NFL Rightly Suspends Cleveland Browns Quarterback with History of Sexual Assault and Misconduct

NCOSE Press Statement logo

WASHINGTON, DC (August 1, 2022) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) commended the NFL’s decision to suspend Cleveland Browns Quarterback Deshaun Watson for six games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Mr. Watson faced 24 active civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault and misconduct, and recently settled 23 of the lawsuits.

“The NFL rightly suspended Brown’s Quarterback Deshaun Watson for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. We believe that the NFL’s suspension should have been stricter, but we are thankful that the league has begun to take seriously matters of sexual exploitation by holding players like Mr. Watson accountable,” said Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

“The 24 civil suits filed against Mr. Watson represent survivors who accused him of sexual abuse and sexploitation. Sexual assault and violence against women are a pervasive blight on our society.”

In March 2022, NCOSE wrote to Cleveland Browns Owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam requesting that they reveal publicly what specific conditions they placed on Mr. Watson to prevent him from engaging in sexual abuse and exploitation.

“We reiterate our call on the Browns’ owners to publicly announce what steps they have taken to hold Mr. Watson accountable if another sexual assault allegation is raised against him while in their employ. The Browns’ owners must confront – not normalize – sexual violence against women,” Hawkins said.

About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography. 

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.



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