Judge Robinson's decision on Deshaun Watson

Last Updated 2 weeks Ago

Judge Sue L. Robinson concluded on Monday that Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson had engaged in the conduct that the league had charged him of. Her choice to suspend Watson for only six games resulted from various factors.

She came to the specific conclusion that Watson had committed a “non-violent sexual assault.” She also discovered that a non-violent sexual assault does not warrant the kind of penalty the league demanded based on prior precedence.

The most severe punishment in recent cases of non-violent sexual assault, according to Judge Robinson, was a 3-game suspension for a player who had already been cautioned about his conduct (page 13 of her judgment).

Jameis Winston, the Saints quarterback, is reportedly that player. He received a three-game suspension to begin the 2018 campaign for “inappropriate and sexually explicit contact” with an Uber driver without getting her permission. A negotiated agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association led to Winston’s suspension.

The league is aiming to drastically enhance the penalty for non-violent sexual assault, according to Judge Robinson, “without warning of the significant change” in the league’s strategy. The league contends that although the facts have changed, the regulations have not. On page 12, Judge Robinson explains that the league refers to the one-year suspension it recommends as “unusual” because of the player’s behavior.

In essence, the league maintains that the rules have not been altered. The league claims that it is applying established regulations to a set of facts that it has never before seen.

Regarding Winston’s three-game ban, he only had one victim. With four was Watson. The NFL spoke with 12 of the alleged assault victims, but Watson was sued by 24 different parties, and all but one of them reached settlements. Judge Robinson was able to overlook these fundamental truths, but most people will find it difficult to do so.

Others may find it difficult to discern between sexual assault and “non-violent” sexual assault. Sexual violence continues to be sexual violence. If anything, it seems that the league’s prior awkward attempts to be forgiving of some players hampered the league from receiving the Watson verdict it desired from Judge Robinson.

However, if the NFL appeals the decision, the league has obtained from Judge Robinson the factual findings required to allow the Commissioner or his designee to inflict a considerably greater punishment. She came to the same conclusion as before: Watson committed the alleged crime. It would be surprising at this point if the league didn’t appeal the ruling to Goodell and if he didn’t lengthen the punishment.

Frequently Asked Question

Who put Deshaun Watson on leave?
Following allegations of sexual misconduct, the NFL suspended Watson for six games on Monday for breaching its personal conduct code. 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.

Why was Deshaun Watson given a six-game suspension?
Deshaun Watson, the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, was given a six-game suspension on Monday after being accused of sexual misconduct by two dozen women in Texas while receiving massages. An NFL disciplinary official called Watson’s actions “more egregious than any previously reviewed behavior.”

How long will Watson be out of commission?
Deshaun Watson, the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, will be suspended for six games without pay for breaking the league’s personal conduct code in the wake of allegations of sexual assault, according to the decision made by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson on Monday.