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On Wednesday, the NFL appealed the 6-game suspension of Cleveland Browns Quarterback Deshaun Watson for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
The NFL had until Thursday morning to appeal the suspension that was handed down by Former U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson on Monday.
“The NFL notified the NFLPA that it will appeal Judge Robinson’s disciplinary decision and filed its brief this afternoon. Commissioner Roger Goodell will determine who will hear the appeal.”
The NFL will appeal the six-game suspension given to Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson over sexual misconduct allegations https://t.co/XhCSu8iLRb
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) August 3, 2022
Judge Robinson ordered Watson’s six-game suspension writing in a 16-page report that the NFL successfully “carried its burden to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Mr. Watson violated the (personal-conduct) policy” by engaging in “sexual assault; conduct that poses a genuine danger to the safety and well-being of another person; and conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity of the NFL.”
According to Robinson’s report, the NFL argued Watson should be suspended for at least the entire 2022 season. Robinson, however, wrote that she was “bound ‘by standards of fairness and consistency of treatment among players similarly situated'” in her decision.
Watson has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women dating from March 2020 through March 2021. At the time, Watson was a member of the Houston Texans but was traded to the Cleveland Browns in March 2022 and given a new five-year contract worth $230 million guaranteed. It’s the richest deal for any player in NFL history.
Of the 24 women who filed civil lawsuits against Watson, he has settled confidentially with all but one.
Many have criticized the NFL’s suspension process over the years, including players, since the entire disciplinary process was handled by Goodell. Yet, Judge Robinson’s recommendation for a 6-game suspension has also been criticized for its leniency by using cases in the past which did not include nearly the number of women accusing Watson.
Recently, Atlanta Falcons Wide Receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended by Goodell for the entire 2022 season for betting on NFL games. Ridley was away from the team addressing mental health concerns and made a parlay bet on games that he was not playing in.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said there’s no timeline for league commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee to make a new ruling on the appeal.