Deshaun Watson is not having an easy time after his NFL suspension and assault allegations from multiple massage therapists. Now in the preseason, where Watson can play until the start of the regular season, he took the time to divulge how he feels at the Cleveland Browns preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday.
Deshaun spoke with Aditi Kinkhabwala ahead of starting tonight's game in Jacksonville. pic.twitter.com/9kuHxI9ULh
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 12, 2022
“Look, I wanna say that I’m truly sorry to all the women that I impacted in this situation,” Watson said to the Cleveland Browns’ Aditi Kinkhabwala.
“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.”
Watson was handed a six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Judge Sue L. Robinson was the NFL and NFLPA’s impartial arbitrator, who ultimately decided if he violated the league’s personal conduct policy for his alleged accusations of sexual misconduct.
Since then, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has decided to seek a more significant suspension for the beleaguered NFL quarterback.
“The NFL’s appeal addresses whether, based on the findings made by Judge Robinson, the discipline should be modified to include a professional evaluation and treatment as determined by medical experts, an appropriate fine, and a longer suspension,” said the league in a statement.
Deshaun Watson's return game 😤
7 Yards 😦🦾🔥
0 First Downs 💰🤑
0 TDS 💯👀🚨
24 Lawsuits 💆🏽♂️😈👨🏼⚖️ pic.twitter.com/b2PlUKPoHr
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) August 13, 2022
Goodell took it further, confirming the NFL’s plan to appeal and seeking to impose a harsher penalty on Watson.
“We’ve seen the evidence. [Disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson] was very clear about the evidence, should we enforce the evidence. That there was multiple violations here, and they were egregious, and it was predatory behavior,” he said on Aug. 9 after a special league meeting in Minneapolis, according to NFL.com. “Those are things that we always felt were important for us to address in a way that’s responsible.”
Many have felt that Watson’s punishment was not as severe as the allegations against him should warrant. Now he is admitting that he will have a steep hill to climb to get back in the good graces of public opinion.
Jags fans chanting “you sick fuck” at Deshaun Watson to kick off the preseason. pic.twitter.com/5UQY8rTrHT
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) August 13, 2022
“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 added.
“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’s for the Cleveland community, that’s the NFL community, and beyond.”
Fans at opposing teams’ stadiums will not let Watson live down the shame of the allegations. During the preseason game against the Jaguars, where Watson played his first game in nearly two years, the fans started booing him and then escalated into a chorus of “you sick f***.”
That’s the new NFL reality of Deshaun Watson, and it is definitely to be continued.