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NFL file appeal against Deshaun Watson’s six-game ban over dozens of sexual misconduct allegations

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The NFL has filed an appeal over Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension. 

Watson was given the ban Monday by an independent arbiter over dozens of sexual misconduct allegations dating back to his time with the Houston Texans.

The ruling was labeled as a ‘joke’ across social media by critics who felt a six-game suspension was insufficient given the allegations against Watson and the NFL is now expected to extend the punishment. 

The league is appealing for an indefinite suspension that may be a minimum of a 12 months and the appeal could also include a monetary wonderful, based on ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. 

A league spokesperson didn’t immediately reply to DailyMail.com’s request for confirmation.

The 26-year-old quarterback is accused of sexually assaulting and harassing dozens of female massage therapists within the Houston area between 2019 and 2021, when he was a member of the Texans. 

The NFL has now exercised its collectively bargained right to file an appeal within the wake of the suspension by jointly appointed NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson.

This can be a recent disciplinary process for the 2022 season and has not be put in place before. 

Under Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement, commissioner Roger Goodell can hear the appeal himself or appoint a third-party arbiter and the ruling by Goodell or his designee shall be final and binding to all parties.

The NFL has filed an appeal Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s six-game ban

Watson was given the ban Monday by an independent arbiter over dozens of sexual misconduct allegations dating back to his time with the Houston Texans

Watson was given the ban Monday by an independent arbiter over dozens of sexual misconduct allegations dating back to his time with the Houston Texans

Robinson wrote in her report that the league had beneficial Watson be banned for the complete 2022 regular season and postseason. 

Nevertheless, Robinson sought to distinguish between violent and non-violent sexual conduct. 

Counting on precedent, she concluded that Watson’s conduct ‘doesn’t fall into the category of violent conduct that may require the minimum six-game suspension’ which the league had established as ‘by far essentially the most commonly-imposed discipline for domestic or gendered violence and sexual acts.’

In her ruling (pictured), Robinson wrote that Watson should limit his massages to club-directed sessions with club-approved massage therapists for the 'duration of his career'

In her ruling (pictured), Robinson wrote that Watson should limit his massages to club-directed sessions with club-approved massage therapists for the ‘duration of his profession’

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell can hear the appeal himself or appoint a third-party arbiter

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell can hear the appeal himself or appoint a third-party arbiter

The NFL and the players’ union each had three days to appeal the choice and league has now done so. 

Although the players’ association could also appeal the six-game suspension, it issued a press release Sunday night saying it could ‘stand by Robinson’s decision’ and never appeal, whatever the result, and called on the league to comply with the identical. 

The players’ association now has two days to answer the appeal and following the NFL’s decision to appeal it reportedly looks increasingly likely that the ultimate decision can have to be made in federal court because the NFLPA is preparing to sue the league, based on ESPN.

Watson was reportedly seen speaking with the Browns’ PR on his way off the practice field on Wednesday, immediately after the NFL’s decision to appeal was announced. 

Monday’s suspension was revealed after Watson reached settlements with three more accusers, leaving him facing only one last lawsuit after being sued by 25 women, considered one of whom dropped her case.  Specific dollar figures for the 23 settlements haven’t been revealed. 

The NFL was pushing for an indefinite suspension and a wonderful of a minimum of $5 million, based on The Associated Press. 

By sitting out six weeks, Watson will lose around $345,000 in game checks. He signed a backloaded $230million contract extension after being dealt to Cleveland in March. 

Because it seems, that deal effectively saves him $15.8million under a six-game suspension by minimizing his payments in 2022. Watson would have lost greater than $16.2million in game checks had he been compensated evenly over the five-year deal. 

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson signs autographs after Friday's practice

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson signs autographs after Friday’s practice 

The settlements were announced by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, who has represented all 25 plaintiffs, including the  woman who dropped her lawsuit against Watson. 

‘After lengthy and intense negotiations, I can confirm that, late last night, our team resolved three of the 4 remaining civil cases with Deshaun Watson,’ Buzbee said in a press release provided to DailyMail.com. ‘We’ll proceed to debate the remaining case with Watson’s legal team, as appropriate.’

Buzbee didn’t discover the ladies who’ve settled with Watson.

Watson has specifically been accused of forcing two women to perform oral sex on him, ejaculating on three women, and forcibly kissing one other, while 18 women say he touched them together with his penis during massages, based on court files reviewed by DailyMail.com. 

