The NFL and NFL Players’ Union presented evidence three days ago last week on the question of whether Browns quarterback Dishon Watson should be suspended for the start of the 2022 season and if so, he will lose a number of games. Judge Sewell Robinson will ultimately rule, which is subject to appeal by each party (but he finds that there should be no discipline).
So what was the main NFL case against Watson? It’s one thing to insist on repeating at least a year’s worth of suspension. It is another to have evidence, when combined with a policy of personal conduct, that such punishment would be justified.
Given the sheer number of allegations against Watson, it’s not hard to imagine that something happened that justified the suspension. Recorded with 24 cases (20 resolved) and according to New York TimesAt least 66 different women have been hired for personal massage via social media – and given the admission that Watson had sex with at least three of the women he prosecuted – it seems reasonable to conclude that Watson Had a habit of arranging private massages with strangers. And trying to turn massage into consensual sex.
But this is apparently not the evidence presented by the League. After interviewing only 12 women who made the allegations against Watson, the league presented evidence as five men who provided massage to Watson. 24 cases, 66 or more strangers reserved for private massage, and at least one case claimed that the original number is more than 100 was apparently not part of the case against him.
The NFL case focuses on five people. And, as the PFT reported last week, there was no evidence of violence or threats or any kind of physical behavior in this evidence to make up the original attack.
And that is the order that creates the basic suspension of six games in each offense. Here is the key language of the policy: “Policy violations that include: (i) criminal assault or battery (crime); (ii) domestic violence, historical violence, child abuse and domestic violence, etc. Types – or (iii) sexual assault involving physical force or against someone who is unable to consent. With modifications based on any adverse or mitigation factors.
Without proof “sexual assault involving physical force or being carried out against someone who is unable to consent”, there is no violation of this particular provision. (It is possible that the League will try to argue that conditions suggest that individuals were not able to consent, but this usually refers to someone who is somehow underage or disabled, for example, someone Who is unconscious due to alcohol or drug use.)
In the absence of evidence of actual sexual assault, the League’s case relates to all provisions in two catches at the end of the list of bullet points in the policy: (1) “Behavior that poses a real threat to the other’s safety and well-being.” Person. ” And (2) “behavior that undermines or endangers the integrity of NFL, NFL clubs, or NFL personnel.” The reason would be that Watson’s habit of trying to massage towards sex falls into one or both of these taboos.
But that’s where the lack of discipline for Patriots owner Robert Kraft complicates the league’s case. If no action has been taken to massage Craft against the alleged sexual assault, how can the league discipline Watson for the same thing?
The difference, of course, is that the evidence against Watson ultimately focuses on the fact that he claimed to have repeatedly tried to massage in sexual incidents. Kraft was never accused of doing so by anyone.
For the NFL, this may be the best, strongest reason to present to Judge Robinson in a written summary next week. Watson, they would argue, poses a real risk to the safety and well-being of others and / or undermines the integrity of NFL, NFL clubs, or NFL personnel or repeatedly attempts to organize and create private massages. . In sex.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. Although the NFL has focused on five women, Watson may have been questioned about the full extent of his habit. Has he confessed that he tried to massage her in sex? If he denies it, is his testimony valid?
Then there is the question of whether the NFL may have deliberately undermined efforts to create the impression that Watson’s behavior has become so widespread in light of the lawsuit filed on Monday (time may not be coincidental) that Watson’s actions against the taxpayers To understand the claim. Habit and not taking any steps to protect the woman who eventually found out during the massage that she would try to do something else.
While it is impossible to understand the specific extent of the league’s argument based on the habit of claiming massage in anything other than a full transcript of the hearing, this may be the key to determining whether Judge Robinson will Have a way to differentiate. Based on Watson’s behavior from Craft and the alleged act of trying to massage for sexual incidents rather than enforcing discipline based on any real attack.
The NFL’s efforts to discipline Watson are therefore very different from the criminal process (which has resulted in no charges) and the civil trials that still remain. For the league, the principle of control appears in the policy of personal conduct. The facts will be determined by Judge Robinson, based on the evidence presented to her.
He will decide. If he chooses to enforce discipline in any way, the League will decide whether to ask the commissioner to impose a heavier penalty. But the actual findings made by Judge Robinson are, by law, binding on the commissioner.
Whatever the end result, it should be interpreted in such a way that it would be understandable and convincing for someone who may have had a hard time reconciling 24 cases and the evidence suggest that Watson should be able to manage and Had a habit of trying. With less than a year of suspension with sex.