NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell defends appeal of Deshaun Watson suspension
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he feels the league needed to keep pushing for a year-long suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson because of his “egregious” and “predatory behavior” toward women.
Speaking at the owners’ meetings Tuesday in Bloomington, Minnesota, Goodell addressed the league’s decision to appeal a six-game suspension given to Watson by Sue L. Robinson, a former federal judge appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association as an independent league disciplinary officer.
Robinson found Watson violated the league’s conduct policy after he was accused by two dozen women of sexual assault or harassment while he played for Houston. Watson has settled 23 of the 24 lawsuits filed by the women, though he has denied any wrongdoing.
The league has been seeking an indefinite suspension and fine for Watson, and felt Robinson’s six-game ban wasn’t enough. Goodell cited the collective bargaining agreement for empowering the league to seek further discipline.