The NFL is getting closer and closer to issuing a decision on whether Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will face any type of discipline for allegedly committing dozens of acts of sexual misconduct.
He has faced 24 lawsuits to date in civil court, and he recently settled 20 of those cases, yet the league has said it won’t affect their investigation.
Statement from NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, on Deshaun Watson settling 20 of the 24 civil lawsuits: "Today’s development has no impact on the collectively bargained disciplinary process.” #Browns
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) June 21, 2022
The NFL is currently conducting hearings on the Watson case, and it has been rumored that it is seeking a one-year suspension for the three-time Pro Bowler.
The hearings have lasted for two days so far, and the third day will take place on Thursday.
There may not be any end in sight for these hearings, nor is there any clear indication on when the league will issue a formal ruling on the matter.
The Deshaun Watson disciplinary hearing that began today is expected to last for multiple days. It's not known yet when Sue L. Robinson, the NFL/NFLPA disciplinary officer, will issue a ruling.
— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) June 28, 2022
Across social media, fans voiced their opinions and feelings on the ongoing Watson hearing.
The Cleveland Browns said they wanted an adult in the room and that’s why they made a QB change. Baker Mayfield hosted a charity event the same day Deshaun Watson was having his legal hearing. If that doesn’t sum of the Cleveland Browns organization I don’t know what does…
— Will Donaldson (@Will_Donaldson2) June 30, 2022
When is the NFL going to admit that 24 lying goldiggers and one of the biggest shyster lawyer in the country are trying to ruin a possible Hall of Famers career? The NFL must end this hearing today and let Deshaun Watson resume his All Pro career.
— michael kellam (@8ironmike) June 29, 2022
“Deshaun Watson’s disciplinary hearing will resume today.”
— Mike (@big_mike9169) June 29, 2022
IM SO SICK OF HEARING ABOUT BAKER MAYFIELD AND DESHAUN WATSON THAT DOES NOT PERTAIN TO THEM PHYSICALLY PLAYING FOOTBALL
that is all
— Meg ☘️ (@meg_ohgee) June 30, 2022
This Deshaun Watson hearing is insane. He’s getting star treatment. Anyone else would have just been permanently banned from the league and been done with. The fact that his hearing is going into day 3 is nonsense. #Deshaun #Watson #Browns #NFL
— Trevor Airdrie (@MnATrevor) June 29, 2022
Watson May Get The Book Thrown At Him For Multiple Reasons
According to a New York Times investigative piece by Jenny Vrentas, Watson hired at least 66 massage therapists during that span.
A couple of the accusers admitted details of what happened to them during a recent episode of “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel.”
What Watson has been accused of is inappropriate enough and certainly deserving of some type of discipline, assuming he did do exactly what he has been accused of.
But there is another factor at play that may result in the NFL handing down a heavy punishment.
Over the years, the league has had an image problem when it comes to players engaging in unsavory or even illegal acts off the field
Fans will remember future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger being accused of sexual assault about a decade ago and receiving a suspension of six games.
In addition, recent sagas surrounding Dan Snyder, Brian Flores and Jon Gruden have brought to light what some would call a misogynistic and even racist culture across the league.
Some feel commissioner Roger Goodell has been too light on such people, and there is a sentiment that he may come down hard on Watson partly to try to improve his league’s image.
The Browns Will Have Their Work Cut Out For Them
If and when Watson is suspended, Cleveland will likely find itself in a bind trying to find a way to receive adequate play from the QB position.
As of now, Jacoby Brissett, a six-year veteran who has started 37 of his 60 career games, is slated to take over for Watson as the team’s QB1.
There are whispers that the Browns may try to make a run at Jimmy Garoppolo, who, unlike Brissett, has been a consistent starting QB for years and led the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance just a couple of years ago.
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) June 28, 2022