Deshaun Watson
Deshaun Watson Suspended For 6 Games: What To Know Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

The National Football League has suspended Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson for six games. The decision was handed out by retired federal judge Sue L. Robinson, who also stands as the league’s disciplinary officer. Robinson ruled that the 26-year-old player violated the league’s personal conduct policy and issued a 6-game suspension even as the NFL had been pushing for at least a year-long suspension for Watson

According to the New York Post, settlement terms have not been reached between Watson, the union and the league as the union argued that the player should not even get any games. The NFL, the union and Watson have three days to appeal the decision. In a 16-page conclusive report, Robinson wrote, “Although this is the most significant punishment ever imposed on an NFL player for allegations of nonviolent sexual conduct, Mr. Watson’s pattern of conduct is more egregious than any before reviewed by the NFL.”

Any appeals from all sides will be heard by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, however, based on the announcement of the NFL Players Association on Sunday, it has made no plans to appeal and had even asked the NFL to implement the same punishment.

However, the NFL could rule on an appropriate punishment based on the terms of a collective bargaining agreement between all sides giving the union wider room to challenge the federal court ruling. In June, the NFL vied for at least a full year suspension for Watson on top of a $5 million fine.

A 215-page report from the NFL detailed dozens of interviews and testimonies from four out 12 women during the investigation which brought Robinson to determine that Watson violated provisions set by the league on conduct that undermines the integrity of the NFL, personal conduct policy, conduct posing a genuine danger to the safety and well-being of another person, as well as sexual assault. The federal judge rejected Watson’s persistent denials on all allegations as she pointed out the player's lack of expressed remorse as a contributing factor in aggravating the victims.

Waston has not faced any criminal charges after 23 of all 24 lawsuits filed by the women who accused him of sexual harassment and assault settled earlier on. Robinson laid down conditions for Watson’s reinstatement with the league, requiring that he only used massage therapists approved by the team for the entirety of his football career. The judge also said that Watson must steer clear of any “adverse involvement” with law enforcement nor commit any further personal conduct policy violations.

Deshaun Watson
Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns throws a pass during Cleveland Browns training camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on July 30, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

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