Aug 1, 2022 - Sports

Deshaun Watson suspended for 6 games over sexual misconduct claims

Deshaun Watson at training camp for the Cleveland Browns
Deshaun Watson. Photo: Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was suspended for six games for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, disciplinary officer and former federal judge Sue L. Robinson announced on Monday.

Driving the news: More than two dozen women have accused Watson of sexually abusing them during massage therapy sessions, with the first allegation dating back to March 2021.

  • Watson has settled 23 of the 24 lawsuits filed against him by accusers.
  • The Houston Texans settled with 30 of Watson's accusers or potential accusers after a New York Times investigation found that the Texans provided him the room for massage therapy and with NDAs.

The big picture: The decision was made by Robinson, a retired federal judge appointed by the NFL and the NFLPA to oversee player discipline, per the report.

  • This process for discipline was part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2020.
  • The NFL has three days to submit a written appeal, per the New York Times. The NFLPA has already indicated it would not appeal and called on the NFL to do the same, in a statement they released on Sunday.
  • Robinson's decision includes no additional fines, according to NFL Network. He must also get any massage therapy from club therapists, according to NFL Network.
  • Watson was traded to the Browns and signed a 5-year $230 million deal after a Texas grand jury declined to charge him criminally in March.

What they're saying: Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam said in a statement that they respect "Judge Robinson's decision, and at the same time, empathize and understand that there have been many individuals triggered throughout this process.

  • "We know Deshaun is remorseful that this situation has caused much heartache to many and he will continue the work needed to show who he is on and off the field, and we will continue to support him."

What's next: The NFL has until Thursday at 9 A.M. to appeal the decision, according to ESPN.

Editor's note: This article was updated with a statement from the Cleveland Browns.

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