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As The Cleveland Browns are trying to navigate the controversy surrounding quarterback Deshaun Watson and how long he will be suspended, there is a potential new controversy.
The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) is hosting its annual convention in Cleveland from 24-27. August. Watson was suspended for six games on Monday for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
The suspension follows 24 lawsuits accusing Watson of sexual misconduct during massage therapy appointments.
That The NFL has appealed the decision by Independent Disciplinary Officer Sue L. Robinson, who is reportedly seeking a yearlong suspension for the three-time Pro Bowl selection.
NFL DECIDES TO APPEAL DESHAUN WATSON’S SIX GAME SUSPENSION
In a statement, the AMTA had harsh words for the “relatively light sentence” handed down to Watson.
“Massage therapists should never have to tolerate behavior outside the scope of therapeutic massage therapy in a massage session,” AMTA said in a statement.
“AMTA strongly believes that any client who crosses the line into inappropriate touching should face the legal consequences. And it is disappointing to see such a relatively light punishment by the NFL imposed on Deshaun Watson in their findings of his violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.
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“If the NFL is concerned about professionalism and maintaining high standards in the league, creating a safe workplace for all members of the athlete care team should be a priority. We hope the league takes steps to ensure that the massage therapists on the Browns’ staff and throughout the NFL, as well as those who support individual athletes, are able to work in a safe and professional environment.”
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Watson has denied anyone error and has decided with 23 of its 24 prosecutors.
“Massage therapists work every day to help clients relieve pain, discomfort, stress and manage medical conditions, making a meaningful difference for their clients, especially for the millions of Americans who struggle with chronic pain,” said Michaele Colizza, AMTA’s national president. “Massage is and should always be about health and wellness in a safe environment, whether for an athlete or any other client.”
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The Browns open their preseason schedule against the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 12.