What Happened to Deshaun Watson?

On August 18, 2022, the NFL and NFLPA (National Football League Players Association) announced that they had decided to suspend the Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson for 11 games.

In a statement, the league confirmed that the player would not receive any pay during the suspension period. But how did the former Texan get here heading into his maiden season with the Browns?

The Allegations

The accusations against the NFL star date back to early 2021, when he was accused by Ashley Solis of inappropriate behaviour during a massage session. This was only the beginning of Watson's troubles as several other 24 female massage therapists followed suit. Although two Texan juries declined to charge him with a criminal offense, the women launched civil lawsuits against the Browns QB, accusing him of sexual misconduct, assault, and harassment. One lawsuit was dropped, with Watson settling 23 others.

The Probe

Following the charges, the NFL conducted its own investigation and tabled the report before Judge Sue L. Robinson, appointed jointly by the league and NFLPA. After hearing the case, the judge determined that Watson had indeed violated the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy, describing him as ''egregious" and "predatory. Consequently, she slapped the player with a six-game ban.

The Appeal

After judge Robinson's ruling, the NFL decided to appeal the decision, although the NFLPA opted not to. In its appeal, the league sought an indefinite suspension that would last at least one year. The agreement to send the quarterback on an 11-game ban was then reached before a ruling was made on the appeal. On top of that, Watson was fined $5 million in a settlement with the league and taken through mental health counseling. While Watson settled 23 of 24 lawsuits against him, he still maintained his innocence.

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Author: Dan Anderson.