In an effort to understand this, direct comparisons have been made. Other NFL players like Ben Rothelessberger and Ezekiel Elliott received punishment for sexual assault allegations.
Robert Kraft has been accused of doing roughly the same thing as Watson, which is why this is a preliminary comparison.
Sports Illustrated analyst Gary Gramling lamented this comparison in the Monday Morning Quarterback podcast:
“I will say what happened with Deshaun Watson was completely ridiculous. The Robert Kraft things that people are trying to compare her to just don’t exist in this reality and maybe people should stop it.”
Kraft had far fewer allegations pressed against him than the former Houston Texans quarterback did.
Why isn’t it totally disgraceful for Cleveland Browns fans to get upset over Deshaun Watson’s harsh punishment
It’s a direct comparison because both parties were accused of doing things inappropriate to the massage therapists.
Gramming went on to admit that while the numbers are much more impressive for Watson, the NFL has been shown to make it easier for owners than players:
“However, if you are going to be upset with the NFL for imposing a severe penalty on the quarterback for his predatory behavior, you can point to the fact that they put the spotlight on the owners at this point. And as we’ve seen with these, the penalties are against dolphins and specifically against Stephen Ross.”
He cited recent tampering violations that largely fall to the shoulders of Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.
Ross was fined $1.5 million, which is not much for an owner who has a net worth of over $8 billion. The team lost two recruiting picks, including a first-round pick next year.
This seriously hurts the team, but what does Ross actually lose? Not much. What did Kraft get from his transgressions? nothing.
What will Deshaun Watson get? Maybe a lot. It’s fair to say that the extended sentence fit his crime, but the NFL has come easy on other offenders in the past.
A quarterback could lose a season or more. While he did things to deserve it, Browns fans have a legitimate issue with the NFL.
If you use any of the quotes above, please add the podcast The Monday Morning Quarterback and H/T Sportskeeda.