JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, for the primary time, apologized to the ladies who’ve accused him of sexual misconduct throughout therapeutic massage periods in an interview Friday.
“I want to say that I’m truly sorry to all of the women that I have impacted in this situation,” Watson stated throughout an in-house interview on the Browns’ pregame present that aired on Cleveland News 5.
The interview occurred earlier than Friday night time’s preseason opener towards the Jacksonville Jaguars, which Watson began.
Prior to Friday, Watson had stated in his solely two interviews with reporters since becoming a member of the Browns from the Houston Texans that he had “no regrets” concerning any of his actions throughout the therapeutic massage periods. In his second interview throughout Cleveland’s minicamp in June, Watson reiterated that he had no regrets about his actions, although admitted he regretted the influence the allegations had on the individuals round him.
He indicated in another way on Friday.
“The decisions that I made in my life that put me in this position I would definitely like to have back,” he stated on the Browns’ pregame present, “but I want to continue to move forward and grow and learn and show that I am a true person of character and I am going to keep pushing forward.”
Watson and the Browns are ready to listen to whether or not he will likely be suspended longer than the six game-ban he was handed by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson final week for violating the league’s private conduct coverage. The NFL, in search of a harder punishment, has appealed Robinson’s ruling, which will likely be heard by former New Jersey lawyer normal Peter C. Harvey. Harvey has no particular deadline to rule on the enchantment, although he should work in an “expedited” foundation, per the collective bargaining settlement.
In her 16-page report, Robinson famous that an aggravating consider her choice to droop Watson for six video games was his “lack of expressed remorse.”
Watson has been accused of sexual assault and different inappropriate conduct throughout therapeutic massage periods in civil lawsuits filed by 25 ladies. The encounters alleged within the lawsuits occurred from March 2020 to March 2021, whereas Watson was a member of the Texans. The Browns traded for Watson in March 2022, sending three first-round draft picks to Houston earlier than giving Watson a brand new $230 million fully-guaranteed contract.
One of the 25 lawsuits was dropped after a choose’s ruling in April 2021 that the plaintiffs wanted to amend their petitions to reveal their names. Two different ladies filed felony complaints towards Watson however didn’t sue him. Watson has settled or agreed to settle all however one of many remaining lawsuits, which stays pending. In July, the Texans reached settlements with 30 ladies who made claims or had been ready to make them towards the NFL group for its alleged “enabling” of Watson’s habits.
Watson has not taken a snap because the 2020 season. He stated Friday he was “super excited” to lastly play.
“Each and every snap, I want to make sure I cherish that because I’m not sure when the next time I’ll be able to get out there with those guys,” he stated.
Watson added that he plans to make use of the suspension, nevertheless lengthy it finally ends up being, to enhance himself.
“I know I have a lot of work to put in, especially on the field to be able to make sure I’m ready to play whenever that time comes whenever I can step back on the field,” he stated. “But also, the biggest thing is I want to continue counseling and I want to make sure that I’m growing as a person, as an individual for my decision-making on and off the field. I want to make sure that I’m just evolving in the community as much as possible, and that is for the Cleveland community, that is the NFL community and beyond.”