Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson Suspended 6 Games for Sexual Misconduct Accusations: Reports

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Deshaun Watson
Deshaun Watson

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has been suspended six games without pay due to violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy after facing dozens of sexual misconduct accusations, according to multiple reports.

Watson, 26, did not receive any additional fines and will be reinstated after his suspension ends, The New York Times reported. As a condition for his reinstatement, Watson will only be allowed to work with club-approved massage therapists for the remainder of his career.

PEOPLE has contacted the NFL for comment.

Two dozen accusers allege that Watson committed indecent acts during massage therapy appointments, including exposing himself and purposefully touching therapists' hands with his penis in 2020 and 2021. Watson has settled 23 of the 24 lawsuits, with the most recent three ending in confidential settlements. The quarterback has not been criminally charged.

RELATED: Deshaun Watson Settles 20 of the 24 Sexual Misconduct Lawsuits Against Him: Lawyer

In March, Watson faced two grand juries in Texas, both of which declined to charge him. His attorney, Rusty Hardin, said in June "Deshaun Watson did nothing wrong. And as two grand juries have made clear, Deshaun did nothing illegal." Watson has repeatedly maintained his innocence.

During a private hearing in June, the NFL pushed to indefinitely suspend Watson and fine him $5 million, according to The Associated Press.

RELATED: Deshaun Watson Won't Face Criminal Charges in Connection to Houston Sexual Assault Cases

Watson's suspension starts the first week of the regular season, allowing him to continue practicing with the team during the summer. His suspension will end on Oct. 23.

Given his $230 million, five-year contract, Watson will lose $345,000 from the suspension. The suspension does not impact his $45 million signing bonus he received in March after signing with the Browns from the Texans.

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Watson and the NFL Players Association released a joint statement Sunday night ahead of Judge Sue Robinson's decision. The statement says the NFLPA has "fully cooperated with every NFL inquiry" and "regardless of her decision, Deshaun and the NFLPA will stand by her ruling and we call on the NFL to do the same."

Watson and the NFLPA have three business days to submit an appeal to Robinson's ruling, but said that they do not intend to.

RELATED: Deshaun Watson to Answer Whether He Had Sex with Massage Therapists Who Supported Him: Judge

The plaintiff's attorney, Tony Buzbee, who represents the women in the civil lawsuit, said, "I've said in the beginning that the civil process and the NFL's disciplinary process are very different. My role was to advance the cause of my clients, in civil court — nothing more. I've done that. I am extremely proud of these women and our legal team's efforts."