Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson received a six-game suspension and no fine for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy following two dozen lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault, according to multiple reports.
Former federal judge Sue L. Robinson, who was named the disciplinary officer in the case, reportedly handed down the ruling Monday. Watson had recently settled 23 of the 24 lawsuits in Texas in which he was accused of sexual assault, according to the attorney representing the women.
The NFL has not made a decision whether it would appeal the ruling. The league has three days to decide, ESPN reported.
Deshaun Watson, #4 of the Cleveland Browns, looks on during the Cleveland Browns offseason workout at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on June 1, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
The NFL Players Association said Sunday it would not appeal the ruling and called on the league to do the same.
“In advance of Judge Robinson's decision, we wanted to reiterate the facts of this proceeding. First, we have fully cooperated with every NFL inquiry and provided the NFL with the most comprehensive set of information for any personal conduct policy investigation,” the union said in a statement.
“A former Federal Judge — appointed jointly by the NFLPA and NFL — held a full and fair hearing, has read thousands of pages of investigative documents and reviewed arguments from both sides impartially. Every player, owner, business partner and stakeholder deserves to know that our process is legitimate and will not be tarnished based on the whims of the League office. This is why, regardless of her decision, Deshaun and the NFLPA will stand by her ruling and we call on the NFL to do the same.”
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson drops back to pass during an NFL football practice in Berea, Ohio, Friday, July 29, 2022. (AP Photo/David Dermer)
If either side appeal, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement say that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or someone he designates will make the decision. The union could try to challenge the ruling in federal court.
In June's hearing, the NFL argued for an indefinite suspension of at least one year and a $5 million fine. The union argued Watson should not be punished at all because he was not convicted of a crime. Two Texas grand juries declined to indict Watson on criminal charges.
The lawsuits alleged Watson would expose himself to female massage therapists, touching them with his penis or kissing them without permission. One woman alleged Watson forced her to perform oral sex.
Watson has denied any wrongdoing throughout the matter and made his stance clear in his introductory press conference after he was traded to the Browns from the Houston Texans .
“I have never assaulted, disrespected or harassed any woman in my life,” he said as he sat next to head coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry. “I was raised differently. That is not my DNA. That is not my culture. That is not me as a person.”
In July, the Texans settled with 30 women after the team was accused of ignoring concerns and enabling Watson. Terms of the settlement remained confidential.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, #4, looks on during training camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus in Berea, Ohio July 28, 2022. (Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
Watson missed the 2021 season as he initially requested a trade from the Texans. He signed a fully guaranteed five-year contract with the Browns upon joining the team.
In 2020, he had 4,823 passing yards and 33 touchdown passes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Ryan Gaydos is the sports editor for Fox News and Fox Business. Story tips can be sent to [email protected]
- Thomas Ravenel’s Sexual Assault Accuser Speaks Out: ‘He Needs to Be Accountable for His Actions’
- Trump Sexual Assault Accusers Find Unlikely Heroine in Stormy Daniels: 'She's Got a Lot of Guts'
- Russell Simmons Steps Down From Business Empire Following New Sexual Assault Allegation: Report
- Harvey Weinstein's 3rd sexual assault accuser identified
- Bill Cosby's lawyer calls sexual assault accuser 'a con artist'
- Mario Batali Will Not Face Charges Over Sexual Assault Allegations: Reports
- Sigur Rós Accuser Details Sexual-Assault Allegation Against Ex-Drummer
- Sylvester Stallone and His Former Bodyguard Accused of Sexually Assaulting a 16-Year-Old Girl in 1986
- Mario Batali Leaves Restaurant Empire Over a Year After Sexual Assault Allegations Surface
- #WhyIDidntReport: sexual assault victims react to Trump's attack on Ford
- Democratic candidates back plan to change how military investigates sexual assault allegations
- Model Recalls 'Terrifying' Alleged Russell Simmons Sexual Assault - as Mogul Says He's 'Still Evolving'
- Pentagon report shows 32 percent spike in reports of sexual assault at military academies
- Bill Cosby sexual assault prosecutors ask judge to allow 13 accusers to testify
- Manhattan D.A. faces calls to resign over handling of doctor accused of sexual assault by Evelyn Yang
- Bill Cosby: bail set at $1m during court appearance for sexual assault charges
- Weinstein Accuser Testifies: He Sexually Assaulted Me, Then Asked for Threesome With His Assistant
- Gabrielle Union & More Stars Support Terry Crews After He Accuses Agent of Sexual Assault
- Why survivors of sexual assault are falling through the cracks
- Writer E. Jean Carroll makes sexual assault claims against Trump and Moonves
Deshaun Watson receives discipline after sexual assault accusations: reports have 936 words, post on www.foxnews.com at July 31, 2022. This is cached page on TechNews. If you want remove this page, please contact us.