The NFL is readying for a battle with the NFLPA as they’re officially appealing the six game suspension Deshaun Watson received from Judge Sue Robinson
Knowing full well that the NFLPA is ready to take this thing to court, the NFL decided to appeal the six-game suspension Deshaun Watson was given on Monday. And they’re not worried about it, because this is a completely one-sided battle Watson is about to face.
Watson was accused of of sexual misconduct by 24 separate massage therapists during his time with the Houston Texans. He’s settled 23 of those cases and also had a disciplinary hearing with Judge Sue L. Robinson, who was chosen as an independent arbitrator — agreed upon by both the NFL and the Player’s Association.
Once word broke that Robinson would announce her ruling on Monday, the NFLPA said they intended to honor the decision made by the judge, asking the league to do the same. Clearly, the NFL wasn’t interested in this suggestion as they are now going after a harsher punishment for the Cleveland Browns quarterback.
What happens next with Deshaun Watson suspension?
The NFL and the NFLPA agreed to a new format for disciplinary hearings, which included the use of an impartial arbitrator. However, the NFL was able to ensure they had full control still since any appeal will now fall into their own laps.
This means the league, which is appealing the suspension, is now going to be in charge of handing out the punishment. They could allow commissioner Roger Goodell to do this, or he could appoint someone to handle it. Either way, the ball is in his court now — which highlights just how bad the disciplinary arrangement really is between the two sides.
There were rumors that the league will extend the ban to 12 games, or possibly even the entire season. They could also impose a hefty fine as well.
No matter what extra punishment they pass on, the NFLPA has made it no secret they intend to take the powers that be to federal court. They could make an interesting case — especially with the fact that the league has done practically nothing to owners who have been accused of misdeeds.
The problem is, the Player’s Association would have no leg to stand on. They agreed to the CBA which allows the league to have full control. And while Judge Robinson bashed the league for how they write and apply rules, she also said they’re a private organization and can do as they please.
Not fighting to get the discipline fully out of Goodell’s hands was a huge loss for them, and it allows this confusing and non-uniformed system to continue.
So while the two sides are preparing for a war, it feels like only one side has a fighting chance.