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Deshaun Watson: “I’m truly sorry to all the women that I’ve impacted”

Ahead of his first game for the Cleveland Browns, Watson issued an apology to the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.

Deshaun Watson es suspendido 11 partidos y multado por $5 millones de dólares
Don Juan MooreGetty

Before starting for the Cleveland Browns in their first preseason game, a 24-13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday, Deshaun Watson spoke about the sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Watson issues first apology

In an interview with CBS Sports’ Aditi Kinkhabwala, Watson apologised for the first time to the 25 women who have accused him of sexually assaulting them during private massage sessions.

I want to say that I’m truly sorry to all the women that I’ve impacted in this situation,” he said. “The decisions that I 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. I want to keep pushing forward.”

NFL seeking longer ban over “predatory” conduct

Due to the allegations, the NFL launched an investigation against Watson, leading retired judge Sue L. Robinson - a disciplinary officer appointed by the league and the NFL Players Association - to issue the 26-year-old with a six-game ban.

The NFL has challenged Robinson’s ruling, league commissioner Roger Goodell appointing former New Jersey attorney general Peter C. Harvey to review Watson’s case and determine whether his suspension should be increased.

While Harvey’s decision is awaited, it has been reported that Watson is willing to take an eight-game ban and a fine of $5 million. The NFL, however, is seeking a higher fine and a suspension of at least one season, Goodell describing the actions Watson is accused of as “egregious” and “predatory”.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Watson’s fate, the Browns designated him as their starting quarterback in Jacksonville, the player making his first appearance in an NFL game since the end of the 2020 season.