Tony Buzbee: NFL “doesn’t care” about sexual assault


Attorney Tony Buzbee brought 24 lawsuits against Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, settling all but one of them. Buzbee is not happy that the NFL settled its disciplinary action against Watson.

“By settling this matter the way he has,” Buzbee said in a statement, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Roger Goodell has proven one of two things: either his recent rhetoric was utter baloney, or his bark is much worse than his bite. My belief is that he is nothing more than a paper tiger. The message today to all victims is clear, if you believe you have been sexually assaulted by a powerful person, keep your mouth shut and go away. The NFL has certainly demonstrated that its ownership and the organization don’t care.

“To all sexual assault survivors, do not allow this recent ‘punishment’ to deter you. Keep speaking up and speaking out. Your voice matters. You are making a difference. We stand with you.”

The NFL agreed to suspend Watson 11 games, with a fine of $5 million. The league had the power under the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Personal Conduct Policy to impose a much higher suspension and/or fine. The league, however, either wanted it to be over or hoped to avoid a federal lawsuit challenging the punishment.

Even if the league would have won in court, the process itself would have delayed finality. It also could have resulted in the league dealing with the argument that it fails to properly investigate and/or punish owners who violate the Personal Conduct Policy. (And, in comparison to players, it definitely does.)

The league simply was ready to move on. Right or wrong, it was content to take 11 games and half of the money Watson made while not playing in 2021 to end this without any further fight, despite Judge Sue L. Robinson finding that Watson had committed non-violent sexual assault, and that he had engaged in “egregious” and “predatory” behavior.

Some will say the league should have dropped the hammer and cried, “Damn the torpedoes.” Indeed, the situation has already been lingering for more than 17 months. How much longer would it have taken to seek and obtain a win in federal court?

56 responses to “Tony Buzbee: NFL “doesn’t care” about sexual assault

  1. Anyone surprised by this result has not been paying attention. They did not want this extending into the season and wanted it to go away. People will be pumped for the new season and something else will occupy the headlines. That is all Park Avenue cares about as it is best for the bottom line $$$.

  2. If Tony cared so much then he would not have allowed any of his clients to settle with Deshaun Watson. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones, hypocrite.

    Of course, he DID allow his clients to settle, because at the end of the day his job is to do what is in the best interest of his clients. It is Roger Goodell’s job to do what is in the best interest of his clients which are the NFL owners. So here we are. A settlement. This keeps this case which the NFLPA would surely lose form going to Federal Court where the NFL owners might be subject to discovery (which they surely wish to avoid at ALL costs) during the course of proceedings. Tony Buzbee please go away.

  3. The NFL and the NFLPA has an union agreement. The agreement was followed. The NFL has gone through plenty of situations as bad or worse. I can think of 2 players who killed someone driving drunk and they got a year suspension. Watson probably is not a good guy but given his year off last year and the additional 11 games it is one of the largest bans ever.

  4. C’mon, Buzzbee, sue the NFL. Sue Goodell personally. Sue Haslem. SUE THEM ALL!

  5. If Tony Buzbee cares he should work pro-bono and donate everything he’s made from these cases.

  6. Only thing Buzbee said I agree with especially when it is committed by the Owners

  7. Guilty, guilty, guilty. You don’t just make settlements if you are innocent. You would fight to the end. Especially with the amount of money he has.

  8. Makes me wonder if other the other women who refused to speak before will now come out of hiding. That would be what the NFL and Watson deserve.

  9. He’ll say anything to get money or influence. The NFL punishment is unprecedented. Watson’s actions were not worthy of a Texas criminal indictment. Case closed go away Mr. Buzbee!

  10. Terrible joke for the NFL to negotiate with Watson on this.
    Not a good look at all for women fans and all fans of the NFL.I would quit following it but I love to too much.

  11. Apparently neither did the grand juries or the prosecutors. Or more likely they found no evidence of sexual assault

  12. Buzbee is spot on. I don’t know exactly what the NFLPA had for leverege, but the league basically allowed Watson to set the terms of his suspension. He is in no way remorseful for his behaviour, as he demonstrates by his continued asserting he is innocent. What bs!

  13. As a Clevelander and long time Browns fan, I can no longer support them under the Haslam “leadership”. It makes me sick. Until Haslam sells the team, good-bye my beloved Browns.

  14. We all know, with athletes, W’s bring forgiveness from a team’s fans, and L’s turn them the other way.

  15. Buzbee did a great job of raising his own profile along with a big payday for himself. Mission accomplished, now go away. To think that this ambulance chaser cares one iota about these supposed victims is naive.

  16. Tony seems to be more vocal and upset at the NFL then the fact that he didn’t bring a solid game to present to a jury for an indictment.

  17. Watson hasnt been punished, hes been rewarded. He got a record setting contract and got to pick his suspension. That is disgusting

  18. Yes Tony Buzbee cares about sexual assault. So much so that over the span of his life, he’s donated zero dollars to women’s rights groups. He does like to donate exotic cars to local food banks. Because that’s what food banks need. Cars.

  19. Christopher Allan says:
    August 18, 2022 at 8:05 pm
    Tony seems to be more vocal and upset at the NFL then the fact that he didn’t bring a solid game to present to a jury for an indictment.

    Buzbee did not present the case to the grand jury. The prosecutor did. In fact, the prosecutor never contacted Buzbee, although she had over twenty communications with Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin.

