It’s rumored DeshaunWatson is threatening legal action if the NFL appeals his six-game suspension following sexual misconduct accusations. Get the latest inside…
Cleveland Browns quarterback DeshaunWatson is threatening LEGAL action after a six-game suspension was issued by former U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson, who determined he violated the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.
According to reports, the NFL has three business days left to file an appeal of the ruling, which would be heard by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or a designee. Ahead of Monday's ruling, the NFLPA and Deshaun released a statement pledging not to appeal the decision while calling on the NFL not to either.
Also, the judge's mandate also stated Deshaun can’t hire his own therapists after he was accused of inappropriate sexual conduct with female massage therapists he hired.
As of now, it’s up in the air if the league will appeal.
Shortly after the ruling was released, the NFL said that it is still reviewing its next steps in the matter.
NFL statement about Judge Sue L. Robinson’s decision today: pic.twitter.com/U7sOlUs4k2
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 1, 2022
In the ruling, Judge Robinson said that Deshaun violated the league's Personal Conduct Policy on three counts, which include Conduct that Qualifies as a 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.
There wasn’t enough evidence to justify an indefinite suspension, despite violating the league’s conduct policy. The Browns QB will be eligible to return to the game on October 23rd.
If the league does appeal the decision, Deshaun and the NFLPA (National Football League Players Association) could file a lawsuit, according to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. By the way, the NFL proposed Deshaun should be suspended at least one year, while the NFLPA said he shouldn’t be suspended at all.
The question: Will the NFL accept the discipline suggestion from Sue Robinson — empowering a process that they agreed on? Or will Goodell impose his power in the situation — which the NFLPA also agreed to provide him in the CBA? A significant moment in a new disciplinary process. https://t.co/NjXQPy4tv0
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) August 1, 2022
Such a move could result in a temporary restraining order, which would delay any punishment for Watson, potentially making him available to play at the start of the 2022 NFL season.
”I’m told if the NFL does appeal this, that Deshaun Watson's side will be filing suit against them to question the authority of Goodell to do so," Darlington said on ESPN's "Get Up" on Tuesday. "If that were to happen, we're talking about injunctions, all sorts of legal processes that ultimately could delay this suspension. So there's a bunch of complicated things out there. I'm not saying he wins or loses the case, but there's a bunch of scenarios right now that puts the Cleveland Browns when they're assessing what's going to happen with their quarterback into play in many different scenarios."
If Deshaun does file a lawsuit against the league, he’ll be following in the footsteps of Tom Brady. In 2015, Tom - who was the New England Patriots quarterback - filed a suit against the NFL over his four-game suspension he received as a result of the 'Deflategate' scandal. Brady’s punishment was initially overturned, but it was later reinstated following an appeal by the league. Ultimately, Tom was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season.
The six-game suspension comes after the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback was the subject of 25 sexual assault/misconduct lawsuits - 23 of which he has since settled and 24th which has been dropped. The sexual misconduct encounters cited in the lawsuits took place while Deshaun played for the Houston Texans.
Deshaun Watson has denied any wrongdoing.
The Browns are supporting their QB through it all:
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 1, 2022
The National Organization of Women (NOW) responded to the ruling, saying the decision clearly shows "money talks, and women are unheard."
NOW -- the nation's leading organization for women's rights -- says the ruling is "unacceptable, insulting, and dangerous" ... but not surprising, 'cause the league and its players have been in similar situations before. "The NFL has had a violence against women problem for years -- and everyone knows it," NOW said.
"They re-structured his contract to make the majority of his $46 million first-year payout a “signing bonus,” not tied to him playing actual games," NOW said.
”Shame on the Cleveland Browns for rewarding Deshaun Watson and shame on the NFL for perpetuating a system where money talks, and women aren’t heard."
Peep online reactions to Deshaun's six-game suspension below:
Sending love to all the women who have to cover this Deshaun Watson ruling today. They’re going to face nonstop abuse from fans who are either upset that his suspension only was 6 games, or thought it should have been longer. Please don’t let these assholes infect your spirit.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) August 1, 2022
Deshaun Watson bout to get 6-8 games for sexual assault but Ridley gets 1 year for gambling 1500 pic.twitter.com/S7wS6x0kXr
— PittsSZN (@SznPltts) August 1, 2022
Calvin Ridley: 17 games, betting
Vontaze Burfict: 12 games, targeting
DeAndre Hopkins: 6 games, PED
Martavis Bryant: Indefinitely, Weed
Josh Gordon: 25+ games, Weed
Darren Waller: 16 games, substance abuse
DeShaun Watson: 6 games, 25 SV accusations
— Tristen Kuhn (@KuhnTristen) August 1, 2022
Wow, Deshaun Watson was suspended by the NFL for 6 games… He’s accused of assaulting 25 women… Colin Kaepernick knelt to protest police brutality and he’s now been “suspended” for 5 years… Shows what little value the NFL places on women… and Black lives for that matter…
— Cyrus McQueen (@CyrusMMcQueen) August 1, 2022
Trevor Bauer got a 324 game MLB suspension — two years — for non-criminal sexual assault allegations. Deshaun Watson, so far, got six NFL games for 30 women’s non-criminal allegations. Bauer’s suspension will cost him over $60 million, Watson’s suspension will cost him $300k.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) August 1, 2022
Calvin Ridley made a bet that his team will win a game in the NFL
He got suspended indefinitely, through at least the entire 2022 season and possibly more.
He also lost $11.1 million in salary.
Deshaun Watson meanwhile received 6 game suspension, he'll only lose less than $1M. https://t.co/hAt2Ft6TmJ
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 1, 2022
In March, the Browns offered Deshaun a history-making $230 million, five-year deal GUARANTEED after he waived his No Trade clause with the Texans. The 26-year-old NFLer had a change of heart after previously rejecting the Browns.
The move comes just one week after a Texas grand jury declined to indict and criminally charge him for sexual misconduct allegations made by nearly two dozen women. Throughout the ordeal, Deshaun has denied any wrongdoing. Last week, his lawyer said he “did not commit any crimes and is not guilty of any offenses."
Again, if you’re talented enough in the NFL, it doesn’t really matter what you do - there’s seemingly always a place for you.
Photo: AP Photo/Justin Rex, File