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NFL appeals Deshawn Watson's proposed six-game suspension

NFL appeals disciplinary officer’s decision to suspend action cleveland browns quarterback Deshawn Watson for 6 games for breach of league personal conduct policyauthorizes Commissioner Roger Goodell or someone he designates to impose harsher penalties.

Former federal judge Sue L. Robinson was accused Monday by 20 women in Texas of sexual misconduct during a massage treatment while Watson was playing for the Houston Texans. made a ruling.

In her 16-page report, Robinson described Watson’s behavior as “worse than anything ever reviewed by the NFL.”

Robinson’s punishment was the first since he was jointly nominated by the league and the NFL Players Association, and was far from the at least one-year indefinite suspension the league had sought.

As such, the NFL on Wednesday exercised its right to appeal pursuant to its collective bargaining agreement.

Players unions must respond in writing by the close of business on Friday. The union may be gearing up for a lengthy battle, challenging the federal court’s appeal ruling.

This is the first time since a new collective bargaining agreement was signed in 2020 that the league and the NFLPA have had a jointly appointed disciplinary officer determine violations of the personal conduct policy. Has served as judge and jury to impose penalties.

By appealing, the NFL returns that power to Goodell, and he can choose another person to impose the punishment on.

League officials told the Associated Press that the NFL hopes to avoid an appeal before Watson’s three-day disciplinary hearing ends in June.

But the league has gone ahead with one amid backlash from some fans.Other factors include Watson’s lack of remorse, which Robinson noted in her report.

The NFL insisted on unprecedented penalties and wanted Watson to be fined at least $5 million, a person familiar with the matter, who asked to remain anonymous because the hearing is private, told the AP. rice field.

Watson, who played four seasons with the Texans before missing last season and was traded to Cleveland in March, faced 24 charges in 2020 and 2021 by women alleging they were sexually harassed and assaulted during massage treatments. recently settled 23 of its lawsuits. Texas refused to press charges against Watson over criminal charges filed by 10 women.

Robinson concluded that Watson had violated three articles of the Personal Conduct Policy. Conduct that poses a genuine danger to the safety and well-being of others. Conduct that impairs or jeopardizes the integrity of the NFL.

She refused to suspend Watson for a year based on precedent and the league’s current policy. concluded that it could be

Robinson said, “It may be perfectly appropriate to more severely discipline players for nonviolent sexual conduct, but without informing us of the extraordinary changes that this position portends for the NFL and its players. I don’t think it’s appropriate to do so,” Robinson wrote to her.reports.

Watson will continue to practice with the Browns while awaiting resolution of his case, which raises questions about the league’s handling of player behavior off the field, inconsistent individual courses of conduct, and overall support for women. I have continued.

The Browns are also at a loss as to when or if Watson will play this season.

Cleveland traded three first-round picks to Houston with a three-time Pro Bowl QB and signed a five-year, $230 million contract.

Watson’s base salary this season is $1,035,000, so he only has $345,000 to lose if his suspension stays in place.

Reported by Associated Press.

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