The Deshaun Watson fiasco is further proof that the NFL is run incompetently, but is too big to fail.
The first civil suit against Watson was filed on March 16, 2021. The NFL began its investigation two days later.
Here we are, almost 17 months later, and still no conclusion.
The NFL seems satisfied with Judge Sue L. Robinson’s evidentiary findings, but not the verdict. Indeed, Robinson’s sentence of a six-game suspension belies many of the words used in her written decision such as “predatory,” “egregious” and “sexual assault.”
But, by appealing, the NFL shreds the credibility of its new disciplinary process for cases involving the league’s personal conduct policy, which was used for the first time.
Watson got due process. Everything about it was fair. Robinson was an independent arbiter.
The NFL has the right to appeal the verdict as per the CBA. But what was the point of the process? How can it be taken seriously moving forward?
The goal is to get it right. But what constitutes “right,” and in whose eyes? All the i’s were dotted, all the t’s crossed. Who’s to say that Robinson got it wrong?
The great unwashed, that’s who. The NFL’s appeal is for the sake of PR.
Ben Roethlisberger might not like what happens next.
The Steelers quarterback got suspended for six games in 2010, later commuted to four. There were two complaints in Roethlisberger’s case as opposed to 24 for Watson. But what Roethlisberger was accused of is far worse than what Watson is accused of.
As the NFL attempts to lengthen Watson’s suspension, Watson’s camp and the NFLPA could compare the two sets of allegations by way of noting the brevity of Roethlisberger’s suspension while also playing the black vs. white card.
You know what? Watson’s camp and the NFLPA would have a point.
There was outrage over the accusations involving Roethlisberger. But the indignation over Watson seems louder, especially as regards his suspension’s length. Why?