Roger Goodell says NFL’s evidence calls for full-season Deshaun Watson ban, calls QB’s behavior ‘predatory’

USATSI

An investigation by former US District Judge Sue L. Robinson resulted in a recommended six-game ban for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was accused by 24 women of sexual assault and misconduct. The NFL is appealing and looks to impose a harsher penalty on Watson. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell explained the league’s stance on Pursuing a longer suspension, saying Watson’s actions were “egregious” and “predatory behavior.”

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Goodell says the behavior warrants a full-season ban for the 26-year-old.

“We’ve seen the evidence. [Disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson] was very clear about the evidence, should we enforce the evidence. That there was multiple violations here, and they were egregious, and it was predatory behavior,” he said Tuesday following a special league meeting in Minneapolis, via NFL.com. “Those are things that we always felt were important for us to address in a way that’s responsible.”

The commissioner explained that both sides have the right to appeal the suspension as part of the CBA. “So we decided it was the right thing to do,” Goodell said.

When recommending the six-game appeal, Robinson wrote that Watson engaged in “sexual assault; conduct that poses a genuine danger to the safety and well-being of another person; and conduct that undermines or puts at risk the Integrity of the NFL.”

In giving Reasoning for keeping the suspension at six games, she said, she was bound “by standards of fairness and consistency of treatment among players similarly situated.”

In the report she wrote that the NFL was seeking a suspension for the entire regular season and postseason.

The appeal hearing will be overseen by New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey. Goodell could have heard the appeal himself, but the league designated Harvey instead.

As for when a decision will come, Goodell said he does not have a timeline from Harvey.


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