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Deshaun Watson, NFLPA planning to sue NFL if he’s suspended for a full year: report

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson and the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) are reportedly planning to sue the league if he’s suspended for a full season amid allegations of sexual assault.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported Monday that the NFLPA and Watson’s camp have already decided to sue the league if a full-year suspension is handed down in the quarterback’s case. 

The league recommend a full-year suspension for Watson during a slew of court hearings last month on what type of disciplinary action he would face. The hearings came after mounting allegations of sexual misconduct committed by Watson during massage therapy appointments.

The league will go with any decision Judge Sue Robinson makes about disciplinary action but will appeal if it isn’t satisfied, such as if she rules that Watson shouldn’t be suspended at all, Yahoo Sports reported. 

An NFL spokesperson declined to comment to The Hill when asked about the possibility of the lawsuit.

Watson and his legal counsel recently reached settlements with 20 of the 24 women who have filed lawsuits accusing the quarterback of exposing himself, touching them with his penis or kissing them without their consent during scheduled appointments in 2020 and 2021. 

Watson, a three-time Pro Bowl selection at quarterback, sat out most of the 2021 NFL season due to the ongoing allegations and was traded to the Browns in March for multiple draft picks, signing a fully guaranteed contract with the team.

A New York Times report last month detailed that the former Clemson University standout booked more than 60 massage appointments within a 17-month period and obtained nondisclosure agreements from the Houston Texans staff as well. 

Two separate grand juries in Texas earlier this year declined to indict Watson on the sexual assault allegations against him, meaning the star quarterback won’t face any criminal charges. 

The Texans announced they had reached confidential settlements with 30 women who made claims that the organization enabled Watson’s behavior toward women in massage therapy appointments. 

In a statement, the McNair family, majority owners of the Texans, denied any wrongdoing in the matter, adding that this move is a “clear stand against any form of sexual assault and misconduct.” 

“We hope that today’s resolution will provide some form of closure to the parties involved, our fans and the Houston community at large,” the McNair family said. “As an organization, we will now turn our focus to the future and doing what we can to ensure respect for all.”

The Hill has reached out to the Browns and the NFLPA for comment and more information.

Tags Cleveland Browns Deshaun Watson Deshaun Watson Houston Texans NFL NFL Players Association NFLPA Sexual misconduct

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