For the first time since the allegations went public, Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson issued an apology to the women who were impacted by his actions.
“I want to say that I’m truly sorry to all of the women that I have impacted in this situation,” Watson said ahead of the Browns' preseason contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars. “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.”
“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.”
The apology comes on the heels of the NFL appealing his six-game suspension in favor of a heftier ban. Earlier this week, Watson expressed his willingness to accept an eight-game suspension and a stiffer fine, but many close to the league believe they will pursue a year-long suspension instead considering commissioner Roger Goodell already called Watson’s actions “predatory behavior” and “egregious.”