Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson said in a pregame interview that he was “truly sorry to all of the women that I have impacted.” 

The interview, before Watson’s preseason game in Florida against the Jacksonville Jaguars, on Friday, was shared by the Browns. 

“I want to say that I’m truly sorry to all of the women that I have impacted in this situation”, the 26-year-old said, adding, “My 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.” 

However, he didn’t elaborate on what he meant by “this situation” in the interview, and prior to this, Watson has denied all allegations of misconduct, including harassment and sexual assault involving over two dozen women. 

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Former federal judge Sue L Robinson decided that Watson would sit out six games without pay but the NFL announced last week that it intended to appeal the decision since the former Houston Texans player violated the league’s personal conduct policy. They are pushing for a full-season suspension at the very least. 

Robinson, in her written ruling, had noted that Watson’s “lack of remorse” was a factor impacting the discipline she chose. 

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also elaborated when asked why the league is seeking harsher punishment. He said, “Because we’ve seen the evidence. (Robinson) was very clear about the evidence, she reinforced the evidence that there was multiple violations here and they were egregious and it was predatory behaviour”, and added, “Those are things that we always felt were really important for us to address in a way that’s responsible”, as per CNN. 

Watson’s suspension doesn’t impact the preseason games, where he just completed one pass in five attempts on Friday. The player had 24 civil lawsuits filed against him in Texas, of which 23 were settled confidentially and two grand juries refused to charge the athlete criminally.