Deshaun Watson has been suspended six games without pay for violating NFL policy over sexual misconduct allegations, ordered by a judge jointly appointed by the NFL and the NFL Players Association.
“Although this is the most significant punishment ever imposed on an NFL player for allegations of non-violent sexual conduct, Mr. Watson’s pattern of conduct is more egregious than any before reviewed by the NFL,” wrote former federal judge Sue L. Robinson.
The NFL or NFL Players Association can now appeal to him in writing within three working days by the collective bargaining agreement. After that, according to the contract, the commissioner “will issue a written decision that will constitute a full, final and complete disposition of the dispute and will be binding upon the player,” according to the contract.
The NFL praised Robinson’s “diligence and professionalism” during the process and said it reviewed the six-game suspension.
“In light of her findings, the league is reviewing Judge Robinson’s imposition of a six-game suspension and will make a determination on the next steps,” the league said.
On Sunday night, the NFLPA and Watson released a joint statement, stating that they will not appeal, no matter the decision, and they ask the NFL to do the same.
Several women who worked as massage therapists accused Watson of sexual assault during massage sessions. Twenty-four women filed lawsuits against the quarterback, and all but one have been settled, according to the plaintiffs’ attorney Tony Buzbee.
Three-time Pro Bowler Watson did not play last season as a member of the Houston Texans due to trade demands and investigations into these allegations. Despite the allegations against him, he has denied them and said he has no regrets about any of his actions.
Harris County grand juries did not charge Watson with harassment and sexual misconduct due to a lack of evidence. Instead, it was described as “stemming from massage therapy sessions,” according to a statement on the NFL website.
A few days later, the Browns traded three first-round picks for Watson and offered him a 5-year, $230 million contract, the most guaranteed money in NFL history.
A total of 30 women who “have made, or intended to make, claims” against the Houston Texans organization regarding Watson’s allegations have settled their claims, according to their lawyer Tony Buzbee and a statement released by the Houston Texans’ ownership.
NFL player Brown Deshaun Watson was suspended for six games.