Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has been suspended for six games after facing more than two dozen allegations of sexual misconduct.
Watson was suspended on Monday for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy following a ruling by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, The Associated Press reports. The former federal judge, who was appointed by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, conducted a three-day hearing into the matter in June and recommended a six-game suspension.
Since 2021, Watson has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by massage therapists, and he faced a total of 24 sexual misconduct lawsuits. He has denied the allegations and has not been criminally charged after two grand juries declined to indict him. The quarterback has reportedly settled 23 out of the 24 lawsuits.
Though Watson has been suspended for six games, he will not face a fine, ESPN reports. The suspension would mean Watson could return to play with the Browns by Oct. 23, depending on whether the ruling is appealed, according to The New York Times.
The NFL Players Association said in advance of the decision that it would not appeal. "A former federal judge — appointed jointly by the NFLPA and NFL — held a full and fair hearing, has read thousands of pages of investigative documents and reviewed arguments from both sides impartially," the union said, adding that it "will stand by her ruling and we call on the NFL to do the same."