The last time Deshaun Watson had to stand in front of a group of reporters, it was August and the Cleveland Browns quarterback had just agreed to an 11-game suspension and $5 million fine over sexual misconduct and assault allegations. Aside from a very scripted interview during a game at the beginning of the season, he hasn’t had to speak with the media until Thursday when he made his required appearance with reporters from practice before his first game back from suspension.
“I understand that you guys have a lot of questions,” Watson said. “But with my legal team and my clinical team, there’s only football questions I can really address at this time.”
Deshaun Watson’s opening statement. Thanks Jacoby Brissett. Thanks browns and trainers and fans. Also says he is only answering Football questions for legal reasons. pic.twitter.com/rHemk0eD8I
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) December 1, 2022
First question to Deshaun Watson was about his treatment:
"I've been advised to stay away from that and keep it personal."
"There are only football questions that I can address at this time."
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) December 1, 2022
When asked a question about what he learned about himself after going through league-mandated therapy, Watson declined to answer.
Listening to this back, appears he said "clinical" not "political" …. which makes more a bit more sense, but also not answering a pretty legitimate question.
— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) December 1, 2022
“That’s more in that phase of clinical and legal stuff,” he said. “I’ve been advised to stay away from that and keep that personal. … I’m focusing on football. That’s my main focus is football and preparing to be the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns so I can execute the game plan to try to get a win this Sunday.”
Watson might be ready to get back to business, but there are certainly lots of people out there in the NFL world who would like to hear what he has to say about the allegations, the impact of the suspension, and what he’s learned.
Legal reasons. lol. Ok https://t.co/IDyIRPPD5z
— Mitchell Fink (@themitchellfink) December 1, 2022
You were also advised by the Houston Texans to stop sexually harassing masseuses but ¯_(ツ)_/¯ https://t.co/vWJv5LkF2w
— SHAI (@NightAndShai) December 1, 2022
Oh brother. https://t.co/ep9lPRxBxj
— AJ King (@allday__ajking) December 1, 2022
We really just keep letting these guys do this stuff even when they don't even bother pretending like they have any remorse about it. https://t.co/LvMyegoUhV
— Matt Scalici (@MattScalici) December 1, 2022
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) December 1, 2022
*after crashing my car into a tree in front of all my neighbors*
"I will be taking football questions only." https://t.co/2zY2QNbPII
— Joe Donatelli (@joedonatelli) December 1, 2022