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National Organization for Women: Deshaun Watson Suspension ‘Nowhere Near Enough’

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

The National Organization for Women criticized the 11-game suspension and $5 million fine directed at Deshaun Watson on Thursday, as arranged by the NFL and NFLPA, saying it’s “nowhere near enough.”

“That $5 million represents 2.1739 percent of Watsons new $230 million contract with the Cleveland Browns, that was negotiated after a lot more than two dozen women had accused the star athlete of sexual misconduct,” the advocacy group said in a statement. “Now could be very happy to see behavioral evaluation and treatment named guidelines by the NFL, however they have too much to find out about math.”

Ed Werder @WerderEdESPN

As well as the $5M fine, Deshaun Watson will eventually lose $632,500 in salary this year in line with the 11-game suspension. His base salary is $1,035,000 in 2022 and jumps to $46M in the 2023 season. His $5M fine compatible 2.2 percent of his $230M guaranteed contract.

Watsonwho was accused of sexual assault and sexual misconduct by 25 different ladies in civil lawsuits filed against himwas originally suspended six games by independent arbitrator Sue L. Robinson.

The NFL appealed that suspension and sought at the very least a one-year ban, and the league and NFLPA settled on Thursday’s punishment.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

The NFL has announced the settlement for #Browns QB Deshaun Watson pic.twitter.com/q5fg5BRQa5

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Deshaun Watson must adhere to eval and treatment recommendations of a third-party behavioral expert to be reinstated. His reinstatement is contingent upon his compliance with your skin therapy plan. If he doesnt comply, his reinstatement could possibly be delayed, plus further discipline

FOR THE PRESENT TIME, that decision fell lacking the mark.

“Women need a lot more than empty words and half-measures. The culture of toxic masculinity within the NFL must changeNOW,” its statement read. “Deshaun Watsons career and wealth wont be damaged by this decisionunlike the a large number of women he’s got irreparably harmed. No, this isnt sufficient.”

Watson has since settled 23 of the 25 lawsuits against him, and something has been dropped. Two separate grand juries in Texas also declined to pursue criminal charges.

In March he was traded to the Browns and signed a completely guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract. The Browns structured his contract to add a base salary of just $1 million in 2022, with many critics of the move arguing that the team did so to greatly help alleviate just as much potential financial impact from the suspension as you possibly can.

Joe Banner @JoeBanner13

The worst section of what Browns did wasnt signing Watson, but agreeing to contract that helps him mitigate as well as avoid just about any financial consequences from the NFL. Would you that with 22 accusations still on the market. I dont trust signing him, but that is much worse

Peter King of NBC Sports reported the next in March following the deal was signed:

“Jimmy and Dee Haslam.Not the most famous people at the league meetings on Sunday. I heard plenty of grumbling from those that think a) trading six picks for a new player who could be found guilty of heinous offenses or b) signing Watson to the richest guaranteed contract in league history and giving him an $80-million raise ‘stinks to high heaven,’ as you team exec said. The Haslams had to learn it had been coming, and today that they’ve traded for and signed Watson, it isn’t going away.”

On Thursday, Watson vacillated between being remorseful and maintaining he believes he did nothing wrong, a somewhat contradictory approach.

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Deshaun Watson statement: pic.twitter.com/n54aGsYRiy

“I’ll continue steadily to stand on my innocence, because you understand settlements, and things such as that happen doesn’t imply that one is guilty for anything,” he told reporters. “Personally i think such as a person comes with an possibility to stand on his innocence and prove that, and we proved that from the legal side, and just likely to continue steadily to push forward being an individual so when an individual.”

For why he apologized in his public statement if he felt he was innocent, Watson responded: “For everybody that was suffering from this situation. There have been many people which were triggered.”

Dianna Russini @diannaESPN

The signing of the settlement only means Watson is ending the legal process. It has nothing in connection with an admission of guilt.

Those near him tell me today he regrets putting himself in the positioning. This isnt an admission or an apology to the ladies involved

“We respect his opinion,” Browns co-owner Dee Haslam told reporters when asked about Watson proclaiming his innocence. “I really do think in counseling Deshaun will learn much more about himself.”

Whether he received enough of a punishment as he undergoes that process remains a hotbed topic round the NFL.

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