In his first comments to the media after the NFL’s decision to appeal the proposed six-game suspension for quarterback Deshaun Watson, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear that the league is still seeking a one-year suspension, calling Watson’s behavior “egregious” and “predatory.”
Goodell’s comments came as NFL owners were meeting to ratify the sale of the Denver Broncos to the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group.
Goodell explained the league’s decision to appeal the six-game suspension given to the Cleveland Browns quarterback following allegations of sexual assault and misconduct during massage sessions.
“As you know, it’s part of the CBA. Two parties had that right,” Goodell said Tuesday, per Mark Maske of the Washington Post. “And that was something that we felt was our right to do, as well as the NFLPA’s, and we decided it was the right thing to do.”
Goodell also noted that retired federal judge Sue L. Robinson was “very clear about the evidence.” When the NFL appealed the decision from Judge Robinson to Commissioner Goodell, he designed former New Jersey Attorney Peter C. Harvey to decide the matter.
Watson faced 25 civil lawsuits with allegations related to his actions toward women during massage sessions between March 2020 and March 2021. Two Texas grand juries declined to file criminal charges against Watson earlier this year.
As far as his former team, the Texans reached confidential settlements with 30 women related to the allegations against Watson.
No timetable for Harvey’s decision was announced.