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NFL Appealing Deshaun Watson’s 6-Game Suspension

 The NFL has reportedly appealed Judge Sue L. Robinson’s recommended six-game suspension. News comes approximately 48 hours after the Judge’s decision, and findings, became public.

Watson, the embattled quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, is facing discipline for violating the league’s Personal Conduct Policy. The NFL investigated the claims of 24 massage therapists who have accused Watson of sexual assault. The league presented its findings to Judge Robinson who then made her recommendation. 

 

Former NFL executive Mike Tannenbaum, Co-Founder of The 33rd Team, said Wednesday: “This is their collective bargained right. While I’m sure they wish they didn’t have to appeal the Federal Judge’s first decision, I’m sure they felt like they had no alternative given the fact that Watson only received a 6-game suspension. But this saga has a long way to go.” 

Former President of the Philadelphia Eagles and co-founder of The 33rd Team Joe Banner found Deshaun Watson’s suspension paltry compared to those handed out to other recently disciplined players. “In my opinion,” Banner said, “these incidents do not even come close to the same level of damage to the reputation of the league that Watson’s actions have caused. For Watson to receive a lesser suspension than these three, after facing more than 30 individual accusations, is an indictment on the new system implemented by the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement that the union and league both believed would solve many of the problems which occurred in the past.” 

Banner is not alone in his belief that the decision was controversial. The NFL community reacted strongly to Judge Robinson’s initial recommendation. 

Bill Polian, the former Team President of the Indianapolis Colts, weighed in: “It’s not good for the Browns. A, He might be off the field longer than he now expects and they now expect. And B, it’ll be out there in public and percolating and that will be a nuisance.”

The NFLPA has two days to file an appeal and under the current CBA, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will determine who will hear the appeal.