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#pounditMonday, August 8, 2022

Judge forcing Deshaun Watson to make 1 major massage change

Deshaun Watson at the Pro Bowl

Jan 23, 2020; Kissimmee, Florida, USA; Houston Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson (4) during AFC practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The former federal judge who served as the disciplinary officer in the Deshaun Watson case is telling the quarterback to make one major change.

Former judge Sue L. Robinson on Monday shared her recommended punishment for Watson. She is calling for a 6-game suspension for the Cleveland Browns quarterback. Robinson found that Watson violated the league’s personal conduct policy “in three different ways: non-violent sexual assault; posing a danger to safety and well-being of another; undermining the integrity of the NFL.” Robinson determined her discipline based on the testimony of the four alleged victims who spoke with the NFL.

In addition to calling for a six-game suspension for Watson, Robinson says the team for whom Watson plays must have a role in his future message/therapy sessions.

Robinson’s ruling tells Watson to limit his massages to club-directed sessions and club-approved therapists for the duration of his career.

Watson developed a pattern of seeking massages from women whom he often contacted through social media. He then allegedly put many of them in uncomfortable positions by trying to receive sexual activity from the women.

Watson has since settled most of the sexual misconduct lawsuits he faced. He was investigated by two grand juries in Texas but not charged.

Though not formally disciplined last season, Watson did not play at all in 2021 while with the Texans. Now he is scheduled to be suspended the first six games of 2022 unless the NFL appeals Robinson’s decision. The league has three days to appeal.

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