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NFL's Deshaun Watson suspension appeal is about 'protecting the brand, not women'

Robert Griffin III claims the NFL’s decision to appeal Deshaun Watson’s suspension is about “protecting the brand” and insists the league has “got it wrong time and again” when it comes to the women’s safety

  • Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson given a six-game ban
  • He was sued by 24 women for sexual misconduct, but settled 23 of those lawsuits
  • The NFL has appealed the suspension and is expected to increase the penalty
  • But Robert Griffin III claimed the move was only to protect the league’s image

Former quarterback Robert Griffin III has claimed the NFL’s decision to appeal Deshaun Watson’s suspension is to “protect the brand.”

Cleveland Browns quarterback Watson was given a six-game suspension for the 2022 season from independent referee Sue L. Robinson on Monday, which the league appealed Wednesday after critics labeled the penalty a “joke.”

The 26-year-old is accused of sexually assaulting and harassing dozens of female massage therapists in the Houston area between 2019 and 2021, when he was a member of the Texans.

Deshaun Watson was given a six-game suspension for the 2022 season by an independent arbitrator on Monday

Robert Griffin III Claimed NFL’s Lure For Deshaun Watson’s Ban Is To ‘Protect The Brand’

However, Griffin, who played for the Browns, has claimed that the decision to appeal was the NFL to protect themselves rather than women.

On Twitter, Griffin wrote: “When it comes to protecting women, the NFL has been wrong time and time again.

“This move to move towards longer suspension is about protecting THE BRAND. Giving off the perception of protecting women is just a by-product of the situation. No blows are dealt.’

Robinson’s statement was labeled a “joke” on social media by critics who felt a six-game suspension was insufficient given the allegations against Watson, and the NFL is now expected to increase the penalty.

The former quarterback claimed the NFL is only spreading the perception to protect women

The former quarterback claimed the NFL is only spreading the perception to protect women

The 32-year-old used to play for Watson's current team, the Cleveland Browns

The 32-year-old used to play for Watson’s current team, the Cleveland Browns

Watson is the first NFL player to face the new revamped disciplinary process that takes Commissioner Roger Goodell’s initial ruling and puts it in the hands of an independent arbitrator.

However, Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement allows Goodell to hear the appeal itself or to appoint another arbitrator – and that decision by Goodell or its agent is final and binding on all parties.

Pro Football Talk reported Thursday that Goodell will not handle the appeal personally and will appoint someone who is not at the league office to handle it.

The league is appealing an indefinite suspension, which would last a minimum of one year and could potentially include a fine Jeff Darlington of ESPN.

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