NFL Appeals Deshan Watson’s 6-Game Suspension, League Says

NFL will appeal to Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshan Watson six-sport suspension For “serious acts” of “sexual contact” with a massage therapist in violation of its personal conduct policy, the league said Wednesday.

The NFL said in a statement that it has notified the players’ union that it is appealing. It had three days to appeal the decision, the league said in the statement.

Retired Judge Sue L. Robinson presided over Watson’s case and issued the suspension on Monday.

“The NFL informs the NFLPA that it will appeal Judge Robinson’s disciplinary decision and file its brief this afternoon. Commissioner Roger Goodell will determine who will hear the appeal,” the league said.

Tony Buzby, an attorney representing the two dozen massage therapists who accused Watson of misconduct, applauded the NFL’s decision to appeal Wednesday.

“Bravo to the NFL. It’s never too late to do the right thing,” he said in a statement.

Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday. No one could be reached with the players’ union.

The judge ruled that there was “enough circumstantial evidence to support the NFL’s contention” that Watson sought sexual contact with several massage therapists reached via social media.

“The quarterback knew that such sexual contact was unwanted,” the judge said.

But he questioned the NFL’s desire to bench Watson for all of 2022.

“According to the NFL, if this recommended sentence is unprecedented (as characterized by Mr. Watson and the NFLPA), it is because his conduct is unprecedented,” Robinson said.

Robinson also stated in his decision, “It is inherently unfair to recognize conduct as prohibited only after the conduct has been committed, just as it is inherently unjust to change the punishment for such conduct after the fact.” “

The most typical suspensions for acts of domestic violence are six-game bans, according to Robinson, adding that Watson deserves the benefit of some mitigating considerations.

He is a “first time offender”, had “an excellent reputation in his community prior to these incidents” and had already been sidelined throughout. As of 2021 the charges keep hovering over themThe judge said.

“Mr. Watson has been suspended for six (6) regular seasons without pay.” Although this is the most significant sentence ever imposed on an NFL player for charges of nonviolent sexual conduct, Mr. Watson’s conduct The pattern is stronger than any reviewed by the NFL.”

Watson was also ordered to limit his massage to “club-guided sessions and club-approved massage therapists.”

A representative for the players’ union said on Monday that Watson would follow Robinson’s order.

Union spokesman Brandon Parker urged Goodell not to oppose the judge’s decision, saying that “Watson and the union will not appeal the decision.”

Scott Berkowitz, president of RAINN, an anti-sexual violence organization based in Washington DC, praised the decision to appeal the six-game suspension. The organization called on Watson to miss the entire session.

“While no disciplinary action will undo the trauma inflicted by Watson, a suspension of at least one year will send a strong message that his actions have no place in the NFL or our society,” Berkowitz said in a statement.

National Organization for Women Calling the six-game suspension “unacceptable, humiliating and dangerous – but not surprising”.

“The NFL has committed the violence against women problem for years – and everyone knows it,” the group said in a statement. “Deshaun Watson should not be allowed to profit from his horrific behavior, and the NFL should change its business model to one that allows, enables and hides sexual abuse that respects women and abusers. holds accountable.”

Watson signed a five-year, $230 million guaranteed contract with Brown in March.

He has lost a lot of time on the field, not playing for the Houston Texans last season because of his legal challenges and the team. asked him to do business,

Lindsay Pipia contribution,

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