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Deshaun Watson’s NFL hearing begins and could last multiple days

Deshaun Watson faces a potential suspension by the NFL under the personal conduct policy. (Ron Schwane/AP)

The NFL’s disciplinary hearing for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson began Tuesday as representatives of the league and the NFL Players Association made contrasting arguments about a potential suspension of Watson based on allegations of sexual misconduct.

The sides are arguing the case before Sue L. Robinson, a former U.S. district judge who is the disciplinary officer jointly appointed by the league and players union under a revised version of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. This is the first case to be heard by a neutral arbitrator since the new system was put in place with the collective bargaining agreement completed in 2020.

The hearing is taking place in Delaware, where Robinson is based, and could continue over multiple days, a person familiar with the case said. It is not known when Robinson will make a ruling.

NFL to seek at least one-year ban of Deshaun Watson at Tuesday hearing

The NFL is arguing for an indefinite suspension of at least one full season, a person with knowledge of the proceedings said over the weekend. The NFLPA, representing Watson, has maintained throughout its deliberations with the league that Watson should not be suspended, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday.

If Robinson rules Watson did not violate the personal conduct policy, the case would be closed, with no appeal possible. If she rules Watson violated the policy and she imposes disciplinary measures, the league or the union could appeal to Commissioner Roger Goodell or a person designated by him.

Watson has denied the allegations against him, made in two dozen civil lawsuits, and has not been charged with a crime. He has reached settlement agreements in 20 of the 24 then-active lawsuits, according to Tony Buzbee, the attorney for the women involved. The NFL’s personal conduct policy allows for discipline to be imposed without criminal charges.

The allegations made against Watson include making inappropriate comments, exposing himself and forcing his penis on women’s hands during massage therapy sessions. On Monday, one of the accusers filed a lawsuit against the Houston Texans, alleging Watson’s former team “turned a blind eye” and “enabled” his behavior.

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The latest: Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, announced that the committee intends to issue a subpoena to compel the testimony of Commanders owner Daniel Snyder.

Exclusive: An employee of Washington’s NFL team accused Snyder of asking for sex, groping her and attempting to remove her clothes, according to legal correspondence obtained by The Post. A team investigation concluded the woman was lying in an attempt to extort Snyder.

Civil suits settled: Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has reached settlement agreements in 20 of the 24 active civil lawsuits filed against him by women who accused him of sexual misconduct, the attorney for the women announced.

Jerry Brewer: “The Browns were prepared for initial turbulence, but they assumed they were getting Watson at the end of his troubles. Now his disgrace is their disaster.”

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