Editors’ note: This story contains accounts of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at https://www.rainn.org.
Sue L. Robinson, the disciplinary officer appointed by the NFL and players association, ruled Deshaun Watson should be suspended for six games in 2022, according to The MMQB’s Albert Breer. ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report Monday’s news.
Robinson’s decision also contains language that mandates Watson receive all massage therapy from Browns therapists, according to a report from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
The proposed punishment comes after the league’s investigation into the sexual harassment and assault allegations levied against the Browns’ quarterback that lasted well over a year. More than two dozen women have detailed graphic accounts of sexual harassment and sexual assault that occurred during massage therapy sessions. The accounts range from Watson allegedly refusing to cover his genitals to the quarterback “touching [a plaintiff] with his penis and trying to force her to perform oral sex on him.”
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Twenty-five women filed civil lawsuits against Watson starting in March 2021, and only one dropped her case due to privacy concerns in April ’21. Watson, then, agreed to settle 20 of the 24 civil lawsuits in June ’22. Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, announced the news, saying the terms and amounts agreed to are confidential and “we won’t comment further on the settlements or those cases.”
Watson reportedly settled three of the remaining four civil cases against him ahead of Monday’s disciplinary decision.