Here’s the only, pleasant silver lining amidst the news that Deshan Watson will be suspended just six games for dozens of instances of sexual assault and misconduct: a decision penned by former federal judge Sue L. Robinson leaves no doubt that Watson. His behavior was reprehensible, enough that the currently sycophantic fan base in Cleveland can’t deny the creep emanating from his quarterback (“more predominant than before the review by the NFL,” Robinson wrote). He is not allowed to massage outside the team facility in the interest of everyone’s safety. Jimmy and de Haslam weren’t exactly the face-to-face players of the family, speculated in their statement on Monday, which prompted an apology from those who were “triggered” by the ordeal.
More important, Robinson, who serves as a disciplinary officer appointed by the NFL and the NFLPA, also found the league’s behavior in prior instances of domestic violence, sexual assault, assault, and misconduct inconsistent or at least in comparison. Said yellow. It’s like appearing — and that the ball is in the league’s court, before expecting a judge to do his dirty work to fix its infrastructure.
The NFL leaked ahead of Monday’s ruling that it wants a one-year suspension and an indefinite amount of time if any new information could emerge. The league may have acted so wisely that its dealings with past players made it impossible to suspend Watson for a long period of time. Robinson noted that the NFL tripped on its own during the Ray Rice saga to reach the six-game limit.
When Commissioner Goodell followed such precedent, despite the violence of Rice’s conduct, a public outcry ensued. The NFL responded by modifying its policy to include a presumptive 6-game suspension without pay for certain first-time violent offenders, including policy violations: (1) criminal assault or battery (crimes); (2) domestic violence, dating violence, child abuse and other forms of family violence; or (3) sexual assault involving physical force or has been committed against someone unable to give consent. By amending its policy, the NFL has given proper notice to its players and the public about the potential consequences of certain violent conduct.
In short, Robinson is calling on the NFL to wake up and improve both its understanding and policies surrounding sexual harassment, assault, and misconduct. Next Watson, if such a case comes up, could be punished in the same way the NFL wanted Watson to be punished. The way most of us would have liked Watson to be punished.
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This shouldn’t be surprising, of course. In August 2021, former colleague Jenny Verentas told us it was going to happen. The NFL’s independent investigative arm was working on its Watson case, buoyed by the thoroughly dated idea of sexual assault. As one of the accusers told him: “How do you define violence? Because I felt like I was psychologically attacked when I was trapped in that room with him. I know I am not the only one who has felt this way, and I am not the only one who continues to feel this way. Their investigators were not informed of the latest developments in how to interview subjects of sexual trauma, and the questions were framed as, experts believe, “guilt, some feelings of shame.” can increase” [and] Confused.” He asked Watson’s victims what they were wearing, for goodness sake. The basic tenets of the information Robinson was given may have been flawed.
This tool belt Robinson was working on when he wrote his verdict. While in the will of some precision pliers and a Phillips screwdriver, Robinson was given a blunt hammer from the NFL, bent and tangled by years of abuse. The sentence is reflected in his 15-page judgment as much.
Robinson wrote, “Although I have found that Mr. Watson has violated policy, I have used the NFL’s post-hoc definitions of prohibited conduct.” “Defining prohibited conduct plays an important role in the rule of law, allowing people to predict the consequences of their behavior.”
We’ve wanted for years that the NFL really dives into the social issues that have been munching at the heart of its product (a racial count, you say? Let’s say corporate partner Jay-Z) instead of adding gentle layers of bureaucracy in the process. Rent it!). They have a unique desire to appear actionable rather than actually being functional. becoming Actionable that Brown gambled on when Watson was signed in the first place. In that war room of callous Ivy League operators, the Browns were able to concoct everything from that emotionless press conference where he pledged unwavering allegiance to Watson, to Monday’s Kevin Stefansky meeting with the media, where He admits, without any specifics, he “spoke to the women” about it. Their approach, which has all the warmth of your insurance company birthday card, is a reflection of how serious they feel as a society, and the NFL, by extension, is really taking on these problems. Beneath all this is the ultimate assurance that all of us, whether fans, NFL employees, business partners, fantasy players or opportunistic media members, will look the other way after enough time has passed until we are all getting what we want. want. Of the deal
Goodell is surrounded by lawyers the way a good old oak is harassed by lantern flies at this time of year, so hopefully someone will hold their ear and explain that this decision was like a finger in the NFL because it was quarterback . If Goodell wants the kind of judicial system that treats sexual harassment with a reasonable degree of seriousness, then he and his team, the bosses for whom he works and the coaches on said owners’ payrolls, can actually treat sexual harassment with a reasonable measure of seriousness. should attack. This was all done to illustrate a high-profile embarrassment of the hiring and suspension of a former federal judge.
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