Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson responded in regards to the pending 22 civil cases concerning sexual assault allegations against him.
On March 25, the Deshaun Watson deal with the Cleveland Browns became official. Watson is now signed on to play in Cleveland for five years to the tune of $230 million guaranteed.
The Browns have been widely criticized for acquiring Watson, who has been cleared of all criminal charges thus far yet faces pending litigation for 22 civil cases filed against him. During his first press conference for the Browns, Watson denied all sexual assault and misconduct allegations that have been levied against him over the past year.
Watson also said that he has never “disrespected any woman,” noting that he was raised by a single mother and his two aunts.
Watson said that he didn’t have “any regrets” because he “never did anything these people are alleging.”
Watson also said that he wants to show the Browns locker room and the city of Cleveland “who he really is.”
Deshaun Watson denies assault allegations in Browns press conference debut
Although Watson was cleared of all criminal charges and allowed to pursue his trade to the Browns, NFL fans remain skeptical of Watson’s innocence because there are still 22 pending civil cases that have yet to be heard against him. The grand jury’s decision not to indict Watson means that there wasn’t enough evidence to charge him with criminal acts, but this also does not fully exonerate Watson of these serious allegations.
Offering Watson the most guaranteed money in NFL history is obviously considered as bad optics by many in the league. Even the Browns admitted that while there were financial motivations to designing their deal the way they did, it certainly doesn’t look good in the public eye. To some, the Browns are disgraced because they chose to sign Watson.