The optimism surrounding the Cleveland Browns and their acquisition of star quarterback Deshaun Watson seems to be eroding into some sort of low-key impending doom.
The NFL says it is nearing a decision on whether it will suspend Watson and for how long, and Browns fans are fearing the worst.
Watson has been accused of misconduct during massage therapy sessions by 22 women, and although he isn’t facing any criminal charges, he is facing many civil lawsuits.
In the past, when players were charged with some type of misconduct, the NFL responded with, at most, a light suspension.
But the climate has changed across America with movements such as #metoo, and there is less quarter being given to men who commit any acts of misconduct against women.
Michael Smith, the co-host of the podcast “Brother From Another,” thinks commissioner Roger Goodell is about to hand down a harsh punishment for Watson.
Details Of Watson’s Misconduct Are Being Revealed
As with any legal case, the public should be patient and not rush to judge either the alleged perpetrator or his accusers.
However, as more details start to get revealed by Watson’s accusers, the worse things are looking for him.
During a recent episode of HBO’s “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel,” two of the accusers gave details of what happened during the therapy sessions in question.
Watson declined to be interviewed for the show, but his attorney, Rusty Hardin, did issue a statement in advance of the broadcast of “Real Sports.”
Rusty Hardin @RustyHardinJr Deshaun Watson's attorney releases video statement in advance of HBO Real Sports segment pic.twitter.com/cMUjuq4FaI
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) May 25, 2022
One faction of Browns fans is defending him and almost dismissing the accusations being made of him, while another faction is ruing the fact that the team went out and traded for him despite the allegations.
Needless to say, a potential Watson suspension would have a hugely detrimental impact on a Browns team that feels like it is just starting to build a winner.
In addition to Watson, it went out and acquired Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper, while re-signing defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to a new contract.
The NFL May Act Partly Out Of PR Concerns
Smith commented that the league may give Watson some harsh discipline not just because of what he has been accused of doing, but also to salvage its public image.
Critics of the league love to paint its players as womanizing misogynists, hardened criminals and me-first, self-entitled whiners.
Of course, that’s a gross exaggeration of NFL players as a whole, especially when one considers the fact that many of them are very family-oriented and extremely religious, in addition to the fact that many do wonderful philanthropy and community work to help the less fortunate.
But the league has had image issues over the years due to a few of its stars, such as Ben Roethlisberger and Adrian Peterson, committing unsavory acts off the field.
Major League Baseball just gave star pitcher Trevor Bauer a 324-game suspension after he was accused of assault, and some believe that has set a new precedent for how sports leagues will handle players who are facing such charges.
NFL source on Trevor Bauer: "Look at what baseball did. If people don’t think that's on people's radar, then. Public opinion matters. You think the NFL wants to be the organization that says sexual misconduct against women means more to one league than the other? Think about it."
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) May 18, 2022
For now, Browns fans are seemingly holding their breath while hoping for something less than the worst.
The accusers haven’t presented details because they are lies. It’s easy to see that they are acting. Even with pr facts still matter. He may not get suspended at all.
Joseph Lackovic says
Typical NFL bs will happen. If your a star you will get a smack on wrist. If your a regular player you’ll never play in the league again. Nothing new will happen here
Yeah. Thats called life. Learn to play the game.
Watson should not be in the NFL at all a disgusting human come on 60 some therapists wise up people
Ezekiel Elliott was suspended 6 games for a incident his sophmore year in college that was never legally pursued. Goodell has to give no less then 3 years suspension. The Texans did the right thing benching him, he will be made to pay back his last years salary to the texans and sit out next 2 years…. at least, imo.