Deshaun Watson's six-game suspension was widely seen as a slap on the wrist by members of the public. Especially considering the volume of allegations leveled against the Cleveland Browns quarterback.
Watson was accused of engaging in sexually coercive and lewd behavior towards 24 women whom he hired for massage therapy. He denied the accusations against him, and two Texas grand juries declined to indict him for it. In her 16-page report, Judge Sue L. Robinson noted that Watson's pattern of conduct was more egregious than any incident previously reviewed by the league.
While the league took until Thursday to file an appeal, the National Organization for Women (NOW) came down hard against the NFL. They blasted the decision to hand him a mere six-game suspension without any fines. NOW released a statement after Judge Robinson's decision was announced.
The statement reads as follows:
"It is unacceptable, insulting, and dangerous—but not surprising—that Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will face merely a 6-game suspension—with no fines—following an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct made by more than two dozen women."
"The Browns knew that their star recruit would be suspended for at least part of this year’s season because of his record of sex offenses, and so they restructured his contract to make the majority of his $46 million first-year payout a “signing bonus,” not tied to him playing actual games."
The statement also said:
"The NFL has had a violence against women problem for years—and everyone knows it... NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has failed since then to find a consistent, independent, and trustworthy means of addressing the scourge of violence against women—and bringing abusers to justice."
The NFl have appealed Deshaun Watson's six-game suspension
Judge Robinson's decision to hand Watson a six-game suspension was widely derided by NFL fans and analysts alike. The league, meanwhile, filed an appeal in pursuit of tougher discipline for the Browns quarterback.
The NFL is rumored to be seeking an indefinite suspension for Deshaun Watson with the option of reinstatement after a year. The NFL could also also recommend a fine for the Watson amid concerns over his lack of remorse.
The Browns front-loaded Watson's fully-guaranteed, five-year, $230 million contract. The majority of his $46 million annual salary was paid as a signing bonus. So as things stand, Watson only stands to lose $345,000 owing to games missed.
Reports indicate that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will not hear the appeal. The league has announced that former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey will hear the appeal. It will be interesting to see what happens next in this ongoing saga.
If you use any of the above quotes, please credit the National Organization for Women and H/T Sportskeeda.