Browns’ Deshaun Watson apologizes ‘to all the women I have impacted’

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson apologized Friday “to all the women I have impacted” after being accused by two dozen ladies of sexual misconduct throughout therapeutic massage remedy classes.

Watson, who’s going through a possible year-long NFL suspension, spoke earlier than Cleveland’s exhibition opener in Jacksonville — his first sport since Jan. 3, 2021, with the Houston Texans.

Watson was suspended six video games earlier this month by unbiased arbiter Sue L. Robinson, who concluded he violated the league’s private conduct coverage with “egregious” and “predatory” conduct.

As a part of her determination, the retired federal choose famous Watson’s lack of regret.

Watson was requested in a pregame interview with the group’s in-house TV crew Friday for his response to Robinson’s place that he hasn’t been contrite.

“Look, I want to say that I’m truly sorry to all of the women that I have impacted in this situation,” Watson stated within the interview. “The decisions that I made in my life that put me in this position I would definitely like to have back, 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.”

That is the primary time Watson has publicly apologized for his alleged conduct. In his two media interviews since becoming a member of the Browns in March, he had stated solely that he had “no regrets” whereas acknowledging his actions had negatively impacted “so many people.”

Watson had an uneventful debut, finishing simply 1 of 5 passes for 7 yards in three sequence earlier than being changed in Cleveland’s 24-13 win. Jacoby Brissett, who is predicted to begin throughout Watson’s suspension, didn’t play.

Watson was accused of sexually harassing or assaulting the ladies throughout the remedy classes in 2020 and 2021. He has all the time denied wrongdoing and grand juries in two Texas counties declined to indict him on prison complaints.

The three-time Professional Bowler settled 23 of 24 civil lawsuits.

Nonetheless, he’s nonetheless going through self-discipline from the league, which appealed Robinson’s penalty and is looking for a full-season ban together with a big fantastic over $5 million and for Watson to endure analysis and therapy earlier than he could possibly be reinstated.

The enchantment is now with Peter C. Harvey, a former New Jersey legal professional common appointed by Commissioner Roger Goodell.

There’s no timetable on Harvey’s determination. It’s additionally potential the edges may work out a settlement. On Thursday, an individual accustomed to Watson’s protection informed AP that the 26-year-old would comply with an eight-game suspension and $5 million fantastic.

The individual spoke on situation of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the high-profile case.

Watson has continued to apply and was enthusiastic about making his debut with Cleveland, which traded three-first-round picks to Houston for him in March and signed him to a five-year, $230 million contract.

Relying on Harvey’s ruling, Watson could possibly be away from the Browns for an prolonged interval. He was requested what sort of private development he hoped to make.

“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 wish to be sure that I’m simply evolving in the neighborhood as a lot as potential, and that’s for the Cleveland neighborhood, that’s the NFL neighborhood and past.”

If Watson is suspended indefinitely, he would not be able to practice or play in the preseason so he was looking forward to facing the Jaguars.

“I’m tremendous excited,” he said. “I’m excited to get on the market with my new teammates and go on the market and compete. Each snap, I wish to ensure I cherish that as a result of I’m unsure when the following time I’ll be capable to get on the market with these guys.”

Reporting by Related Press.

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