The NFL’s Monday six-game suspension of alleged serial sexual harasser Deshaun Watson demonstrates a “staggering weakness” by slap-on-the-wrist Commissioner Roger Goodell, says Sports Illustrated writer Connor Orr.
The suspension was announced by NFL discipline officer Sue Robinson, a former judge who ruled the Cleveland Browns quarterback will be suspended six games for violating the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. The NFL and the NFL Players Association can appeal the light punishment and they can also seek a greater societal good, Sports Illustrated reported.
Six games seems pretty light, to say the least. Atlanta receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended a year for betting $1,500 on football games on a platform heavily promoted by the NFL hypocrites. Seattle linebacker Mychal Kendricks was suspended indefinitely for insider trading.
Watson was accused of sexual assault by more than two dozen massage therapists, who claim he practically treated them like his own personal sex toys. He was also allowed to collect his mega-pay all of last season while confined to Houston’s sideline, before the Texans traded him to the Brown in the offseason.
Orr blasted Goodell and his woke league for its abysmal history of disciplining wayward players. He has failed to stand up for women who are the victims of sexual abuse by NFL miscreants. “Whatever flicker of a moral compass existed in this league before his (Goodell’s) takeover has long been extinguished,” Orr said, adding:
Football used to be a neutral battlefield. Under Goodell, though, the sport has shifted into the kind of privileged, slap-on-the-wrist culture that is pervasive among citizens who can afford a super attorney and a good media-spin artist. Instead, punish those who have slipped up with drugs or gambling. But the guy who reportedly has serially sexually harassed and sexually assaulted women under the guise of supporting black-owned businesses and threatened their careers if they spoke out? There’s nothing we can do about that? How grossly familiar does that sound?
Robinson called Watson’s atrocious behavior “nonviolent sexual conduct.” That prompted Orr to say this indicates, “We are so far behind the eight ball as a society in recognizing the mental torture that survivors of any kind of sexual harassment or assault are put through. Who are we to define violence, when someone’s life may be totally upended as a result?”
Commissioner Goodell has had numerous opportunities to stand up to his players treating women like mere sex objects. If he doesn’t appeal the flimsy six-game wrist slap, he’ll reinforce the stigma that he’s soft on sexual abuse.
The website Browns Nation isn’t any better than Goodell. It states that people actually “feared he (Watson) will be given a lengthy suspension, possibly for the entire year, or even longer.” Great athletes and football teams rule, their victims drool.
No matter the outcome of the Watson saga, the NFL will likely win, Orr predicts. People will keep watching the games, no matter the league’s steady flow of player arrests, suspensions and fines. Broadcasters will gloss over his misdeeds, ask him about his arm strength, rustiness and other trite questions that won’t embarrass the league. The NFL beat goes on, glaring warts and all.