For the first time since 24 women accused him of sexual misconduct during massage sessions, Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has issued an apology.
“I want to say that I’m truly sorry to all of the women that I have impacted in this situation,” Watson said Friday in an in-house interview on Cleveland’s pregame show before the preseason opener against Jacksonville.
Previously, Watson had remained firm that he had “no regrets” regarding his actions. Friday marked a change in that stance.
“The decisions that I made in life that put me in this position I would definitely like to have back,” Watson said. “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’s apology comes in the midst of the NFL’s appeal of his six-game suspension, a decision initially reached by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson. The NFL admitted to seeking a longer punishment — perhaps a year-long ban — for Watson, with commissioner Roger Goodell calling Watson’s actions “predatory behavior” and “egregious.”
Watson played in the Browns-Jaguars game Friday night, which marked his first appearance in an NFL game since the end of the 2020 season. He missed last season under the “non-injury reasons/personal matter” designation.
Watson signed a five-year, fully-guaranteed $230 million contract extension this offseason after being traded from the Texans.
“I know I have a lot to work 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,” Watson 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.”