“Unprecedented” and “significant”. Fromm ProFootballTalk and on Washington Postthese are two words we have at the moment to describe what the NFL is planning to punish Deshon Watson for violating the League’s personal conduct policy. Both publications reportedly spoke to familiar insiders about the NFL’s plan to sanction the new Browns defender, who is facing 26 civil lawsuits from sex offender masseurs. Two grand juries refused to charge him with criminal charges.
We don’t have time periods, we don’t have amounts of money – in fact, we’re not sure if it’s a fine, a suspension or both. But according to the PFT, the NFL Players’ Association said it would heartily protect Watson in the event of unpaid removal and mount their defenses on three pillars whose names you know: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Commanders owner Dan Snyder and Patriots owner Robert Craft.
There is a line in the Code of Personal Conduct that reads: “The ownership and management of a club or league is traditionally held to a higher standard and will be subject to greater discipline when breaches of the Code of Conduct arise.”
And this is the kicker. In a league that virtually refuses to impose any real sanctions on its owners, the NFLPA can build a case around this line based on the three owners who have relatively recently faced similar situations and escaped largely without difficulty. .
Jones has not fully or thoroughly investigated allegations that his longtime friend and former Cowboys CEO Rich Dalrimple, spied on and took photos or videos of cheerleaders changing in the locker room. Kraft was accused of attracting prostitutes, and Snyder – well, we are still finding out the details, but he was accused of sexual violence, as well as building a sexist job in Washington. The Snyder case is interesting, as it is still unfolding and Commissioner Roger Goodell himself agreed to testify before the House of Representatives’ oversight committee over Snyder’s failed investigation next week.
The policy of personal conduct does not require criminal charges and operates outside the judgments and schedule of the judiciary, although the process is being monitored by a former U.S. Attorney General.
If this protection passes, it is not out of the realm of imagination that the result is the worst of both worlds – one in which no one is responsible. If they make Watson’s punishment dependent on the owners’ punishment – well, we all know it’s necessary I’m tearing up for the owner to face real consequences. And while the owners in question, especially Snyder, must be fully and openly investigated and punished for their wrongdoing, Watson must be.