NFL Appeals Deshaun Watson Six-Game Suspension
After months of speculation, weeks of arbitration and the eventual ruling by Judge Sue L. Robinson of a six-game suspension, the NFL has appealed the initial suspension given to Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.
From our breaking news segment on the NFL’s decision to appeal Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension, and the looming possibility this ends up getting sorted out in federal court. @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/uvoZAt0clK
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 3, 2022
The NFL is seeking a tougher punishment for Watson in line with the league’s personal conduct policy.
In Robinson’s report, she wrote that “the NFL carried its burden to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Mr. Watson engaged in sexual assault (as defined by the NFL) against the four therapists identified in the Report.”
She also added that Watson’s conduct posed “a genuine danger to the safety and well-being of another person, and conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity of the NFL.”
Robinson also acknowledged the league’s recommendation of suspension for the entire season but brought up precedent regarding violent and nonviolent sexual misconduct saying Watson’s behavior “does not fall into the category of violent conduct that would require the minimum six-game suspension.”
She noted that the NFL had already established the six-game suspension “by far the most commonly-imposed discipline for domestic or gendered violence and sexual acts.”
Brown’s ruling notes in the fact that Watson has continued to show a “lack of expressed remorse.”
However, Robinson referenced that his lack of prior offenses and “excellent reputation in his community prior to these events,” did mitigate the current charges.
Watson has agreed to settle three of the remaining 24 lawsuits still outstanding but has continued to deny all wrongdoings.
Browns’ owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam released a statement Monday in reaction to the rulings saying, “We respect Judge Robinson’s decision, and at the same time, empathize and understand that there have been many individuals triggered throughout this process. We know Deshaun is remorseful that this situation has caused much heartache to many and he will continue the work needed to show who he is on and off the field, and we will continue to support him.”
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