Retired federal judge Sue Robinson ruled that Watson violated the National Football League’s (NFL) personal conduct policy. Watson, currently on the roster for the Cleveland Browns has been given a six-game suspension.
In 2020, Watson was accused by more than 20 female massage therapists of sexual misconduct.
Watson has settled civil cases with 23 of the 24 accusers who sued him, with three more settlements being reported on Monday. Watson’s former team, the Houston Texans, settled lawsuits with 30 of his accusers in July.
The terms of the settlements were undisclosed.
Watson and the Cleveland Browns have three days to appeal Robinson’s decision, which would be heard by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
However, the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) announced on Sunday that they had no plans to appeal the decision by Judge Robinson and called on the NFL to do the same.
“In advance of Judge Robinson’s decision, we wanted to reiterate the facts of this proceeding,” the union said in a statement. “First, we have fully cooperated with every NFL inquiry and provided the NFL with the most comprehensive set of information for any personal conduct policy investigation. A former Federal Judge — appointed jointly by the NFLPA and NFL — held a full and fair hearing, has read thousands of pages of investigative documents, and reviewed arguments from both sides impartially.
“Every player, owner, business partner, and stakeholder deserves to know that our process is legitimate and will not be tarnished based on the whims of the League office. This is why, regardless of her decision, Deshaun and the NFLPA will stand by her ruling and we call on the NFL to do the same.”
Watson, a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback has been with the Cleveland Browns throughout their offseason workout program and training camp. Free-agent acquisition Jacoby Brissett is set to start at quarterback for the Browns during Watson’s suspension.