Less than a month before the start of the 2022-23 NFL season, we finally have a ruling on Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson after he and the NFL agreed on a settlement of an 11-game suspension.
Watson took part in a press conference Thursday following the settlement’s announcement, where he again maintained his innocence regarding the sexual misconduct allegations he faced.
“I’m going to have to push forward with my life and my career,” said Watson. “For us to move forward, I’m going to continue to take steps and put my pride to the side. I’m going to continue to stand on my innocence and keep pushing forward. I’ve always stood on my innocence and always stood on not disrespecting or sexually assaulting anyone.”
Deshaun Watson on settling the disciplinary dispute with the #NFL.
— Joe Hughes (@VegasJoeHughes) August 18, 2022
He was then asked why he started his press conference by apologizing if he claims he is innocent, which the three-time Pro-Bowler answered bluntly.
“I’m apologizing for everyone that was affected by the situation,” said Watson. “There were a lot of people that were triggered.”
He was also asked if he apologized to the women that had accused him of sexual misconduct, with his response being that he “apologized to all women” and everyone else that was affected by this “situation.”
Many are confused about Watson’s apologies on the day, especially since he apologized to “all women” but still proclaimed his innocence regarding the sexual assault allegations.
While DeShaun Watson may have finally apologized last week (likely in keeping with the settlement), let’s be clear about one thing: he believes he has done nothing wrong.
— Eric Macramalla (@EricMacramalla) August 18, 2022
the browns and deshaun watson can say he’s innocent but the team had to put together plans and supervision for his treatment and massages. actions are louder than words
— Brian Floyd (@BrianMFloyd) August 18, 2022
Deshaun Watson: “I take accountability for the decisions I made.”
Also Watson: *denies any wrongdoing minutes later*
— Matt Vereen (@MattVereen) August 18, 2022
Let’s face it, no suspension would be long enough for what Deshaun Watson is accused of doing. It’s not like if he did receive a full year that would feel like complete justice based on the behavior.
— Mike J. Asti (@MikeAsti11) August 18, 2022
Deshaun Watson before settlement: “I’m sorry.”
Deshaun Watson after settlement: “I’m innocent.”
Funny how that works.
— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) August 18, 2022
It is certainly a bad look for the Browns and Watson for him to show such little remorse that he would make such a half-hearted apology, regardless of whether or not he sees himself as guilty or innocent.
Whether it is a popular decision or not, the NFL’s decision to settle with Watson on a suspension is now final, and we will see him in Week 12 against his former team, the Houston Texans, in December.