HOUSTON (AP) — Attorneys representing 20 women who have accused Deshawn Watson of sexual assault or harassment said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league has appealed Cleveland’s six-game suspension. He said he had a chance to “do the right thing”. Browns quarterback.
“Every sexual assault victim is watching Roger Goodell and the NFL. attorney Tony Busby said Thursday.
The NFL, which is looking to keep Watson off the field in 2022, has appealed the independent disciplinary officer’s decision that fell short of the league’s recommended penalty.
The appeal gives Goodell, or someone Goodell’s name, authority to increase Watson’s penalty.Thursday, Goodell Former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey Hear appeals as his designee. Busby spoke before the league announced.
He later told CBS: It’s never too late to do the right thing. “
NFL seeks at least one year indefinite suspension and hefty fines A person familiar with the application told The Associated Press on Wednesday as it appealed the suspension. He also said he should undergo evaluation and treatment as determined by a medical professional.
Former Federal Judge Sue L. Robinson she ruled on mondayShe concluded that Watson had violated the league’s personal conduct policy after being accused of sexual misconduct by a woman during a massage treatment while playing for Houston.
Watson, who sat out last season and spent four seasons with the Texans before being traded to Cleveland in March, recently settled 23 of the 24 lawsuits filed by the women’s team. Two grand juries in the US have refused to indict Watson on criminal charges filed by 10 women.
Watson has denied any wrongdoing. He has been practicing with the Browns while waiting for the case to be resolved.
Ashley Solis, the first woman to file a lawsuit against Watson, sat next to Busby before he discussed the lawsuit before taking the podium to share her thoughts on the suspension.
Solis took a deep breath, took a few seconds to calm herself, and then spoke about the abuse she had endured since coming forward. Her death threats and the harassment she received online sent her into a deep depression.
“What does the NFL’s actions say to girls who are suffering at the hands of someone they perceive as having power?” she said. “No big deal. They don’t care.”
Due to a collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association, Watson’s disciplinary action had to go before a jointly appointed disciplinary officer. This was Robinson’s first case since the new CBA was signed in 2020.
Busby reached out to a number of other women following the news of her suspension and shared some of their reactions on Thursday.
“I’m sick and heartbroken,” one of the women told him.
Busby criticizes Handling NFL investigations And he said he questioned why one of the first questions asked of 10 clients interviewed by the NFL was, “What were you wearing?”
“We didn’t expect much from the NFL investigation. We didn’t expect much from their flawed process,” Busby said. But the slap still hurts, it’s a stabbing pain.”
A person familiar with the filing told the Associated Press that the league attempted to interview all of the women, but Busby did not return messages from NFL investigators.
The league’s investigation, a 215-page report, was conducted by two former prosecutors with decades of experience investigating sexual assault cases. We interviewed 49 people, including third-party witnesses, including those identified by Human Rights Watch, Watson, and Watson’s attorneys. Investigators also reviewed documentary evidence, including documents provided by Watson’s attorneys in the civil suit.
In her decision, Robinson said:
Solis said he doesn’t regret speaking out. She said she had been helped by letters and emails from strangers expressing support for her, and she wanted to make sure young women knew they had a voice. She said she plans to continue the story.
“If someone has ever tried to overwhelm you by abusing their position, remind them that they chose the wrong person to try it.” That’s exactly who I am – the wrong person And I will continue to show my face and speak out as much as I can.”
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Murdy contributed to this article.
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