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WAMC Sports Report: Deshaun Watson suspended six games for sexual misconduct

Deshaun Watson
Jeffrey Beall, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Deshaun Watson

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was suspended for six games after being accused by two dozen women in Texas of sexual misconduct during massage treatments, in what a disciplinary officer said was behavior “more egregious than any before reviewed by the NFL.”

The punishment handed out by the game’s disciplinary officer, former federal judge Sue L. Robinson, fell well short of what the NFL had asked for: an open-ended suspension of at least a year for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Watson, who played for four seasons with Houston before being traded to Cleveland in March, recently settled 23 of 24 lawsuits filed by women alleging sexual harassment and assault during the treatments in 2020 and 2021.

Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension will stand only if the NFL allows it. The punishment given to the Cleveland Browns quarterback by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy fell far short of the one-year suspension the league wanted. But because of the collective bargaining agreement, the league can appeal Robinson’s decision and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or a person he designates could then increase the suspension and impose a substantial fine. The league has three days to file an appeal and is mulling its options. Still, the NFL Players Association could then try to challenge Goodell’s ruling on an appeal in federal court.

MLB

On the diamond, Aaron Judge hit his major league-leading 43rd home run, Jose Trevino had his first multihomer game and the New York Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners 7-2 in a series opener between teams bulking up for the postseason. Anthony Rizzo started the onslaught with a three-run homer in the first, and New York clinched its 31st consecutive winning record at home (41-13), second only to its big league standard of 47 in row from 1918-64.

Meanwhile, with the trade deadline tonight, the Yankees acquired starter Frankie Montas and reliever Lou Trivino from Oakland, three days after Seattle obtained Luis Castillo. The Yankees also got reliever Scott Effross from the Chicago Cubs.

The Red Sox traded catcher Christian Vázquez to Houston for minor league infielder Enmanuel Valdez and outfielder Wilyer Abreu. The Red Sox also added outfielder Tommy Phan from the Reds for a player to be named or cash and dealt lefty reliver Jake Diekman to the White Sox for Reese McGuire who will share catching duties with Kevin Plawecki in Boston.

GRINER

Brittney Griner is back in court for her trial for cannabis possession amid U.S. diplomatic efforts to secure her release. The WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist returned to court on Tuesday, a month after her trial began. She could face 10 years in prison if convicted. As her trial has progressed, the Biden administration has faced growing public pressure to get her released. In an extraordinary move, Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week spoke to his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, urging him to accept a deal under which Griner and Paul Whelan, an American imprisoned in Russia on an espionage conviction, would go free.

NFL

The Browns now know how long they'll be without Deshaun Watson. More than four months since Cleveland signed him to a $230 million contract, Watson was suspended six games without pay after an independent arbiter ruled he violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy after being accused of sexual misconduct. The Browns had been bracing for a much longer suspension and now must wait to see if the league will appeal. If there’s an appeal, the case will go to Commissioner Roger Goodell or someone he designates to either shorten, lengthen or maintain the punishment. As of now, Watson's debut for the Browns will come on Oct. 23 at Baltimore.

GOLF

Tiger Woods turned down a Saudi offer Greg Norman says was in the neighborhood of $700 million to $800 million. Norman confirmed a figure he previously told the Washington Post. Norman was speaking to Fox News' Tucker Carlson for an interview aired Monday night. The interview took place Sunday at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey. That's where the third LIV Golf Invitational was held. Norman says he wasn't the CEO of LIV Golf when Woods got the offer. Woods has spoken out against the Saudi-funded league. He says players who sign are turning their backs on the PGA Tour.