Solomon: The NFL isn’t walking its talk when it comes to the Deshaun Watson case

Solomon: The NFL isn't walking its talk when it comes to the Deshaun Watson case

There are many layers in the NFL’s final resolution on the Deshaun Watson case.

On Thursday, the former Texan quarterback, who was traded to the Cleveland Browns earlier this year, was banned for 11 games with a $ 5 million fine, an upgrade, so to speak, from the original ruling of six games determined by referee Sue L. Robinson, former United States District Judge.

Watson was sued by 24 women, who reported sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior during massage sessions while living in Houston and playing for Texans.

Robinson said Watson’s actions were blatant and predatory, but his level of punishment was based on the precedent set by how the NFL had previously handled cases.

Here lies the problem, perhaps the most significant layer.

As much as the league publicizes its off-pitch work on social issues such as domestic violence, sexual assault, and racial and gender equality, it has repeatedly failed to demonstrate its commitment to addressing these issues.

The Watson resolution, which has been strongly condemned, is just the latest example of the League not making its speeches.

Emily Applegate is hardly surprised that NFL action and Watson’s demeanor fell far short of her promise.

As the first woman to make sexual harassment allegations public within the Washington Commanders organization, Applegate saw the league’s power machine at work.

“The NFL and particularly Roger Goodell have proven time and time again that they can’t handle situations in the NFL that make him look like the villain to the people who are putting the NFL where it is,” Applegate said. “Deshaun Watson is a very big name in the NFL. The NFL will not punish him as it should because they need Deshaun Watson’s name and likeness to continue being in the NFL and continue to generate revenue for them.

“So obviously I’m not surprised. It’s just repeated NFL behavior. “

Applegate began working for Washington as a marketing coordinator in February 2014, the same month that Ray Rice punched and knocked out his then-boyfriend, Janay, in an elevator at a casino in Atlantic City, N.J.

Knowing what happened, after seeing the video of Rice dragging her unconscious boyfriend out of the elevator, Goodell suspended the Ravens’ running back for just two games.

After messing with that situation, the NFL created a position called the Vice President of Social Responsibility, to “oversee the development of the full range of education, training and support programs related to domestic violence, sexual assault and respect issues.” .

Eight years later, the league is still struggling with these problems.

Applegate said he suffered daily harassment while working for Washington. Often reprimanded for minor workplace issues that were out of her control, such as the printer not working, by team chief operating officer Mitch Gershman, Applegate testified before Congress that verbal abuse was typically followed by compliments for the its appearance.

“I was specifically told to wear tight clothes when we dined with clients,” she said. “The reason was that the customers needed something to look at. And I wasn’t allowed to wear flat shoes because my body looks better in high heels, and that’s what he liked to look at. “

It was like taking a job at the Animal House, as dozens of women who also worked for Washington came forward on workplace harassment allegations.

From accessing sold cheerleading events to creating obscene video footage of cheerleading photo shoots that are assembled without their consent and even a former cheerleader’s indictment of a proposal directed by team owner Daniel Snyder.

Society has come a long way in the 60 years since the fictional boys of the Delta Tau Chi fraternity were mistreated at Faber College.

The NFL investigated the team and determined it was a mess.

“The Commissioner concluded that for many years the working environment at the Washington Football Team, both generally and specifically for women, has been highly unprofessional,” said the NFL. “Bullying and intimidation often occurred and many described the culture as one of fear and numerous female employees reported experiencing sexual harassment and general disrespect in the workplace.

“Ownership and senior management have paid little or no attention to these issues.”

But in punishing one of its own, the league barely gave Washington and Snyder, who bought the team in 1999 and is valued at $ 4 billion, a slap in the face with a $ 10 million fine.

It’s been two years since Applegate told her story to the Washington Post. And no NFL investigation reports have been made public.

Applegate moved to Houston last year and enrolled in the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University.

His freshman year didn’t go well.

She was called before Congress early in the spring semester and says she felt compelled to honor a steady stream of media requests because she knew her voice mattered.

His studies suffered. Such distractions and the challenge of law school don’t make a good mix.

Applegate will be working on an MBA before re-enrolling in law school in 2023.

As it advances, it is difficult not to look back.

A Google search of his name brings in nearly 39 million hits. She may not be the only Emily Applegate on Earth, but she is by far the most talked about, with an unfair notoriety attached.

What does all this have to do with football?

After all, Applegate was in marketing, cheerleaders don’t play, masseurs who made allegations against Watson don’t work for the NFL.

Power and influence can make a difference. The league, with its billionaire owners, says they want to.

Applegate says the NFL’s already significant effect on society could be more than tackles and touchdowns.

“I’ll never ask anyone to boycott the NFL … let’s be real, it’s not going to happen,” Applegate said. “I saw the Super Bowl last year with my Bengals jersey on. All right. But I also want people to understand that they want (to watch games) so much and that right there it should show you the impact the NFL has on people.

“It’s a huge source of entertainment, so why not lead by example? It may have nothing to do directly with football, but as an organization which is arguably the most recognizable organization on this planet, why aren’t you trying to be better and have everyone else follow in your footsteps? What’s missing is the impact the NFL could really have on all people, as they do every Sunday. “

jerome.solomon@chron.com

What if Watson is suspended?

What if Watson is suspended?

twitter. On the same subject : Thanking the Panthers | | scnow.com.com/jerome_solomon

Although the NFL wanted to see Watson suspended for a full year, the league was willing to reduce that number in a deal. According to ESPN and Sports Illustrated, the NFL’s final settlement offer was this: Watson would be suspended for 12 games and also be fined $ 8 million to $ 10 million.

Why is Watson being suspended?

How many games is Watson suspended for? The NFL has struck a deal with QB #Browns Deshaun Watson. He will be suspended for 11 games and fined $ 5 million, the source confirms. See the article : Eagles Cheerleader Kyle Tanguay reflects on the life-changing American Idol experience. Watson, who said he was in the process of counseling, will be required to continue it as part of the settlement agreement, justice confirmed.

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What was Deshaun Watson signing bonus?

Deshaun Watson, the Cleveland Browns quarterback, will be suspended for 11 games and will pay a record $ 5 million fine after the N. To see also : Zone O: put out the flames.F.L. appealed to what many thought was a lenient six-game suspension on charges of more than two dozen women of sexual misconduct during massage appointments.

When Watson was traded to the Browns, Cleveland tore up the rest of his contract and gave him that $ 230 million fully guaranteed five-year deal with the $ 44.965 million signing bonus.

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