NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell explains league’s decision to pursue Deshaun Watson’s one-year suspension

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday explained the league’s decision to pursue a one-year suspension for the Cleveland Browns quarterback. Deshaun Watson and weighed in on the findings of an independent investigation into the integrity of the Dolphins’ game violations.

Goodell told reporters that evidence showed Watson committed multiple violations of the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

“We’ve seen the evidence,” Goodell said after Tuesday’s special League meeting in Minneapolis, which was called to allow a vote on the sale of the Broncos. “[Disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson] was very clear about the evidence, should we apply the evidence. That there were multiple violations here, and they were egregious, and that was predatory behavior. These are things that we have always felt were important for us to address in a responsible way.”

By issuing a six-game suspension for Watson on August 1, Robinson wrote that Watson had engaged in “sexual assault; conduct which poses a real danger to the safety and well-being of another person; and conduct which impairs or endangers jeopardize the integrity of the NFL.” Robinson, however, noted that she was “bound” by standards of fairness and consistency of treatment between like-minded players “” in her decision to suspend for six games despite the NFL’s request for a ban. one year.

The NFL officially appealed Watson’s suspension on August 3 and Goodell designated later former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey to rule on the appeal. Goodell told reporters the right to appeal the decision is outlined in the collective agreement.

“It’s part of the ABC that two sides are entitled to,” Goodell said. “Either party could certainly challenge and appeal and that was something that we felt was our right to do, as well as the NFLPA. So we decided it was the right thing to do. “

Goodell added that he didn’t have a timeline for a decision from Harvey.

Goodell was also asked about his reaction to the investigation into the Dolphins organization. The NFL announced August 2 that the team will lose its 2023 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick, and that team owner Stephen Ross has been suspended until Oct. 17.

“The integrity of the game is critically important,” Goodell said Tuesday. “I think the conclusion was very clear on the accusations of tampering. Although the tanking clearly did not take place here, I think we all need to understand that our words and actions have implications, can be interpreted and we we have to be careful.”

Additionally, Goodell told reporters he had no additional information regarding Commanders owner Daniel Snyder. virtual testimony before Congress on July 28 as part of the House inquiry into Washington’s franchise work culture.

“We didn’t participate in that. We didn’t participate in any way,” Goodell said. “So I don’t have any other information that you don’t have on that background. With respect to his status, as we all know, there is an ongoing congressional investigation as well as our investigation into these matters. As we come to a resolution on this Dan and I will discuss where he is participating.”

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