CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s suspension was increased to over half the season, following a negotiated deal between the NFL and NFL Players Association.
Watson will be suspended without pay for 11 games and has been ordered to pay a $5 million fine as part of a violation of the league’s Personal Conduct Policy, an NFL spokesperson said in the announcement Thursday.
Watson’s fine, along with an additional $2 million contributed by the Browns and the NFL for a total of $7 million, will go to support non-profit organizations promoting health relationships, promote education and prevention of sexual misconduct and assault, and supporting survivors, the league spokesperson said.
Watson was initially suspended for six games by Sue L. Robinson, a former federal judge jointly appointed by the league and union to act as an independent disciplinary officer, the Associated Press reports. Watson has been accused of sexual misconduct by two dozen women while he played for the Houston Texans.
The NFL however had been pushing for a more severe punishment including an indefinite suspension and hefty fine.
Watson’s first game for the Browns after the suspension would be against his former team, the Texans, in Week 13 December 4. The Browns next game is at the Cincinnati Bengals December 11.
“I apologize once again for any pain this situation has caused. I take accountability for the decision I made. My focus going forward is on working to become the best version of myself on and off the field and supporting my teammates however possible while I’m away from the team,” Watson said in a statement posted by the Browns on social media.
This is a developing story and we’ll update this page as we learn more.
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