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By Sue Robinson's own findings, it's hard to feel Deshaun Watson's conduct was 'non-violent' – Yahoo Canada Sports



Imagine you’re at an ATM near your home. You’re headed to your niece’s high school graduation party and want to put some cash in her card. As soon as you let go of the door of the bank lobby and step back onto the sidewalk, you’re approached by a larger, imposing person who demands the money you just withdrew.

You comply, and they run off. Your heart is pounding in your ears, your hands are shaking.

Police find the robber, and when the robber is in front of a judge, you find out not only are they not remorseful, they did the same thing to at least seven other people in the days before and after you were robbed.


The judge acknowledges the crimes were committed, even says they believe the robber will do the same thing again. But since they never actually harmed you with a weapon or their fists and only verbally threatened you, the punishment will be five hours of unsupervised community service.

You’d be furious, right? After all, you may not have been physically hurt, but the mental and emotional damage meant weeks of vivid nightmares, and even months later you’re terrified to walk in your neighborhood, the one that not so long ago felt comfortable.

This, in a nutshell, is what independent arbitrator Sue L. Robinson said to the accusers of Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson in her decision released Monday, the meandering one in which she wrote yes, Watson did commit sexual assault, but in her estimation it was “non-violent.”

Much of her 16-page ruling — which was limited, Robinson wrote, to the four massage therapists whose testimony was included in the NFL’s investigative report, and not all 24 women who filed civil lawsuits — was nonsensical. But apparently to Robinson, since there were no rape kits, no bruises, no ripped underwear in an evidence envelope somewhere, then the mental and emotional trauma suffered by the accusers was apparently not worth considering as she meted out Watson’s punishment.

Of the four women the NFL presented to make its argument during the hearing, one said she needed therapy after her appointment with Watson and is “struggling to work,” according to the ruling. Another said she was battling depression and sleeplessness because of what she alleges Watson did to her. Another is considering leaving massage therapy entirely.

That’s not violent?

Deshaun Watson's conduct was determined to be

Deshaun Watson’s conduct was determined to be “non-violent” by independent arbitrator Sue Robinson. Let’s spend some time with that. (AP Photo/David Dermer, File)

Ashley Solis, the first woman to file suit against Watson, has gone on the record multiple times with her allegation of Watson’s sexually inappropriate and unwanted behavior during their appointment. Two years after her interaction with Watson, she’s still brought to tears by the memory of it, as evidenced by her interview with Soledad O’Brien on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” that aired May.

That’s not violent?

Since Robinson’s decision gives the impression that she was wedded to the letter of the personal conduct policy and not the spirit of it, she perhaps should look up the definition of “violent” because it is not so narrow as she thinks it is. Violence can be in force or effect. The effect Watson’s behavior had on Solis and these other women was violent.

Sexual assault no more requires the physical violence Robinson seems to think it does than racism requires the n-word and white hoods. Both can wound and cause lasting scars without any physical interaction — and in Watson’s case, there was allegedly that as well, with some women accusing him of touching them with his penis or ejaculating on them or forcing them to perform oral sex. Sexual assault hinges on consent. These women did not give their consent to Watson for his behavior.

Robinson’s words may have many long-lasting consequences, few of them good, but in the moment they serve to highlight that too many people still do not have a good enough understanding of what sexual violence is, including former federal judges.

And they also underscore to many of us, once again, how some people, even other women, perceive women as disposable, especially if they’re Black or brown or work in the service industry.

Robinson wrote that she believed the NFL’s contention that Watson “had a sexual purpose — not just a therapeutic purpose — in making these arrangements.”

She wrote that Watson knew “the sexualized contact was unwanted.”

She wrote that Watson had committed sexual assault as defined by the NFL.

She wrote that Watson still shows no remorse, acted with “reckless disregard for the consequences,” and that his pattern of conduct is “more egregious than any before reviewed by the NFL.”

She thinks Watson is such a danger that she wants him, for the remainder of his career, to get massages only through his team or with a team-approved therapist.

To some of us, that sounds like a predator, someone who knows what they’re doing is wrong, does it anyway and could do it again in the future.

And yet given all of this, Robinson gave Watson what amounts to a slap on the wrist.

His non-throwing one at that.

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Maple Leafs clinch playoff berth with Panthers loss to Senators



The Toronto Maple Leafs clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Monday.

The Maple Leafs (44-20-9), who clinched when the Florida Panthers lost 5-2 to the Ottawa Senators, are second in the Atlantic Division, 22 points behind the Boston Bruins and seven ahead of the third-place Tampa Bay Lightning.

It’s the seventh straight season Toronto has clinched a playoff berth. It hasn’t won a postseason series since 2004.

