It seems that if the NFL can’t get a season-long suspension for Deshaun Watson, they might be open to a ban that at least keeps him off the field for the Cleveland Browns Week 12 game against the Houston Texans.
Despite their best efforts during July hearings in front of Judge Sue L. Robinson, the NFL was not able to get the year-long ban they reportedly hoped for in a Deshaun Watson suspension ruling. In the end, the former US district judge handed down a six-game suspension because Watson’s alleged sexual misconduct against 30 massage therapists did not surpass the offenses of former judgments of other NFL players involved in domestic violence or sexual misconduct.
The precedent of previous judgments set a standard of six-game suspensions and that is what Robison decided to levy on Watson. However, the sports world found out on Wednesday that the ruling did not sit with the league and they officially appealed the outcome of the hearings.
NFL deadset on Deshaun Watson not competing in Week 12 game against Houston Texans
Reports since have suggested that the NFL is once again looking for a season-long ban. And they have a good chance to secure that since they have the power to designate who oversees the hearings. On Thursday, the league chose former New Jersey attorney general Peter Harvey for the job.
If Harvey is unwilling to impose a season-long suspension on Watson, the NFL reportedly might be open to an alternative option. During a recent appearance on ESPN morning show “Get Up,” NFL insider Adam Schefter revealed that the NFL and NFLPA had recently attempted to reach a settlement on a suspension and that the league was looking for a 12-game ban so that Watson did not compete in the Browns Week 12 matchup against his former team, the Houston Texans.
If Watson were only to endure a six-game ban, fans, media, and activists would surely circle the Dec. 4 date against Houston on their calendar. The league, rightly so, understands that the matchup would become a spectacle for the wrong reasons. And in a world where NBA playoff games have been interrupted by protests, there is sure to be a large and vocal contingent of abuse activists at the Browns vs Texans game if Watson played.