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Sunday, August 14, 2022

NFL: Union responds to appeal in Watson case

CANTON, Ohio ( Associated Press) — The NFL Players Association has provided a brief response to the league’s appeal of Deshan Watson’s penalty.

Former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey now has the documents needed to issue his verdict.

The players’ union announced the response on Friday, shortly before the filing deadline, but refrained from disclosing the content because it is confidential.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday tasked Harvey with ruling on the appeal, in which the league seeks to harden Watson’s six-game suspension for violating its personal conduct policy.

The NFL clarified Friday that there is no deadline for Harvey to issue its decision, although the rule provides for appeals to be processed “on an expedited basis.”

Watson was suspended by independent disciplinary representative Sue L. Robinson over allegations of sexual assault and harassment leveled against her by two dozen women in Texas.

The allegations date back to when Watson was playing for the Houston Texans.

The player, who moved to Cleveland in March, has so far settled 23 of 24 lawsuits filed by women. Watson denies any wrongdoing.

A person familiar with the league’s appeal told the Associated Press on Wednesday that the NFL intends to suspend Watson indefinitely for at least a year and fined about $8 million.

The source, who requested anonymity because the matter is not public knowledge, said Watson may undergo a prescribed evaluation and treatment by medical experts before his possible reactivation.

Under the collective bargaining agreement, the appeal gives Goodell the right to sentence, as he did before under the agreement.

However, Goodell opted to hire Harvey, a partner in a New York law firm, to adjudicate and rule on the appeal.

Harvey has served as Goodell’s appointed representative for certain arbitration matters and is a member of the league’s diversity advisory committee, which is designed to improve the environment around racial and gender diversity in the NFL.

In 2017, Harvey was one of four members of an expert panel that reviewed the NFL’s investigation into the Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who was suspended six games for violating league policy.

The NFL commissioner decided to hire someone else to handle Watson’s case because Goodell himself wanted an expert in the field to focus fully on the matter, a person familiar with the appointment told The Associated Press on Thursday. told.

The source requested anonymity to discuss an internal matter.

Watson continued to practice with the Browns, who could have used Jacoby Brissette as his starting quarterback in Watson’s absence.

World Nation News Desk
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