Deshaun Watson has a six-game ban for sexual misbehavior.

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Deshaun Watson, the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, throws a pass during a practice session at the team’s facility in May in Ohio. Following allegations of sexual misconduct, the NFL suspended Watson for six games on Monday for breaching its personal conduct code. AP Photo/Ron Schwane hide caption

switch to caption Image by Ron Schwane/AP Deshaun Watson, the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, throws a pass during a practice session at the team’s facility in May in Ohio. Following allegations of sexual misconduct, the NFL suspended Watson for six games on Monday for breaching its personal conduct code.

R. Schwane / AP Deshaun Watson, the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, has been sentenced to a six-game suspension without pay by NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, the league confirmed on Monday to NPR.

The penalty came after 24 women accused Watson of sexual misconduct, resulting in legal lawsuits and Watson’s suspension until 2021. In June, Watson resolved 20 of the complaints brought against him.

According to Robinson’s ruling, the six-game suspension is “the most serious punishment ever imposed on an NFL player for claims of non-violent sexual conduct,” and “Mr. Watson’s pattern of conduct is more egregious than any heretofore assessed by the NFL,” she added.

According to NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy in an email to NPR, Watson was found guilty of “several infractions of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy” by Robinson.

She specifically claimed that the NFL had established that Watson had committed acts of sexual assault (as the NFL defines it), conduct endangering others, and conduct undermining the league’s integrity.

Some of the more than 60 massage therapists that Watson worked with over the course of a 15-month period, from late 2019 through the winter of 2021, were the ones who leveled the charges against him.

According to Robinson, Watson “had a sexual intent not just a therapeutic objective” when scheduling massage visits.

According to Robinson, there is enough evidence to show that Mr. Watson was aware or should have been aware that any touch between his penis and these therapists was not desired.

Two grand juries in Texas earlier this year decided not to indict Watson on any criminal charges, paving the way for his eventual comeback to the field of play.

Through the NFL Players Association, Watson has three days to appeal the ruling. The league itself may appeal on its own behalf.
The NFL claims it will decide what happens next after examining Judge Robinson’s decision to impose a six-game suspension.
Robinson, a former federal judge who served in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, retired and immediately started working for the NFL.

Watson had “an great reputation in his community prior to these incidents,” Robinson noted in describing the criteria she used to determine his penalty, noting that he cooperated with the inquiry and made restitution.

Watson has definitely denied acting inappropriately during the massage sessions, but she claimed that he hasn’t expressed regret either. She also pointed out that when the initial complaint was filed in March 2021, he did not immediately notify the NFL.

Robinson stated, “Mr. Watson displayed a reckless disregard for the implications of his action, which I find equal to purposeful conduct,” regarding the NFL star’s motivations before to and during the massage sessions.

When the accusations against Watson first surfaced, he was playing for the Houston Texans. He agreed to a five-year contract in March to play quarterback for the Browns.

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