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The NFL Can Now Send a Powerful Message After Appealing Deshaun Watson’s Suspension

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When it comes to equitable punishment, everyone knows the NFL’s resume is shoddy.

From performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and gambling to moral violations and domestic violence, the NFL has yet to be deemed fair when it comes to doling out punishments.

But with their appeal of Deshaun Watson’s suspension, they have the opportunity to create real change.

Watson, Cleveland’s newly acquired quarterback, originally faced criminal charges in Texas of indecent assault, attempted sexual assault and sexual assault, but those charges were dismissed.

Then 24 women filed civil charges against Watson. 23 have now been settled.

During that time, the NFL handed the case to former federal judge Sue L. Robinson to sort through.

On Monday she handed down a six-game suspension for Watson with no fine, after which the league had three days to appeal.

The NFL was rumored to be seeking a season-long suspension and a hefty fine of $8 million.

On Wednesday, the NFL issued its appeal of the suspension.

“Under the 2020 NFL-NFLPA collective bargaining agreement (‘CBA’), the factual findings of the Disciplinary Officer are binding and may not be appealed,” said the NFL in a statement. “Judge Robinson found that Mr. Watson violated the NFL’s personal-conduct policy on multiple occasions and suspended him for six games. The CBA affords the NFL or NFLPA the right to appeal the discipline imposed by the Disciplinary Officer. Such an appeal must be filed within three days and would be heard by the Commissioner or his designee.

“The NFL notified the NFLPA that it will appeal Judge Robinson’s disciplinary decision and filed its brief this afternoon. Commissioner Roger Goodell will determine who will hear the appeal.”

Now NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will determine who will hear the appeal, or, per the CBA, he can decide on it himself.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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