Former NFL Quarterback Robert Griffin III Comments on NFL’s Appeal of Deshaun Watson Suspension

by Patrick Norton

Robert Griffin III is speaking out on Sue L. Robinson’s disciplinary decision regarding Deshaun Watson. On Monday, Robinson handed down a six-game suspension to the Cleveland Browns quarterback. However, on Wednesday, the NFL filed a formal appeal to the decision requesting a heftier ban.

Griffin III took to Twitter to express strong feelings toward the NFL’s decision to appeal. The former quarterback highlights the league’s previous failures in handing sensitive cases. Griffin III also believes the angle for a tougher ban is purely about protecting “THE BRAND”.

The interesting line comes at the very end. What is the quarterback insinuating with, “No punches will be held?” As the NFL begins the process of an expedited appeal, the NFLPA and Watson’s representatives likely begin a pursuit for federal court. The expectation remains that Watson would sue for discrimination against the league if the NFL didn’t accept Robinson’s findings.

Robert Griffin III’s comments strike an odd chord. While the former journeyman certainly has a point with past punishment, the original suspension comes from an independent arbiter. Robinson – a former district judge – received appointment with joint approval from the NFL and NFLPA to her new post as disciplinary officer in the recent CBA. But the Watson subject is her first ruling in the position.

It creates a hairy situation as most believe a tougher suspension is necessary. But as Robinson highlights in her findings, Watson’s sexual deviancy is “more egregious than any before reviewed by the NFL.” Furthermore, the situation is incomparable to previous cases. Lack of precedence is why Robinson diminished the NFL’s wishes for an indefinite ban in the first place.

More NFL Talking Heads Chime In on Deshaun Watson’s Suspension, NFL’s Subsequent Appeal

Robert Griffin III’s ESPN teammate and former NFL defensive back Ryan Clark added his two cents on Wednesday. Clark says, “No way the NFL was going to let a 6 game suspension stand. Not if they wanted to at least attempt to look like they cared about women. No brainer.”

Clark’s opinion certainly resonates with many. In addition to the league’s previous suspensions, the steps taken in domestic violence issues often look weak. Is the NFL’s stance on Watson simply an attempt to make an example of the quarterback? Maybe, but 24 civil lawsuits for 26 accusations of sexual misconduct has written the book on Cleveland’s controversial QB.