Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was recently suspended for the first six games of the season for his alleged sexual improprieties with massage therapists. Watson has maintained the entire time that he committed no wrongdoing. Still, the NFL brought the hammer down, and he will miss the first third of his team’s campaign.
Fans of ESPN’s ‘First Take’ have been waiting to hear Stephen A. Smith’s hot take on the situation. Smith has been sidelined after undergoing shoulder surgery. While he isn’t due back until August 15, Smith made a special appearance on today’s show via telephone.
Stephen A. said that he thinks the NFL has been trying to play law enforcement during the ordeal. Past disciplinary failures have led them to be too strong-handed, in his opinion. He thinks that is a major issue for the league.
“The simple fact that Deshaun Watson found himself in this situation. If you’re the National Football League, ‘OK, you’ve impugned the shield because you brought this unwanted attention to our brand and as a result, that is the reason we want to hand down whatever suspension it is that we want to hand down.’
Because the NFL has been trying to make amends for their dereliction of duty as it pertained to Ray Rice, they’ve gone the route of, as far as I’m concerned, trying to resemble law enforcement. The NFL has gone through extraordinary lengths to try to do what law enforcement is supposed to do. That’s my problem with all of this. Where there’s smoke there’s fire. There is no way in hell that Deshaun Watson can claim complete innocence. But to be fair to him, he has ADAMANTLY expressed the fact that he has been innocent of this.”
There is still a chance that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell could extend the suspension of Deshaun Watson. It does not appear likely at this time. Stephen A. Smith is unsure why the league handled things the way they did.
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