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Lawyer for Deshaun Watson accusers calls on Roger Goodell to ‘do the right thing’ in suspension appeal

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An attorney for the 24 women who filed civil lawsuits against Deshawn Watson held a press conference Thursday in which he criticized the referee’s six-game suspension of the Cleveland Browns quarterback as a “kiss on the cheek” and then urged NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to “do the right thing” in an appeal that will determine Watson’s final punishment.

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In a wandering set of remarks criticizing the NFL investigation into Watson, Houston’s lawyer Tony Bazby expressed disappointment from some of Watson’s civilian prosecutors at the quarterback’s initial six-game ban handed down by independent referee Sue L. Robinson on Monday. Buzby went on to say that sexual assault victims are now “watching” Goodell and the NFL as the upcoming appeal unfolds in the coming days. He then returned to earlier criticisms of the league’s disciplinary process, as well as the way criminal complaints were handled during grand jury hearings in Houston.

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In addition to an extensive review of several previous statements during his conduct of the civil trial against Watson, Buzby confirmed several legal developments over the past few weeks. Among them: Watson and 23 of the 24 civil prosecutors reached financial settlements in their cases; that one civil case is still pending and planned; that the Houston Texans had reached a financial settlement with 30 women associated with Watson’s past behavior, and that Buzby’s firm would not pursue any future lawsuits against the team associated with Watson; and that, in addition to settling the Texans, Buzby’s firm did not exempt the NFL from possible future lawsuits.

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In support of these events, Busby detailed what he saw as various setbacks in the NFL’s discipline process and the specific treatment of 10 Watson accusers who spoke to league investigators. It then concluded with what appeared to be a verbal challenge to Goodell to give Watson a heavier sentence in a league appeal to be determined by former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey.

Goodell appointed Harvey as the final arbiter of the trial on Thursday, giving him the power to determine Watson’s final suspension.

“We’re here today with a message to the NFL,” Bazby said. “Every sexual assault victim is looking at Roger Goodell and the NFL right now. The idea that Mr. Goodell is going to hand it over to someone else who is “independent” – we don’t accept it. Mr. Goodell, what will you do? It’s never too late to do the right thing. That is what these women and those who watch are expecting.”

Attorney for Deshawn Watson's prosecutors Tony Buzby urged NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
The attorney for Deshawn Watson’s accusers, Tony Buzby, urged NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to “do the right thing” in appealing the league’s suspension as part of Thursday’s tortuous press conference. (Photo by Kevin Ditch/Getty Images)



Source: sports.yahoo.com

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