*Long, deep exasperated sigh* Man…

Last week someone had an interview with Ben Roethlisberger where the interviewer was discussing the lack of playoff success after 2010 for him and the Steelers. Big Ben, a well-established selfish piece of shit, partially claimed it was because players today are “coddled”. Among other reasons to scoff, I laughed at the irony of a franchise QB complaining about coddling and moved on with my day. When the Watson news was finally announced on Monday, those words flew back into my mind like an arrow. Maybe he was right, in a twisted way.

Watson was recommended to get a 6 game suspension. 6 games. Ben Roethlisberger also got a 6-game suspension (reduced to 4 on appeal) after assaulting a woman in a bathroom and having another also accuse him. Watson sexually assaulted over 24. There’s no way to look at this and not see a disgusting lack of justice unless you are a red-pilled Browns dipshit Watson fan. This is probably the worst case of sexually predatory behavior we’ve seen come to light in the league. They gave Watson the same number of games that Roethlisberger got a decade ago despite an exponential amount of harm, crimes implicating one team, and then making the league look even worse once the Browns threw morality in the trash to get him.  It’s just disgusting.

After the initial shock and anger wore off, I started laughing. I hadn’t followed the Watson case (as it pertained to the NFL justice system) very closely, so I learned a lot of things on Monday that illuminated the situation for me. This was a fuck-up far more complicated in its development than it might first seem. The NFL fucked it up, but not how I initially thought.

The NFL, after years of absolutely blowing it on cases such as Ray Rice, Zeke, Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Josh Gordon, insert other fuck up here, decided to take different steps when they re-wrote the newest CBA. Reduce Goodell’s power as judge/jury/executioner. They decided to take a step back from such direct action and divert judgments to a third party, an agreed-upon judge that would be presented cases from the NFL as a prosecutor and the NFLPA as the defender. This is how Judge Sue Robinson, the name you’ve seen thrown around as the maker of the judgment, got involved. She was the third party given the case to examine.

According to reports, the NFL didn’t use all 24+ women in their case against Watson, just the worst ones, and were pushing for a ruling of 1 year, a judgment most of us hoped for. Robinson instead gave a recommended sentence of 6 games. Pathetic. In her 16(!) page explanation (which is mostly lawyer talk), it appears Robinson generally understands Watson was a total piece of shit, but because there was no “precedent” for his crimes under this new disciplinary system and he was a first time offender (lol), that pulled the recommended sentence back. She did throw in the clause that Watson never be allowed to use a massage therapist not assigned to him by the team ever again, so that’s…something I guess. That should have been a given. Watson needs to be watched.

It’s a weak ruling. There’s plenty more to be mad about, including Robinson’s determination that Watson’s actions were “non-violent”, which caused many people to flip our desks at the pathetic distinction that seemed to help lead to the low punishment. It’s weak no matter how you slice it. Watson violated so many women and got less than half a season off.

The funny part, to me, is how the NFL played themselves here. Goodell can appeal, but I think the 6 game suspension stands without change. To introduce an entirely new process (one that I actually think wasn’t a bad idea) and then immediately go against it when they didn’t get the result they wanted would be a bad look and would probably result in some NFLPA action and possibly a suit. The NFL probably also wants this to fade into background noise as quickly as possible, hence the release of the Dolphins tampering judgment just one day later. Judge Robinson failed us on this one, and now what should have been an easy slam dunk is once again a complete fucking mess.

Everything about it sucks. All of it. Everyone failed here. The best thing we can do, as spectators, is to never stop bringing this up. This needs to follow Watson and damage the brand even worse than Roethlisberger did. A lot of people managed to carry the torch on calling Big Ben the rapist he is, we gotta be louder and harsher with Watson. Make the Browns regret it, make the NFL regret it, and let that stink follow him forever. That vocal bullying and holding back our money is the only power we really have.

EDIT: The NFL is officially appealing the ruling, so we might get some more games added on, my guess would be like another 2-4 games, at this point I think over 12 games is off the table. He should get steeply fined, too