Last week, prior to taking the field in his first NFL game in 586 days, Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson issued an apology to the women he’s impacted amidst the sexual misconduct allegations that led to lawsuits being filed on behalf of 24 women.
“I want to say that I’m truly sorry to all of the women that I have impacted in this situation,” Watson said.
“The decisions that I have 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.”
While the apology was a nice gesture, FS1 analyst Shannon Sharpe says Watson only apologized because he’s trying to soften the blow of the NFL’s appeal of his six-game suspension handed down by arbitrator Sue Robinson.
The NFL is seeking a year-long ban, which would be Watson’s second consecutive season of not playing. Sharpe also said the timing of the apology was wrong as well.
During a recent a episode of “Undisputed,” the Pro Football Hall of Famer expounded on what he meant.
Sharpe Isn’t Buying The Act
Sharpe is old-school and believes Watson’s apology was late and should’ve happened when he settled with the accusers, seemingly ignoring or unaware of the fact that Watson has not settled with every accuser.
“Once the ruling had come down or, you know, you settle the case, it’s not skipped. You just come out, say, hey, I can put this behind me. I apologize for anybody that was impacted by my what? My behavior, whatever you wanted to word it. You got representation. You got people that can word it appropriately and you can move on.”
“That’s what should’ve happened. Once you settle it, you come out, you word it appropriately and you move on.”
“But when you settle the case and you really don’t say anything … He’s not sorry. So, I just think the thing is, timing is a lot. Have a lot to do with an apology. Skip [Bayless], timing is everything with an apology.”
“You can’t wait til almost all of a sudden, you’re about to receive a more sever punishment and you say, well, I’m sorry for what transpired. I’m sorry that I impacted these women.”
Sharpe believes when issuing an apology, timing is of the utmost importance. And in his opinion this was done to show the league that he is remorseful for his actions. And in many ways he’s speaking truth. The timing of the apology in many ways, Sharpe says, shows how remorseful you really are about your actions. In Watson’s case that speech may have come way too late.
Texans And Watson Both Apologized, Paid But Didn’t Admit Guilt
During the ordeal both Watson and the Texans paid out settlements and apologized but neither admitted any guilt. In fact, the Texans paid settlements to 30 women, while Watson paid 20 women, later settled with another three, and has one case outstanding.
Here’s the statement the Texans released reiterating that their gesture wasn’t an admission of guilt.
“We were shocked and deeply saddened when we first learned of the allegations against our then franchise quarterback in March 2021. Although our organization did not have knowledge of Mr. Watson’s alleged misconduct, we have intentionally chosen to resolve this matter amicably. This is not an admission of wrongdoing, but instead a clear stand against any form of sexual assault and misconduct.
“We hope that today’s resolution will provide some form of closure for the parties involved, our fans, and the Houston community at large. As an organization, we will now turn our focus to the future and doing what we can to ensure respect for all.”
League has filed its appeal in Deshaun Watson suspension, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 3, 2022
For the Texans to reach settlements with 30 accusers is odd, especially if they had no recollection of what Watson was allegedly doing. For them to also say this isn’t an admission of guilt is also sort of contradictory, because paying someone off is usually just that.
No matter what, Watson awaits his fate for the 2022 season, and the prospect of him taking the field looks very bleak.