ESPN: Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson’s NFL disciplinary hearing scheduled for Tuesday
Deshaun Watson‘s hearing before the NFL and the NFL Players Association’s jointly appointed disciplinary officer, Sue L. Robinson, is scheduled to begin Tuesday, league sources told ESPN.
Robinson will listen as the NFL expects to push for a “lengthy” suspension for Watson while the NFLPA defends the Cleveland Browns quarterback who at one point faced 24 civil lawsuits from women accusing him of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct during massage sessions while with the Houston Texans. He has agreed to settle 20 of those suits.
The NFL is likely to base its proposed discipline on testimony from only a fraction of those women, per one source, as the league was unable to speak with some of those who interacted with Watson.
Robinson has no track record of ruling on any cases involving NFL players, though one source said her decision could come within a week but also might take until training camp. The NFL hopes for clarity on this case before training camp begins in late July.
Once Robinson rules, Watson will have the option to appeal and commissioner Roger Goodell could either rule on that appeal or call on an independent ruler.
Robinson, a former a member of Delaware’s district court for more than 25 years, now looms as one the most influential people of the upcoming 2022 NFL season. She primarily has worked on cases involving patent disputes — including the billion-dollar stent litigation — but also numerous trademark infringement and antitrust matters.
During her tenure, she served as the first woman chief judge for the District of Delaware, as well as being selected to serve on the Judicial Conference of the United States.