Some Facebook and Twitter users said it was a missed opportunity to punish the quarterback who was traded to the Browns in March on a five-year, $230 million contract, but has since faced numerous sexual misconduct lawsuits.
“Deshawn [sic] Watson will make $230 million over the next 5 years. I’m sure that $5 million fine is really gonna be painful to him,” wrote @WVSoccerdad.
Facebook user Scott Bales noted that Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict was suspended for 12 games after one helmet-to-helmet hit during the 2019 season, and that Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended for 17 games for betting on games in 2021.
Watson’s 11-game suspension comes after he was named a defendant in two-dozen separate civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct, most of which have been settled. He has not been criminally charged, however.
“What are we doing here?” Bales wrote.
“[Watson] should be banned for life,” wrote @jwelcome1965.
Linda Boggs-Kettering said on FOX 8’s Facebook page that Watson is “not a good role model for our children.”
The $5 million fine is expected to be distributed to charity, according to reports. Twitter user @healthyskeptic1 said that money should go to “his victims.”
Others said they feel it’s time to move on.
“Now can we plz move this narrative….so that healing can begin….Go Browns,” wrote Phillip Bessick on the FOX 8 Facebook page.
Twitter user @major_bux said: “Now the process of moving forward begins.”
Watson could return as early as Dec. 4 for the Browns’ away game against the Houston Texans, his former team.
“First game back vs Houston! Coincidence? I think not! Imagine those TV ratings,” said Aki Kaplaneris on Facebook.