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NFLPA files reply to NFL’s appeal of Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension

8/5/2022 10:32:31 PM
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The NFL Players Association Friday replied in writing to the NFL’s appeal of Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension by NFL Disciplinary Officer Sue L. Robinson, meaning the matter will soon come before Appeals Officer Peter C. Harvey, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed the case over Harvey, the former New Jersey Attorney General, rather than hearing it himself, in part because Harvey is one of the nation’s foremost experts on matters of sexual assault.

The NFLPA, which is poised to sue in federal court to have the suspension overturned or reduced, will likely argue that the NFL failed to establish that Watson committed sexual assault, but Robinson found that it did so, according to one of the NFL investigators’ definition of “unwanted sexual contact with another person.”

Robinson issued the six-game suspension Monday in a 16-page report in which she called Watson’s behavior “predatory” and “egregious.”

Unless the two sides — the NFL and NFLPA — reach a settlement, the appeal will soon be settled by Harvey, who was appointed Thursday by Goodell to make the final ruling on one of the most controversial and high-profile cases in the history of the NFL.

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