(NEW YORK) — The NFL on Wednesday announced it has appealed the six-game suspension Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was served earlier this week for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
In a statement, the league said the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) affords either party the “right to appeal the discipline imposed by the Disciplinary Officer. Such an appeal must be filed within three days and would be heard by the Commissioner or his designee.”
“The NFL notified the NFLPA that it will appeal Judge [Sue L. ] Robinson’s disciplinary decision and filed its brief this afternoon,” the league said in its statement Wednesday. “Commissioner Roger Goodell will determine who will hear the appeal.”
Judge Sue L. Robinson, the disciplinary officer appointed by the NFL and NFLPA, issued Watson’s six-game suspension on Monday.
In her 16-page report, Robinson wrote that the NFL “carried its burden to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Mr. Watson engaged in sexual assault (as defined by the NFL) against the four therapists identified in the Report. Mr. Watson violated the Policy in this regard.”
She also wrote that Watson violated the league’s personal conduct policy by engaging in “conduct that poses a genuine danger to the safety and well-being of another person” and “conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity of the NFL.”
Multiple women have filed lawsuits against Watson, accusing the 26-year-old quarterback of sexual assault and other inappropriate conduct.
ESPN reports, citing a source, that the NFL is seeking to suspend Watson for at least a year, along with hitting him with a fine and requiring that he undergo treatment.
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