The NFL considers the “blatant predatory behavior” of Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson to merit a one-season suspension.
• Read also: Deshaun Watson suspended: NFL to appeal
• Read also: NFL: A six-game suspension for Deshaun Watson
At least that is the opinion of Commissioner Roger Goodell. The Circuit recently appealed Judge Sue L. Robinson’s ruling, which recommended a six-game suspension. His investigation had brought to light the athlete’s inappropriate sexual behavior.
Former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey will deliver the final verdict after hearing everyone’s arguments.
“We’ve seen the evidence,” Goodell said Tuesday, according to the NFL Network. [La juge Sue L. Robinson] was very clear about the evidence. There were multiple violations; they were blatant and it was predatory behavior. These are things that we have always felt were important for us to address in a responsible manner.”
When asked why he appealed the initial decision, Goodell simply indicated that it was a league right.
“As you know, this right is part of the collective agreement, he argued. Either party can certainly challenge and appeal. So we decided it was the right thing to do.”
Watson has been accused by numerous women of performing inappropriate sexual acts during massage sessions. While he avoided criminal charges, he was the target of 24 civil lawsuits, 23 of which were settled out of court.
Watson was acquired this year by the Browns from the Houston Texans. He has since agreed to a five-year, $230 million contract extension. In four NFL seasons — all with Houston — he completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 14,539 yards, 104 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. He was invited three times to the Pro Bowl.