.”

“My role was to pursue my clients’ issue in the civil court – nothing more. I have done that. I am very proud of the efforts of these women and our legal team. The settlements are confidential. I have no further comment on this.” I won’t do them,” he said.

On the suspension decision, Buzby stated that his team was not involved in that process.

“We don’t know what was presented by NFL attorneys to Judge Robinson. We don’t know how the NFL’s case was presented,” he said.

He added that “only a small fraction of the women we represent were ever spoken to by NFL attorneys. Beyond that we cannot speculate and comment on the decision.”

Watson’s high-profile case has renewed the league’s investigation into its support for women as well as its handling of player abuse, and has left Brown wondering if he’ll ever get a franchise quarterback.

Since the trade, Watson has been on public display, with fans questioning whether the league had the authority to ban him from playing despite the lack of criminal charges.

The league has been sensitive about its image and assigned appropriate discipline to Watson after being criticized for its handling of past cases of domestic violence or sexual misconduct against women, including Baltimore’s Ray Rice, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Kareem Hunt joins, leaving Cleveland behind. among others.

For his part, Brown was widely condemned for signing Watson. The team is desperate to find a long-term answer in the quarterback—he’s had a league-high 32 starts since 1999—and many questioned why the team would take on a player with so much baggage.

During his introductory news conference after doing business in Cleveland, Watson was adamant about his innocence.

“I have never in my life assaulted, humiliated or harassed a woman,” he said on stage. “I was raised differently. That’s not my DNA. That’s not my culture. That’s not me as a person.”

He repeated those comments three months later during Brown’s minicamp, insisting that his only goal was to clear his name. However, a week later he settled 20 civil cases. Any remaining lawsuits could still go to trial, but not until 2023 unless both sides agree to wait until after the upcoming season.

on 15th July, 30 women settle lawsuits against Texans After claiming that the team ignored and enabled Watson because he harassed and assaulted her during a therapy session. The terms of the settlements were kept confidential.

Despite Watson’s legal entanglement, the Browns – along with several other teams – pursued Watson when the first grand jury declined to indict him.

Initially, Watson turned down Brown. But Cleveland owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam lured him with the richest fully guaranteed contract in league history to that point.

Watson had other offers but chose Brown and waived his no-trade clause to join the team coming into a disappointing 8–9 season. Cleveland completed the deal on March 18 by agreeing to send Houston three first-round draft picks and a total of six selections for Watson.

The Haslams said that any concerns they had about his character or behavior went away when he went to Houston with Berry and Stefansky and spent time talking to Watson.

An All-American in Clemson, Watson was drafted by the Texans with the number 12 pick in 2017. He started six games in his second year as a rookie before passing for 4,165 yards and 26 touchdowns.

Watson has developed into one of the league’s elite QBs, despite playing for a Texans team that threw for 4,823 yards and 33 TDs in 2020, which was just 4-12.

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