Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has been suspended for six games in 2022, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is clearly seeking more time.
After a months-long investigation by the NFL, the verdict on Deshaun Watson became clear — at least, according to NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson.
For the sake of objectivity, the NFL relied on Robinson to make a ruling on the Watson case by examining the evidence and determining a ruling based on precedent.
Robinson did so, handing down a six-game suspension. Immediately, the league clarified that this was not enough and that they would appeal this decision. On Tuesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell doubled down on the call for a longer suspension of Watson, describing his behavior as “egregious” and “predatory.”
“We’ve seen the evidence, she was very clear about the evidence, she reinforced the evidence,” Goodell said. “There were multiple violations that were egregious, and it was predatory behavior.”
Roger Goodell condemns Deshaun Watson for “predatory behavior” in call for year-long suspension
Although Robinson suspended Watson for six games, the former federal judge acknowledged that “the NFL carried its burden to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Mr. Watson engaged in sexual assault (as defined by the NFL) against the four therapists identified in the Report.”
Robinson also wrote that Watson acted in a way that was “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.”
Even though Robinson acknowledged the evidence that Watson sexual assaulted the four therapists in the NFL’s report, she differentiated between violent and non-violent sexual assault, per ESPN’s Jeff Legwold.
“Robinson concluded Watson’s conduct ‘does not fall into the category of violent conduct that would require the minimum six-game suspension’ the league had established as ‘by far the most commonly-imposed discipline for domestic or gendered violence and sexual acts,’” wrote Legwold.
Although NFL analysts like Mina Kimes are confused by Robinson’s ruling — she recognizes that Watson committed sexual assault, yet because she determined it was non-violent, issued a minimum suspension — Robinson stated that Watson’s “predatory conduct cast ‘a negative light on the League and its players.’”
Robinson, along with the NFL and its fans, recognize that Watson’s behavior was egregious, predatory