“It is unacceptable, insulting, and dangerous!”
That’s the National Organization of Women (NOW) responding to Deshaun Watson‘s six-game suspension for sexual misconduct … telling TMZ Sports it clearly shows “money talks, and women are unheard.”
Watson’s six-game suspension was announced Monday after disciplinary officer, former U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson ruled the Browns QB violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy, sidelining Watson for roughly a third of the season.
NOW — the nation’s leading organization for women’s rights — says the ruling is “unacceptable, insulting, and dangerous” … but not surprising, ’cause the league and its players have been in similar situations before.
“The NFL has had a violence against women problem for years — and everyone knows it,” NOW said.
It’s worth noting the NFL didn’t hand down the suspension … that was the former judge’s call. In fact, the NFL reportedly wanted Watson to receive a significantly stronger suspension.
The league can appeal the decision, if they choose.
National Organization of Women also called out the Browns organization for giving Watson a $230M contract despite the accusations, 20+ lawsuits, and a pending suspension.
“They re-structured his contract to make the majority of his $46 million first-year payout a “signing bonus,” not tied to him playing actual games,” NOW said.
“Shame on the Cleveland Browns for rewarding Deshaun Watson and shame on the NFL for perpetuating a system where money talks, and women aren’t heard.”
In fact, NOW believes the 26-year-old shouldn’t see a dime from the contract, on top of demanding the NFL change its policies.
“Deshaun Watson must not be allowed to profit from his horrific behavior,” NOW said, “and the NFL must change its business model that allows, enables, and hides sexual misconduct into one that respects women and holds abusers accountable.”
Watson — who was never criminally charged — settled 23 of the 24 lawsuits (as of Sunday). Barring an appeal that’s upheld, Watson will be available to play QB against the Ravens Week 7.