Sports · August 3, 2022

Roger Goodell could take Deshaun Watson’s punishment in hand

“They used to be too strict, and now in some ways they weren’t strict enough, but this was a much better process and didn’t question the integrity of the commissioner and the league,” said Bob Boland, who leads the program. of sports law from Seton Hall University. “The fact that the result is unsatisfactory is a pity.”

While the new process appears to have worked as intended, leaving Goodell out of the factual review and initial meeting of a sanction, the league’s policies still look like a work in progress. LeRoy pointed to the opening sentence of Robinson’s conclusion: “The NFL may be a ‘forward-looking’ organization, but it is not necessarily forward-looking,” indicating that the NFL is highly scrutinized, but its approach to the discipline has been mostly responsive.

After being criticized for handling the case involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was initially suspended for two games in 2014 after punching his girlfriend in a hotel elevator, the NFL has rewrote its personal conduct policy to establish a baseline of a six-game unpaid suspension for early perpetrators of specific violations: criminal assault or beatings, all forms of domestic violence and sexual violence involving physical force or committing against someone unable to give consent.

In Robinson’s report, he concluded that Watson’s behavior towards masseurs was not violent as defined by the NFL term. As a result, he said, she was limited in the discipline he could deliver. Robinson wrote that while it may be “entirely appropriate” to discipline players more severely for what the NFL has termed nonviolent sexual conduct, he did not believe it was right to do so given the league’s current standards.

Juan Carlos Areán, a program director for the non-profit organization Futures Without Violence, said he did not consider a six-game suspension, without any requirement for advice or intervention, that was adequate to discourage or correct the behaviors of which he is accused Watson. Since violence against women can take many forms, Areán said that policies should be written to give freedom to the person who disciplines according to the specificities of each case.

“We know you don’t have to use physical force, and it’s hard to prove the use of physical force when sexual assault occurs,” he said. “We also know that other types of assaults, emotional abuse and this kind of thing can have a very negative impact on the victims. These are very complex problems and you cannot clearly quantify, ‘well, this is much worse than that.’ “