Browns’ Deshaun Watson apologizes ‘to all of the women that I have impacted’ as suspension decision looms
Deshaun Watson played in his first game as a member of the Browns on Friday when Cleveland faced the Jaguars in NFL preseason week 1.
Ahead of the competition, Watson publicly apologized to the women who accuse him of sexual assault and misconduct for the first time.
“I really want to feel sorry for all the women I’ve influenced in this situation,” Watson said NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala. “The choices I made in my life that put me in this position I would definitely like to have back, but I want to keep moving forward and growing and learning and showing that I’m a true person of character and I will.” keep pushing forward.”
Deshaun spoke to Aditi Kinkhabwala before the start of today’s game in Jacksonville. pic.twitter.com/9kuHxI9ULh
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 12, 2022
Friday’s interview marked a dramatic change in Watson’s tone regarding the allegations against him. Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam claimed in early August that the quarterback was “regretting that this situation has caused sorrow to many.
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Watson had not publicly expressed that regret as of Friday. He said in his first press conference as Cleveland’s QB that he “doesn’t regret” his troubles off the field and claimed he’s “never done anything these people say.”
On Friday he took more responsibility for his actions and said he would advise.
“I know I have to put in a lot of work, especially on the field, to make sure I’m ready to play whenever that time comes, whenever I can get back on the field,” Watson said. “But the biggest thing is also that I want to continue the counseling and make sure that I as a person, as an individual, [in] my decision-making on and off the pitch.”
Watson may be hoping it will help him express remorse as the NFL seeks a season-long ban on him. Robinson, an umpire appointed jointly by the league and the NFL Players Association to hear Watson’s case, wrote in her ruling that Watson had shown a “lack of expressed remorse” for his actions.
Watson spoke as former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey continues to review evidence in the NFL’s appeal of Watson’s suspension. Harvey was appointed by Commissioner Roger Goodell to hear the appeal.
MORE: Why Deshaun Watson may be willing to settle for eight-game suspension
Whatever the reason for Watson’s change of course, he was looking forward to one thing in particular on Friday: playing his first NFL game since January 2021.
“I’m super excited,” said Watson. “I’m looking forward to getting out and going out and competing with my new teammates. Every single snapshot. I want to make sure I appreciate that because I’m not sure when the next time I can get out there with these guys.”