Wednesday, July 17, 2024
HomeNEWSCleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson Receives Suspension Over Sexual Misconduct Accusations

Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson Receives Suspension Over Sexual Misconduct Accusations

The Cleveland Browns made a massive trade for quarterback Deshaun Watson, but unfortunately for the Browns, they will have to start the season without his services. On Monday, Judge Sue L. Robinson ruled that Watson be suspended six games for violating the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. Prior to the trade, when Watson was a member of the Houston Texans, he was accused of sexual misconduct by twenty-four women who were hired, massage therapists.

The situation developed in March 2021 when a Houston massage therapist filed a civil suit claiming Watson requested sexual favors during a massage treatment visit. After the first claim was made public, twenty-three additional claims were filed by women who made similar accusations. Because of the investigation into the allegations, Watson didn’t play last season for the Houston Texans. He didn’t face any criminal charges, but he still faced punishment from the NFL.

The NFL was seeking a year suspension and a hefty fine for the 26-year-old quarterback. Despite the potential punishment Watson was facing, the Cleveland Browns decided to roll the dice, and in March 2022, they signed him to a five-year, $230 million contract. Three months later, it was announced on June 21 that Watson had reached confidential settlements with 20 of the 24 women who filed civil lawsuits. Days later, former federal court judge Sue L. Robinson was involved in a three-day hearing. Robinson was jointly appointed the disciplinary officer in the case by the NFL and the National Football League Player’s Association (NFLPA). The NFL argued for an indefinite suspension of at least one year and a $5 million fine.

On August 1, Judge Robinson handed down her decision and ruled that Watson violated the league’s personal conduct policy. She decided not to fine him, but he will serve a six-game suspension. The NFLPA released a statement they wouldn’t appeal any recommendation from the judge, but on the other hand, the NFL still has the final say. The NFL is on the clock, as they have three days to appeal the judge’s decision. On Monday, it was also announced that Watson agreed to confidential settlements with three of the four remaining women who filed civil lawsuits.

Deshaun Watson will serve a six-game suspension, but he will be able to participate in practices and games during the preseason. Jacoby Brissett will be the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback when the regular season starts. Watson was initially scheduled to return to the football field on October 23 when the Browns battled the Baltimore Ravens, but on August 3, the NFL decided to file an appeal to challenge the ruling. The National Football League is looking to add on to the suspension because they proved that Deshaun Watson compromised the league’s integrity.

 

Read other sports news and interviews by Vince Smith.

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