The plaintiffs' attorney Tony Buzbee Watson's attorney Rusty Hardin

The plaintiffs’ attorney Tony Buzbee (left) and Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin (right) 

Although he has now settled 23 of the 24 lawsuits, Watson has denied any wrongdoing, and two Texas grand juries have declined to proceed with charges against him.

In her ruling, Robinson wrote that Watson should limit his massages to club-directed sessions with club-approved massage therapists for the ‘duration of his profession.’ She also beneficial further penalties if he finds himself in any subsequent legal trouble. 

Robinson described Watson’s behavior as ‘egregious.’  

Fans have been extremely critical of Robinson’s decision, which they felt was unfairly light given previous suspensions given to NFL players. Tom Brady, as an illustration, got 4 games over his role within the infamous deflategate scandal – a cheating accusation that the league struggled to prove in 2015. 

Many were quick to indicate on social media that former Atlanta Falcons running back Calvin Ridley got a full-season suspension for putting a bet on his own team. The 2022 ban will cost him his base salary of $11.1 million.

Many were quick to point out on social media that former Atlanta Falcons running back Calvin Ridley got a full-season suspension for placing a bet on his own team. The 2022 ban will cost him his base salary of $11.1 million

Many were quick to indicate on social media that former Atlanta Falcons running back Calvin Ridley got a full-season suspension for putting a bet on his own team. The 2022 ban will cost him his base salary of $11.1 million

Others, such as New York Times baseball editor Benjamin Hoffman, pointed to Josh Gordon's repeated suspensions for drinking and recreational drug use

Others, corresponding to Latest York Times baseball editor Benjamin Hoffman, pointed to Josh Gordon’s repeated suspensions for drinking and recreational drug use  

Previously, in July, the Texans reached confidential settlements with 30 women who made allegations against Watson, including accusers who didn’t file lawsuits against him. 

The NFL club was accused of enabling Watson by allegedly ignoring his behavior and securing him a membership at a neighborhood hotel and club, where he allegedly sexually harassed and assaulted female massage therapists.

One in all his accusers, Toi Garner, filed a lawsuit against the Texans in June, which Buzbee said on the time could be the primary of many. Nevertheless, before those suits might be filed, the team reached a cope with the 24 plaintiffs and 6 other unidentified women who’ve stated intentions to make claims against the Texans organization. 

‘We were shocked and deeply saddened once we first learned of the allegations against our then franchise quarterback in March 2021,’ read a press release from the McNair family, which owns the team.

Fans slammed Deshaun Watson's 'joke' six-game suspension over dozens of sexual misconduct allegations

Fans slammed Deshaun Watson’s ‘joke’ six-game suspension over dozens of sexual misconduct allegations

‘Although our organization didn’t have any knowledge of Deshaun Watson’s alleged misconduct, we now have intentionally chosen to resolve this matter amicably. This just isn’t an admission of any wrongdoing, but as a substitute a transparent stand against any type of sexual assault and misconduct.’

In a July statement, Buzbee said Garner’s lawsuit could be dismissed with prejudice ‘as soon as the suitable settlement paperwork is complete.’

‘I can have no further comment on the allegations or the Texans’ alleged role, aside from to say that there’s a marked contrast in the best way during which the Texans addressed these allegations and the best way during which Watson’s team has done so,’ Buzbee said within the statement.

Some of Watson's accusers are pictured in a Texas courtroom, where the first of two grand juries declined to press charges related to the sexual misconduct lawsuits against the NFL star

A few of Watson’s accusers are pictured in a Texas courtroom, where the primary of two grand juries declined to press charges related to the sexual misconduct lawsuits against the NFL star 

Several of the massage therapists allegedly met Watson at a local hotel and private club, the Houstonian, where the Texans had reportedly secured him a membership

Several of the massage therapists allegedly met Watson at a neighborhood hotel and personal club, the Houstonian, where the Texans had reportedly secured him a membership 

The Latest York Times reported in June that Watson booked appointments with not less than 66 different women over 17 months while he played for the Texans. Previously Watson attorney Rusty Hardin estimated he had appointments with about 40 female massage therapists over his five seasons with the Texans.

Not every woman has accused Watson of sexual misconduct, and 15 have issued statements of support for him at his attorney’s request.

Following the publication of the Times piece, the Texans were added as a defendant within the sexual misconduct lawsuits for allegedly facilitating the massages. The NFL club was accused of securing Watson a membership at a neighborhood hotel and personal club, the Houstonian, where among the massages were alleged to have taken place.

One woman, who massaged Watson on the hotel but just isn’t identified within the article, told the Times that she was told the room they used was ‘registered to a member of the Texans’ training staff.’

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