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#pounditSunday, September 25, 2022

Deshaun Watson tries to explain decision to settle suspension

Deshaun Watson on the practice field

Jun 14, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs a play during minicamp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson spoke to the media after his 11-game suspension was officially announced by the NFL, and he tried to offer some explanations about what led to a settlement.

The NFL announced Thursday that it had settled with Watson on an 11-game suspension and $5 million fine over sexual misconduct/assault allegations made against the quarterback. In a statement released with the announcement, Watson apologized “for any pain this situation has caused” and added that he “take(s) accountability for the decisions I made.”

Watson then spoke directly to the media, in which he maintained his innocence and tried to explain his apology in light of that. The quarterback said his apology was for “people that were triggered” and said he had accepted the settlement because he had to “push forward with my life and career.”

Watson has consistently maintained his innocence in the face of the allegations. There was even some suggestion that he felt the initial six-game suspension was too harsh. His case was difficult to argue after former judge Sue L. Robinson stated that she felt the NFL had proved the allegations against Watson. The proof is part of why she forced the quarterback to make a major change to his routine. The question of why he would accept a significant penalty if he could make the case that the facts are on his side is certainly a valid one.

The NFL said Watson must undergo professional evaluation during his suspension, and commissioner Roger Goodell certainly seems to want to see Watson show some sort of remorse for his alleged actions. That will be difficult for Watson to do as long as he maintains that he never did what he was accused of in the first place.

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