Deshaun Watson APOLOGIZES for the first time to ‘all the women that he impacted’ amid alleged sexual misconduct… as he returns to the field to loud boos for Browns’ preseason opener despite ban
- Deshaun Watson apologized ahead of his first appearance for the Browns
- 25 women have accused him of sexual assault between March 2020-2021
- Watson took the field for the first time since the 2020 season on Friday
Deshaun Watson apologized to the women who have accused him of sexual assault for the first time on Friday night, just hours before stepping back onto the NFL pitch while he awaits news of his impending ban.
Watson has been top of the NFL news agenda for months amid sexual misconduct allegations from dozens of women, and the Cleveland Browns quarterback is waiting to hear whether his initial six-game ban is extended – potentially to a year or more.
‘I want to say that I’m truly sorry to all of the women that I have impacted in this situation,’ Watson said on the Browns pregame show ahead of the team’s preseason matchup with the Jaguars.
‘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.’
Deshaun Watson has been suspended for six games but could be looking at a longer penalty
The alleged sexual assaults and inappropriate conduct Watson is accused of in the lawsuits – filed by 25 women – happened during massage sessions between March 2020 to March 2021.
The Texans, his former team, also reached settlements in July with 30 women who made claims of sexual misconduct against him and alleged ‘enabling’ behavior on the part of the Houston franchise.
During the interview, Watson was asked to follow up on what he meant by ‘grow and learn’ and indicated he would seek help off the field.
Watson is not expected to start the season for the Browns but played Friday night
‘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 said.’
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.’
Watson has been suspended six games by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, but the league, seeking a harsher punishment, is appealing the ruling.
Watson, who has not played since the 2020, started against the Jags on Friday night, despite not being expected to start the season for the Browns in September.
He was reportedly booed as he took the field for Cleveland for the first time.