NFL, NFLPA must publish Judge Robinson’s decision in the Deshaun Watson case

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So why did Judge Sue L. Robinson suspend Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson for six games? Great question. And it’s impossible to answer that question without reading her ruling.

We’re told that it’s a 16-page document. But we haven’t seen it yet.

For now, the NFL and the NFL Players Association have not published the decision. The union responded to our question as to whether the decision will be released by saying that it doesn’t know. The league has not yet responded to an email and a text message raising the question.

The decision needs to be released. Freely and publicly and openly. Not as a commodity slipped to a reporter who is either on the NFL’s payroll (literally) or who has put someone at 345 Park Avenue on the Christmas chocolate list. It need to be posted by the NFL and the NFLPA at their websites, now.

That’s how it had always been, before the Washington investigation was brushed under the rug. Full transparency. How else can anyone understand why Judge Robinson did what she did? To the extent that the league needs the general public to buy in to the decision, people need to be able to read it. To understand it. To see what the evidence was. What it wasn’t. And how she came to the conclusion that Watson violated the policy and should miss six games for it.

Obviously, the names of the four accusers whose claims triggered the suspension would have to be redacted from the ruling. (And maybe they already are.) It would be unfortunate, but not surprising, if the league doesn’t want to do that.

Concealing the names of the accusers would expose the stupidity of that NFL’s position that it wasn’t good enough to simply change the names of the cooperating employees in the Washington case, and that the only way to protect the witnesses was to hide all of the evidence. If the league releases Judge Robinson’s ruling with the names of the accusers omitted, the league will face a renewed call to do the same thing with Beth Wilkinson’s report in the Washington case.

25 responses to “NFL, NFLPA must publish Judge Robinson’s decision in the Deshaun Watson case

  1. Explain the reasoning behind saying why they “must”. It sounds more like like they are not required to do anything of the sort if they don’t want to.

  2. You answered your own question of why it won’t be published. Again, they made this bed with what the owners do. You can’t hold the employees to a different standard than the people writing the checks, and Daniel Snyder’s fiasco is way worse over an extended period of time. Not to mention that he’s still thumbing his nose at not only the public but the actual law.

  3. My own guess is the NFL will huff and puff and voice a lot of displeasure over the ruling, but thats only for show in case something pops up in the future that has people up in arms and they want to blame the judge that he did not get more punishment. My take is because I think the NFL is worried only about PR angles and could care less about writing wrongs. What they really want is for this matter to be gone and they dont care how it becomes that way.

  4. This man per The NY Times went to over 60 different women for “massages” . He solicited at least some of them for sex. Whether or not he was abusive , it sure seems he was exchanging money for sex. Isn’t that in and off itself worthy of a longer suspension. That is why I didn’t understand why the judge was asked to rule based on only a handful of the cases.

  5. Initially, I was against Watson and his behavior, but now due to the vitriol after the decision by a retired and respected federal judge , I have changed my mind. LeBron was right…..”Cleveland versus the world!”

  6. I’d be curious if she mentions the owners lack of any significant punishment having any bearing on her ruling…

  7. They rich and the powerful are not punished as the common person. Once
    you get 230 Million You are officially Rich.

  8. Does the public truly have a right to know 100% of the details of every internal adjudication conducted within every privately held corporation? I think we know the answer to that.

  9. Sexually assault countless women, six games. Place a minimal bet on a game, banned for a year and maybe forever. How ya feelin today ladies? Still think the league thinks you’re an important part of the fan base or league?

  10. Of course they need to publish the ruling. For example, does she find no evidence of coercion or sexual assault? This would be consistent with the Texas grand jury’s decision not to indict him and would go a long way towards explaining the ruling.

    My guess is that simply paying for some sexual services (as was the charge against Mr Kraft) is not uncommon among league players, owners and executives. If that’s all she found, hard to be outraged in six games (in my view, at least).

    If she found sexual assault, whole other story.

  11. Here’s a run down of what Josh Gordon got for smoking a plant and drinking alcohol:
    2013 – 2 games

    2014 – 11 games (NFL + Browns separately, go ahead and let that marinate in your mind considering the current situation)

    2015 – 16 games

    2016 – remained in limbo (indefinite suspension, I believe) ended up in rehab (16 games?)

    2017 – NFL rejects reinstatement request in spring remains suspended for 11 games appearing in last 5.

    2018 – no suspension, but trouble later in year and steps away

    2019 – Played 5 games, suspended for the sixth time for final 11.

    2020 – Missed entire season after failing to satisfy terms of reinstatement. (16 games?) and was cut after the season.

    2+11+16+16+11+11+16 = 83 or if you drop off the 2016 and 2020 where he was, perhaps, suspended, but not *technically* suspended it’s still 51 games.

  12. The ruling is based upon four cases. And six is STILL too many. If the league appeals then the arbiter should resign.

  13. Im no fan of the NFL corporate. But lets give them a day before we vilify them for how they deal with the ruling and report.

  14. ESPN published it already. Assuming there’s a lengthy post coming? She doesn’t mention the owners, says he violated policy but the NFL did a shoddy job defining what exactly the policy is

  15. If this stands, it would set a precedent of sexual abuse of a woman resulting in a suspension of one quarter. Not even one game – but one quarter of a game.

    If a player did it once, they’d get 6 games. Watson did it dozens of times and gets 6 games.

    The NFL has officially lost its way.

  16. theoriginalsurferbob says:
    August 1, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    How ya feelin today ladies? Still think the league thinks you’re an important part of the fan base or league?


    Nope. Not unless and appeal is filed and the punishment is increased significantly. What Watson did is NEVER okay, no matter what label they want to put on it. NO means NO.

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