Peter Harvey, the former attorney general of New Jersey, has been appointed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to oversee the appeal of Deshaun Watson's initial punishment.
Goodell could've chosen himself for the role, but decided to go a different route.
Harvey currently serves on the NFL’s diversity advisory committee. He was also part of the committee that issued Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott a six-game suspension (domestic violence) in 2017.
Harvey has a "deep expertise" in criminal law, including domestic violence and sexual assault.
The NFL world took to Twitter to react to this selection.
"Whatever you feel about Watson this smacks of a remarkably corrupt process. Appoint federal judge, don’t like what you get, try again with someone appointed by the Commissioner. People who want Watson buried will applaud it but this is dreadful for fairness," one fan wrote.
"To be clear, Peter Harvey -- picked to adjudicate the NFL appeal of the Watson discipline -- is not hired jointly by the NFL and NFLPA, as Judge Robinson was. He is being retained by the NFL, and it is among other gigs he has had with them before," NFL insider Andrew Brandt reports.
"Peter harvey gave zeke six games in 2017. Looks like we’ll be seeing Deshaun in 2025," another fan said.
The NFL originally appointed Judge Sue L. Robinson to determine Watson's punishment. Robinson found that the Cleveland quarterback was in violation of the league's personal conduct policy with his 24 civil cases of alleged sexual misconduct, but elected to only give him a six-game suspension.
Goodell and the NFL appealed the decision because they felt Watson deserved a harsher punishment.
Given Harcey's track record with sexual misconduct cases, it's very likely Watson gets an increased suspension before the 2022 season.