Both extremes, in terms of reactions, to Deshaun Watson’s suspension were seen Monday following news of his six-game ban.
Watson will be sidelined until Week 7 based on his connection to 24 civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct at the QB.
On the one hand, Browns training camp was buzzing with cheers as Watson took the field to participate in drills on Monday. The QB rode the enthusiasm as he pointed to the crowds and posed for the cameras.
Throughout training camps, Watson has been tacitly building his rapport with the fans: showing up to sign autographs, engaging with the younger fanatics in attendance and handing out personal items to autograph.
Watson has appeared seemingly unbothered by the outside noise while he’s on the field. However, some fans and observers have spoken out to reprimand the QB for his alleged sexual misconduct, and for the light punishment assigned by.
One organization vehemently voicing its opposition to Watson amid his off-the-field allegations is the National Organization of Women (NOW).
The group released a statement on Monday in response to the “expected” lax punishment.
“It is unacceptable, insulting, and dangerous — but not surprising — that Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will face a measly six-game suspension — with no fines — following an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct made by more than two dozen women,” NOW announced.
“The NFL and the multi-billion-dollar sports industry have a vested interest in enabling sexual misconduct, assault, and violence. They even wrote it into Deshaun Watson’s $230 million contract!” the group stated.
“The Browns knew that their star recruit would be suspended for at least part of this year’s season because of his record of sex offenses,” the statement added, “and so they restructured his contract to make the majority of his $46 million first-year payout a ‘signing bonus,’ not tied to him playing actual games.
“Deshaun Watson must not be allowed to profit from his horrific behavior, and the NFL must change its business model that allows, enables, and hides sexual misconduct into one that respects women and holds abusers accountable. Shame on the Cleveland Browns for rewarding Deshaun Watson and shame on the NFL for perpetuating a system where money talks, and women aren’t heard.”
Ashley Solis, one of the massage therapists accusing Watson of unwanted sexual advancements, previously condemned the Cleveland Browns for signing Watson to a five-year, $230.5 million contract while he was still under investigation for the 24 cases of misconduct. The team also fully guaranteed the deal to establish their backing of Watson amid his legal troubles.
The NFL now has three days since the decision to appeal the ruling for a potentially longer suspension. Past statements by the NFLPA claim that the League hopes to leave the suspension as is.
Deshaun Watson Continues To Show Zero Remorse
The judge has memorialized that Deshaun Watson is not, and was not at any point during the investigation, remorseful.
Reaction To Deshaun Watson’s 6-Game Suspension
The ruling handed down in Deshaun Watson’s suspension doesn’t seem to have much actual merit behind it.
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela
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