NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will not preside over the league’s appeal in the suspension process for Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, according to reports. He will hand over the duties to someone who is not in the league office.
Judge Sue L. Robinson, the independent disciplinary officer jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA handed down a six-game suspension for Watson earlier this week for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The league is seeking an indefinite suspension that would last a minimum of one year, a source told The Athletic.
Watson was accused of sexual assault and misconduct by numerous massage therapists while he was with the Texans. Watson hasn’t been charged criminally but has civil settlements with 23 of his 24 accusers.
Goodell has the right within the collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union to oversee any appeals process and make the final decision on a punishment for a player. But this also isn’t the first time that Goodell has stepped aside from the appeals process. For example, Goodell appointed former commissioner Paul Tagliabue to hear the players’ appeals involving the Saints bounty scandal hearings in 2012.
Robinson’s proposed discipline came after more than a month of deliberation following a three-day hearing from June 28-30.
This is a developing story. More to come.
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