Mon. May 23rd, 2022


Watson faced questions about his character and the allegations against him as he was officially unveiled as a Browns player at the team’s headquarters; The Browns acquired the quarterback in a trade with Houston Texans

Last Updated: 25/03/22 8:57pm

Cleveland Browns Quarterback Deshaun Watson says that he never disrespected any woman in his first presser for his new team following his 22 sexual misconduct allegations.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Cleveland Browns Quarterback Deshaun Watson says that he never disrespected any woman in his first presser for his new team following his 22 sexual misconduct allegations.

Cleveland Browns Quarterback Deshaun Watson says that he never disrespected any woman in his first presser for his new team following his 22 sexual misconduct allegations.

Deshaun Watson has strongly denied committing any sexual misconduct despite allegations made by 22 women against the Cleveland Browns’ new starting quarterback.

Watson maintained his innocence and insisted he has done nothing illegal as his introductory news conference on Friday at the Browns’ headquarters, where he was flanked by general manager Andrew Berry and coach Kevin Stefanski.

It was the first time Watson has answered direct questions about the allegations, which first surfaced in March 2021. Watson did not play for the Houston Texans in the NFL last season as the cases mounted.

“I’ve never assaulted or disrespected or harassed a woman in my life,” Watson said. “That’s not how I was raised. I’ve never done these things people are alleging.

“I know that there’s going to be a stain that probably is going to stick with me for a while, but all I can do is keep moving forward and to continue to show the person that I am, the true character, the true person, the true human being I am.

“I never done the things that these people are alleging and I’m going to continue to fight for my name and clear my name and like I’ve been doing, just cooperate with everything that comes with it.”

Berry defended the Browns’ controversial decision to trade for Watson, who has been accused by two dozen massage therapists of various sexual activity during private sessions. He has always claimed any sex was consensual.

The general manager described the independent investigation as a five-month odyssey which resulted in the team feeling comfortable enough with Watson as a person to trade for him and in extension make him the face of their franchise.

“We as an organization know that this transaction has been very difficult for many people, particularly women in our community,” Berry said.

“We realise that it has triggered a range of emotions. And that, as well as the nature of the allegations, weighed heavily on all of us.

“It was because of the weight of the anticipated reaction and the nature of the allegations that really pushed us to do as much work as possible internally and externally in terms of understanding the cases and who Deshaun was as a person. We do have faith and confidence in Deshaun as a person.”

Browns general manager Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski with new signing Deshaun Watson

Browns general manager Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski with new signing Deshaun Watson

While Watson has not been indicted by two grand juries in Texas on criminal charges, he is still facing civil lawsuits. He has no intention of settling the lawsuits and stated that his only goal is to clear his name.

Given the serious accusations and ongoing legal matters, the Browns have been criticised for their pursuit and signing of Watson. Berry said the team was advised by its attorneys not to reach out to any of the 22 women because it could interfere with the criminal investigation.

Berry paused for several seconds before addressing the concerns of some fans, who have said they will no longer support the Browns because of Watson.

“We totally respect, and we totally empathise with those sentiments right now and totally understand that there are people who are not comfortable with the transaction right now,” Berry said.

Browns general manager Andrew Berry defended the team's decision to sign Deshaun Watson

Browns general manager Andrew Berry defended the team’s decision to sign Deshaun Watson

“But again, we followed our information, we feel good about Deshaun as a person and we think that he is going to do a lot of positive in the community.”

The Browns brought Watson to Cleveland with a record-setting $230million, fully guaranteed contract, which includes a $1million base salary in the first season in the event he is suspended by the NFL. The league has an ongoing investigation into his behaviour and whether he violated the personal conduct policy.

Watson said the Browns’ contract had nothing to do with him waiving his no-trade clause to come to Cleveland. The Browns traded three first-round draft picks and six picks overall to the Texans for Watson.

On Thursday, a second grand jury in Texas decided not to indict Watson on one of the original criminal complaints of sexual misconduct. Watson being cleared by another grand jury had triggered his pursuit by the Browns and several other teams hoping to sign the three-time Pro Bowler.





Source link

By admin