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Deshaun Watson, NFLPA Release Statement Ahead Of Arbitration Ruling

NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson will reportedly make her decision in the Deshaun Watson proceeding, and the Cleveland Browns quarterback and the NFL Players Association released a statement ahead of Monday’s decision.

Judge Robinson will rule on whether or not Watson violated the league’s personal conduct policy.

Watson has been accused of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct during massage sessions in civil lawsuits filed by 25 women. One of the 25 lawsuits was dropped following a judge’s ruling in April 2021. In June, Watson settled 20 of the 24 lawsuits he was facing; the other four remain active and are on track to go to trial next year.

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“In advance of Judge Robinson’s decision, we wanted to reiterate the facts of this proceeding,” the NFLPA’s and Watson’s joint statement read Sunday. “First, we have fully cooperated with every NFL inquiry and provided the NFL with the most comprehensive set of information for any personal conduct policy investigation.

“A former Federal Judge — appointed jointly by the NFLPA and NFL — held a full and fair hearing, has read thousands of pages of investigative documents and reviewed arguments from both sides impartially. Every player, owner, business partner and stakeholder deserves to know that our process is legitimate and will not be tarnished based on the whims of the League office. This is why, regardless of her decision, Deshaun and the NFLPA will stand by her ruling, and we call on the NFL to do the same.”

According to reports, a suspension of four-to-eight games is expected for Watson.

This statement appears to contradict the powers given to the NFL commissioner in the current collective bargaining agreement. Roger Goodell has the power to appeal the ruling of the NFL disciplinary officer, as the commissioner has final say on personal conduct policy rulings.

It appears from the statement that Watson and the NFLPA hope Goodell does not exert those powers.

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