CLEVELAND — After former U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson issued a six-game suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson on Monday, the first question many found themselves asking is whether or not the NFL would appeal the decision.
According to the league, that decision is up in the air.
In a statement released shortly after Robinson's ruling on Monday, the NFL said that it is still "reviewing" its next steps in the matter. Per the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA), either Watson or the league has the ability to make an appeal on Robinson's ruling, which would then be heard by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or a designee.
"Pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NFL or the NFLPA on the behalf of Watson may appeal the decision within three days," the league said in a statement, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. "In light of her findings, the league is reviewing Judge Robinson's imposition of a six-game suspension and will make a determination on next steps."
On Sunday, the NFLPA and Watson issued a statement saying that they wouldn't make an appeal on Robinson's ruling and urged the NFL not to either. Notably, the NFL's statement on Monday did not include a decision on the matter.
Last month, Robinson -- who was jointly appointed by the NFL and the NFLPA -- oversaw a disciplinary hearing in which the league presented evidence from four cases alleging sexual misconduct against Watson. In total, 25 women -- primarily massage therapists in the Houston area -- filed civil lawsuits against Watson, alleging sexual misconduct, including harassment and assault, during his time with the Houston Texans.
Watson has since reached settlements on 23 of the cases, with a 25th having been dropped. Last month, the Texans reached settlements with 30 women regarding accusations that they enabled the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback's behavior.
Two Texas grand juries have declined to indict Watson on criminal charges regarding the accusations. Watson has publicly maintained his innocence in the matter.