Deshaun Watson was suspended for six games Monday for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy following accusations by two dozen women in Texas of sexual misconduct during massage treatments.
Retired federal judge Sue L. Robinson said his behavior was “more egregious than any before reviewed by the NFL.”
“Although this is the most significant punishment ever imposed on an NFL player for allegations of nonviolent sexual conduct, Mr. Watson’s pattern of conduct is more egregious than any before reviewed by the NFL,” Robinson wrote in the conclusion to her 16-page report.
Here is the full ruling:
Despite a fine or suspension being the only options, according to the CBA, Robinson took additional action.
“I nevertheless believe it appropriate for Mr. Watson to limit his massage his therapy to Club-directed sessions and Club-approved massage therapists for the duration of his career, and so impose this mandate as a condition to his reinstatement.”
If his actions were that egregious, then why did he only receive a six-game suspension. The NFL has three days to appeal the decision by retired federal judge Sue L. Robinson.
“The NFL may be a ‘forward-facing organization, but it is not necessarily a forward-looking one,” she wrote. “Just as the NFL responded to violent conduct after a public outcry, so it seems the NFL is responding to yet another public outcry about Mr. Watson’s conduct.
“At least in the former situation, this policy was changed and applied proactively. Here, the NFL is attempting to impose a more dramatic shift in its culture without the benefit of fair notice to – and consistency of consequences for – those in the NFL subject to the policy.”
Earlier this year, two grand juries in Texas declined to indict Watson on criminal charges, clearing a path for his eventual return to the playing field.
Watson was playing for the Houston Texans when the allegations against him arose. In March, he was traded to the Browns and they then gave him a 5-year deal.