As rumors swirl of a potential settlement of the NFL’s effort to discipline Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, he is expressing remorse toward the more than two dozen massage therapists who accused him of wrongdoing.
“I want to say that I’m truly sorry to all of the women that I have impacted in this situation,” Watson told reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala in a pregame interview that aired Friday. “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 and I am going to keep pushing forward.”
The NFL is appealing Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension and seeking a tougher penalty for violating its personal conduct policy for “egregious acts” of “sexualized contact” with massage therapists, the league said earlier this month.
In handing down the six-game suspension, retired Judge Sue L. Robinson ruled there was “sufficient circumstantial evidence to support the NFL’s contention” that Watson sought sexual contact with several massage therapists he reached via social media.
The quarterback “knew such sexualized contact was unwanted,” the judge added.
Watson signed a five-year, $230 million guaranteed contract with the Browns in March.
He has missed a considerable amount of time on the field, having not played for the Houston Texans all of last season as his legal challenges unfolded and the team sought to trade him.