Deshaun Watson and the women in the room know what actually happened? Judge Sue Robinson, who originally ruled on the six game suspension for the alleged misconduct, found Deshaun Watson did indeed violate the personal conduct policy. Roger Goodell, along with players’ CBA, agreed the commissioner ultimately has the power to render the final punishment upon a player who has tarnished the shield of the NFL. In this case Goodell appointed a mediator and appellate court Judge Peter Harvey, who not only looked at the case, but also looked at Judge Sue Robinson’s ruling, and viewed the evidence that was brought upon Deshaun Watson – 24 sexual assault cases, over 60 different massage therapist and two grand juries who failed to charge Deshaun Watson on evidence that was granted against the defendant.
Roger Goodell made it known that he thought Watson should be suspended for an entire year. The Cleveland Browns, who were expecting a suspension, guaranteed Deshaun Watson’s contract. Interesting enough, the guaranteed money is heavily fixed on the backend of Watson’s deal. The Browns have emphasized it’s about givng Deshaun a second chance
Other fans – specifically women – have criticized the punishment and fine. Sarah Spain, Kimberly Martin and Molly Querim all all publicly opined how humiliating this ruling is towards women. What we know is Judge Sue L. Robinson didn’t set precedent because she felt the NFL was trying to levy its punishment on Watson based on prevous personal conduct violations.
What we know is two grand juries declined to charge Deshaun Watson based on not having concrete evidence. A respected attorney out of Greensboro, NC Amiel Rossabi stated that in these situations players will settle to either get on the playing field faster and push the allegations behind them or to have an accuser take a settlement (monetary value) in addition of signing an “NDA” non-disclosure agreement (stating if you agree to the terms of this payment, you’re waiving your rights to disclose the amount, terms, and details on the case on your behalf). That is exactly what happened with Deshaun Watson. Settlements were arranged for the plaintiffs. Worth noting, just because evidence was not found to support Watson’s claim, doesn’t exonerate him of any wrong doing. Yes the juries didn’t find binding evidence to support the claims of the accusers, but that doesn’t completely let Deshaun Watson off the hook.
“The indictment only deals with the criminal side of this case,” another North Carolina based attorney said when asked about the case. “The prosecutor was clearly not able to persuade the grand jury that probable cause existed that he was guilty of a crime. That doesn’t mean that there wasn’t any sexual activity, but they couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the sexual activity that occurred was criminal. I don’t always think that when you have multiple allegations and it’s a famous person, that it’s necessarily compounded that it must be true. That does not mean I’m saying it’s not true in this case, but I think there’s probably a tendency once there’s an allegation or two for other people to jump on the bandwagon who have had relationships with him that went sour. In addition, we all know that a person can be guilty, but there simply isn’t the evidence there to prosecute them. I have no idea if that is the case here. I simply don’t know enough about him or the evidence presented. The civil standard will be different so the civil lawsuits against him will continue although the lack of indictment can certainly help him.”
The NFL has showed inconsistencies when levying down punishments, with them more times than not being too lenient – disregarding public sentiments as if the transgressions will be swept under the rug.
Week 13 Cleveland at Houston will be a circus. Moreover, some think the owners only care about making money, generating revenue for their facilities, and keeping vendors and sponsors happy. This was ultimately a business decision.
If Deshaun Watson throws touchdown passes and fixes his public image, will the perception towards Deshaun Watson be forgotten?