The National Football League suspended Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson on Monday for six games due to violations of the league’s conduct policy amid sexual misconduct accusations.
Watson signed a 5-year, $230 million guaranteed contract with the Browns in March this year despite allegations of sexual misconduct during massage appointments involving more than 20 women.
Two dozen women in Texas accused Watson of committing sexual harassment and assault during massage therapy appointments in 2021 and 2021 but have recently settled 23 of 24 lawsuits, with the recent three ending in confidential settlements.
Sue L. Robinson, a retired federal judge, presided over the disciplinary hearing and issued the decision.
Before Watson’s suspension, the National Football League Players Association issued a joint statement with Watson on Sunday and said they will “stand by her ruling” and called on the NFL to “do the same.”
Watson would be eligible to play on October 23, 2022, but can continue to practice and play in exhibition games before his suspension begins the first week of the regular season.
Watson will lose only $345,000 if the suspension is unchanged.
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