Twitter reacts to Deshaun Watson's 11-game suspension from NFL originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Weeks after Deshaun Watson received a six-game suspension for allegations of sexual misconduct, the NFL has announced it reached a settlement with the players association and is extending the suspension to 11 games, following an appeal. They also added on a $5 million fine and mandatory mental health training for the Browns’ quarterback.
This brings the league’s investigation to a close, nearly 18 months after the allegations were first reported.
Like every moment of this investigation, twitter had a lot to say.
Watson’s agent, David Mulugheta weighed in with a diplomatic statement. He defended Watson’s apology, which has been pointed to as an admission of guilt, but pointed to “decisions [Watson] made” as being responsible for the “situation.”
But that wasn’t enough for many people who felt that the NFL’s response was still lacking.
Former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III said the NFL “failed” to demonstrate that it had learned from its “ugly history on standing up for women.”
It was reported throughout much of the investigation that the NFL was seeking a year-long suspension. When news broke that the amended suspension was 11 games with Watson set to return against his former team, the Houston Texans, it caused some raised eyebrows.
Others were also quick to point out the NFL’s apparent hypocrisy, comparing Watson’s treatment by the league to Colin Kaepernick, who was essentially blacklisted after kneeling during the national anthem in response to police brutality of Black people.
Twitter also had a considerable amount of criticism for the Browns front office, particularly team owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam.
During a Thursday press conference following the ruling, Haslam opted to remind the media that Watson is “26 years old, and he’s hell of a quarterback.”
ESPN’s Mina Kimes also took issue with the Haslams’ response, citing an example from several weeks prior.
Turning to other personnel on the field, Browns guard Joel Bitonio said he expects lots of boos on the road and is prepared for an atmosphere that’s “Cleveland against the world.”
Needless to say, Bitonio’s comments didn’t go over well.