‘We’ve seen the evidence’: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell slams Deshaun Watson’s alleged sexual misconduct as ‘egregious’ and ‘predatory’, as the league seek a tougher penalty than his initial six-game suspension
- Deshaun Watson was given a six-game ban by an independent arbiter last week
- But the ruling against the Cleveland Browns quarterback was labeled ‘a joke’
- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wants it to be increased significantly
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has called for a minimum one-year suspension to be handed to Deshaun Watson for alleged sexual misconduct that he termed as ‘egregious’ and ‘predatory behavior’.
Last week, the NFL appealed against the six-game ban that was handed down to the Cleveland Browns quarterback by an independent arbiter, Sue L. Robinson.
The NFL exercised its collectively bargained right to file an appeal last Wednesday in the wake of the suspension by Robinson, a disciplinary officer appointed by the league and players’ union.
Speaking Tuesday on why he wants Watson banned for a year, Goodell said: ‘We’ve seen the evidence, she was very clear about the evidence, she reinforced the evidence.
‘There were multiple violations that were egregious and it was predatory behavior.’
The six-game ban ruling was labeled as a ‘joke’ across social media by critics who felt a six-game suspension was insufficient given the allegations against Watson.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has called for a minimum one-year suspension to be handed to Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns
The 26-year-old is accused of sexually assaulting and harassing dozens of female massage therapists in the Houston area dating back to his time with the Houston Texans
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said he wants Watson to be banned for at least a year
The 26-year-old quarterback is accused of sexually assaulting and harassing dozens of female massage therapists in the Houston area between 2019 and 2021, when he was a member of the Houston Texans.
Under Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement, commissioner Roger Goodell could have heard the appeal himself or appointed another arbiter – and that ruling by Goodell or his designee would be final and binding to all parties.
However, Goodell will not personally hear the appeal and instead appointed former New Jersey attorney general, Peter C. Harvey on Thursday.
Harvey has the information at his disposal to write his ruling on the appeal.
The suspension announced last Monday was revealed after Watson reached settlements with three more accusers, leaving him facing just one last lawsuit after being sued by 25 women, one of whom dropped her case. Specific dollar figures for the 23 settlements have not been revealed.
Watson has settled out if court with a number of the women who have accused him
The six-game ban that was handed to Watson was mocked across social media and beyond
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 four remaining civil cases with Deshaun Watson,’ Buzbee said in a statement provided to DailyMail.com. ‘We will continue to discuss the remaining case with Watson’s legal team, as appropriate.’
Buzbee did not identify the women who have 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 another, while 18 women say he touched them with his penis during massages, according to court files reviewed by DailyMail.com.
Even though he has settled out of court, Watson has denied any wrongdoing.
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