The Maple Leafs are led by forwards Mitchell Marner (94 points), William Nylander (81), Auston Matthews (77), and John Tavares (75). Ilya Samsonov is 24-9-3 with a 2.46 goals-against average, .914 save percentage and three shutouts in 36 games (35 starts). Matt Murray is 14-8-2 with a 2.97 GAA, .905 save percentage and one shutout in 25 games.


Toronto made several moves prior to the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline on March 3, acquiring forwards Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari from the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 17, defenseman Jake McCabe and forward Sam Lafferty from the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 27, defenseman Erik Gustafsson from the Washington Capitals on Feb. 28 and defenseman Luke Schenn from the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 28.

O’Reilly is expected back before the playoffs begin April 17. He hasn’t played since getting hit in the hand by Matthews’ shot in the second period of a 4-1 loss at the Vancouver Canucks on March 4 and was projected to be out four weeks.

The Maple Leafs have won the Stanley Cup 11 times, once each as the Toronto Arenas (1917-18) and the Toronto St. Patricks (1921-22). They are without an NHL championship since 1967.


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Canadian Bianca Andreescu retires from Miami Open match after suffering injury



Canadian Bianca Andreescu suffered an apparent leg injury during the second set of her match against Ekaterina Alexandrova at the Miami Open on Monday.

Andreescu was injured in the third game of the second set of the Round of 16 match while trying to run down a ball in the back court.  She remained down on the court, before receiving medical attention and leaving the court in a wheelchair.

Alexandrova won the first set of the match 7-6, Andreescu was up 2-0 in the second set when she retired from the match due to the injury.

The match was delayed for an hour by rain in the middle of the opening set.


The 22-year-old Canadian was playing well at the Miami tournament, entering play on Monday with victories over Emma Raducanu, No. 7 Maria Sakkari and Sofia Kenin earlier in the competition.


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Quick Reaction: Wizards 104, Raptors 114



O. Anunoby37 MIN, 29 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 11-21 FG, 4-10 3FG, 3-4 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, 18 +/-

From the opening tip OG was a force offensively and continued to flash the self creation signs that everyone wants to see, he had a career high 18 in the first quarter and hit a lot of tough jumpers off the bounce, as well as spaced the floor with catch and shoot triples.

P. Siakam34 MIN, 19 PTS, 11 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 7-17 FG, 1-3 3FG, 4-4 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, -3 +/-

Pretty poor game from Pascal by his standards, a lot of shots seemed forced and he couldn’t finish through contact, very well, his playmaking also was muted because he seemed to be hunting his own shot.

J. Poeltl26 MIN, 12 PTS, 12 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 6-9 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 7 +/-

Jakob’s floaters and push shots worked wonderfully tonight and he did a great job not rushing it like he does most games, offensive rebounding was also key as well, Jakob had 6 in this game which led to countless second chance points.

S. Barnes32 MIN, 13 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST, 3 STL, 5-14 FG, 0-2 3FG, 3-3 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 10 +/-


Solid game in his first game back from injury, hit some tough looks in the paint, passing looked good tonight as well, efficiency was a bit off but we can chalk that up to being rusty.

F. VanVleet36 MIN, 28 PTS, 4 REB, 7 AST, 3 STL, 10-21 FG, 5-9 3FG, 3-3 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 11 +/-

Offensive masterclass from Fred VanVleet, he was zooming all over the floor and he was really burning Washington with his outside shooting, but his playmaking shined really bright tonight as well.

W. Barton04 MIN, 2 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

Left the game early with an injury.

C. Boucher22 MIN, 6 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 10 +/-

Boucher was battling on the class yet again and often gave Toronto an extra look tonight, he also was solid as a rim protector as well.

J. Dowtin Jr.19 MIN, 3 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 1-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 14 +/-

Didn’t add a whole lot offensively but he was harassing guys on ball as a defender, and moving the rock well as well, would like to see Dowtin look for his own a bit more often

C. Koloko15 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 3 STL, 0-2 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 7 +/-

Koloko entered the game by recording a steal and then a block on back to back possessions, and then he continued to play solid defense in drop coverage, really strong game for the rook.

M. Flynn07 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-3 FG, 0-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -10 +/-

Didn’t take advantage of his looks on the floor tonight.

P. Achiuwa06 MIN, 2 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-2 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -10 +/-

Another rough night for Precious as he tries to regain his footing, just couldn’t find it defensively, ran the floor in transition just fine during limited time.

Nick Nurse

Although Toronto was healthier, Nurse didn’t force anyone into minutes that were going to damage the team.

Things We Saw

  1. OG Anunoby flashed creation skills once again, in the face up game he burned Washington many times and he even hit a pull up three.
  2. Christian Koloko played some pretty nice defense, his technique in drop was really good tonight.

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