Punishing Player Misconduct: Will the NFL Ever Get it Right? : Consider This from NPR On Sunday, Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will return to the field for the first time in nearly two years. This comes after an 11-game suspension and $5 million fine imposed by the NFL after more than two dozen female massage therapists filed allegations against him ranging from sexual misconduct to sexual assault.

The allegations stem from incidents that occurred in 2020 and 2021, while Watson was a quarterback for the Houston Texans. And while he doesn't face criminal charges, the sheer number of women coming forward with similar accounts is striking - but not, striking enough to deter Cleveland from signing Watson -in time for the 2022 season -with a five-year $230 million deal

The NFL has faced criticism in the past for how it handles cases like Watson's, and many critics say the fine and suspension don't go far enough.

Host Michel Martin speaks with Kevin Blackstione, a sports columnist for the Washington Post and ESPN panelist, about how the NFL might better handle allegations of player misconduct against women.

Punishing Player Misconduct: Will the NFL Ever Get it Right?

Punishing Player Misconduct: Will the NFL Ever Get it Right?

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson(Nick Cammett/AP) Nick Cammett/AP hide caption

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Nick Cammett/AP

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson(Nick Cammett/AP)

Nick Cammett/AP

On Sunday, Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will return to the field for the first time in nearly two years. This comes after an 11-game suspension and $5 million fine imposed by the NFL after more than two dozen female massage therapists filed allegations against him ranging from sexual misconduct to sexual assault.

The allegations stem from incidents that occurred in 2020 and 2021, while Watson was a quarterback for the Houston Texans. And while he doesn't face criminal charges, the sheer number of women coming forward with similar accounts is striking - but not, striking enough to deter Cleveland from signing Watson -in time for the 2022 season -with a $230 million deal

The NFL has faced criticism in the past for how it handles cases like Watson's, and many critics say the fine and suspension don't go far enough.

Host Michel Martin speaks with Kevin Blackstione, a sports columnist for the Washington Post and ESPN panelist about how the NFL might better handle allegations of player misconduct against women.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Marc Rivers. It was edited by Jeanette Woods. Our executive producer is Natalie Winston.