  20. Not defending Watson because he clearly has some issues. But I’m pretty sure if this was any of us, we wouldn’t be asked to pay a $5 million dollar fine (plus loss of pay for those 11 games & loss of endorsements) for something that no criminal charges were filed on.

  21. It’s hard to punish a guy who the legal authorities chose to not prosecute after an investigation. A loud ambulance chaser does not equal evidence.

  22. Considering 2 Grabd Juries found zero evidence. Odds are actually that Watson did nothing wrong.

  23. Does anyone know where all the fines levied against players and coaches go? Are these distibuted to the victims, or to the owners pockets?
    Fining a player is meant to be a punishment, but who gets to keep the money??

  24. 50Stars says:
    August 18, 2022 at 6:41 pm
    The NFL cares. They would fire DW and others. But the NFLPA wont allow that.
    The NFL cares about what? The league can’t fire DeShawn Watson. Do you mean they would have kicked him out of the league? If that’s the case why didn’t they, then just fight the NFLPA in court? That’s why they keep lawyers on payroll.
    As a number of commentators here pointed out the owners are in this to make money. That is the bottom line. And all they’ve shown again is they’re more concerned with making money than doing what some would call “what’s morally right”. And it shouldn’t be surprising, businesses often look the other way if doing otherwise might jeopardize their bottom line.

  25. It’s not just the NFL. I hope some people take this opportunity to see the inequality women face All over this country. I’d give examples but I want this comment to post. It not just the NFL people.

  26. Or it could have brought to light The many scumbag owners involved in assaulting woman.

  27. If Watson really wants to be a better person, does the work and views his fine as an opportunity into living a life of amends everyone will root for him again. America loves a comeback story. All the disgusted “Ex fans” sound like Vick fans. If I was a browns fan I’d be rooting for the change he could experience and hopefully one day the payer

  28. Last I checked none of this lawyers client’s cases held merit to warrant a criminal case against Watson in a real court of law. This lawyer is just trying to use the “court of public opinion” to continue to keep this story in the news to try to get the maximum settlement from Watson in his last unsettled lawsuit. I don’t know why he’s even going after the NFL since they are a private entity and technically they don’t have to give Watson any kind of punishment. I don’t see him going after the TX prosecutors for not bringing formal charges.

  29. That statement was so STUPID. He was DONE; the nightmare was OVER! I seriously now am doubting his ability to critically think well enough to lead a championship team. I always wondered why such an ELITE talented QB has consistantly post such a bad record. because in today’s NFL an elite QB can make almost any team at least “contend” for a playoff spot. now i’m thinking this guy really doesnt get it; ie: he really doesnt know how to WIN.

  30. Tony was going to give us some version of this regardless of what the outcome was.

  31. The actual legal system hasn’t punished him at all. Not saying that proves innocence, at all, but if the NFL punished him and they don’t care at all, what does that naturally imply about the legal system?

  32. I’m not at all defending Watson’s actions or the NFL’s weak judgement, but I’m curious what percentage of the settlements Buzbee charged these women after they were paid.

  33. Watson should hope that no other women decide that they are going to come out against him, or his 11 games and 5 million could become something much longer and more expensive. The punishment that he got only proves that what Buzzbee said is true. The NFL doesn’t care about sexual assault, or about women.

  34. I know it’s difficult for some but lets take a look at the facts. Watson is a slimeball. He wasn’t charged with any crimes. The women who came forward and their media attention loving attorney decided to take money over seeking justice. Does anybody really think the NFL wanted their ability to discipline player conduct to be decided by the courts with no charges or convictions against Watson? Does any body think Watson was willing to let this drag on stuck in limbo for another season or possibly longer? These are the reasons it was in the best interest of both sides to reach an agreement that neither side liked but knew they had to get done and move on. While we all can think that Watson is a slimeball lacking charges or a conviction the NFL did what they always do, look out for their best interests by reaching agreements that keep their decision making in house and not by a judge in a courtroom.

  35. Buzbee’s a buffoon, but he’s not wrong when he suggests that the NFL has been soft in its discipline of players shown to be physically and sexually abusive to women. Goodell now has the opportunity to begin to change that perception with a positive, non-disciplinary move: He should take the $5 million Watson fine and distribute it to women’s shelters in the 30 NFL cities. Simple and direct. It would be an excellent first step.

  36. Is Buzby grandstanding? Without question. Is he right? Absolutely. Goodell did everything he could to control the optics to make it look like it was a back and forth between the league and the NFLPA so that in the end Watson could get on the field sometime in 2022. Just a bunch of dramatic theatrics to keep people interested in the NFL news cycle and eventually to rake in as much money for the league as it can.

  37. Okay,Tony won’t say it but I will.Tony only cares about money,he does not care about sexual assualt.

  38. what a joke, but think of it watson is a genius. he gets massages from 60+ women off social media, has 24 of them accuse him of lewd conduct and assault and sue him, somehow avoids indictment since it was in a TX county with a weak prosecutor, gets the 1st all guaranteed 240M contract, gets found guilty of violating the personal conduct policy in multiple ways and is said to have non violently sexually assaulted at least 4 women, then negotiates his own fine and suspension, genius i say!

  39. For the record, Watson did not negotiate his own fine and suspension. It was appealed by Roger Goodell to increase it, not reduce it. Sometimes I wonder if people even read what they’re saying. I mean think about it. Even he did, he’s a really terrible negotiator.

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