Deshaun Watson’s punishment has been handed down.
On Monday, it was announced that the Cleveland Browns quarterback was suspended for six games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Watson was suspended for “predatory conduct” in private meetings with massage therapists.
“Although this is the most significant punishment ever imposed on an NFL player for allegations of non-violent sexual conduct, Mr. Watson’s pattern of conduct is more egregious than any before reviewed by the NFL,” former federal judge Sue L. Robinson wrote in a 16-page ruling.
“While it may be entirely appropriate to more severely discipline players for nonviolent sexual conduct, I do not believe it is appropriate to do so without notice of the extraordinary change this position portends for the NFL and its players.”
Thoughts on Deshaun Watson and 6 games pic.twitter.com/GBLoa7V7kY
— Kyle Brandt (@KyleBrandt) August 1, 2022
The Cleveland Browns responded to the suspension with a statement of their own.
“We respect Judge Robinson’s decision, and at the same time, empathize and understand that there have been many individuals triggered throughout this process,” Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam said in a statement Monday. “We know Deshaun is remorseful that this situation has caused much heartache to many and he will continue the work needed to show who he is on and off the field, and we will continue to support him.”
Watson, who hasn’t played since 2020, signed a five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract with the Browns amidst the allegations facing Watson. Watson continues to deny the allegations against him, but has settled 20 of the 24 civil lawsuits he was facing.