On Thursday afternoon, the NFL and Deshaun Watson reached a settlement that will see him miss the first 11 games of the 2022 season.
The Cleveland Browns quarterback also received a $5 million fine after he faced 24 lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct by massage therapists. In the aftermath of the settlement, the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center issued a statement to ESPN.
According to ESPN's Michelle Steele, the CRCC said it "stands with those who have been hurt by Deshaun Watson."
"While traditional avenues of criminal justice may have failed his accusers, today’s NFL and NFLPA settlement of increased punishment is a step towards validating their experiences," the statement continued. "Healing comes to survivors in many forms."
CRCC president Sondra Miller adds that the center "applauds anytime resources are dedicated to the prevention of sexual violence. In order to eradicate rape and sexual assault, we must hold sex offenders and the systems and institutions enabling them, accountable.”
Watson's $5 million fine and $1 million donations from the Browns and the NFL will go towards support for non-profits that work to prevent sexual misconduct and assault.