Cleveland Browns star quarterback Deshaun Watson opened up Sunday about the sexual assault allegations levied against him in 2022.
The quarterback spoke to reporters during a training camp press conference. He said he’s in a good mental space heading into the new season, and that he has been enjoying the city of Cleveland. Watson starred for the Houston Texans before being traded to the Browns in 2022.
“Feel really well, feel really good, comfortable being around the guys, the locker room, the coaching staff, the organization and just the city of Cleveland,” Watson said. “So having an opportunity to go into the season with a full offseason, locked in, focused, it definitely feels good, and I want to continue to keep channeling and cherishing all that energy and positive energy that’s been spread around this organization.” (RELATED: OJ Simpson Suggests Some Of DeShaun Watson’s Accusers Might Have Been Lying)
The NFL and the NFL Players Association suspended Watson for 11 games of the 2022 NFL season after more than 24 women accused him of sexual misconduct during massage sessions. Among the list of allegations, Watson allegedly pleaded with a masseuse to perform oral sex and engaged in sexual contact with another masseuse on multiple occasions. Watson eventually struck a settlement deal with 30 women who accused him of misconduct.
Watson told reporters Sunday the suspension had a significant impact on him and triggered a period of self-reflection and growth.
— New York Post (@nypost) July 24, 2023
“The whole situation changed me,” he continued. “In a situation where I just had to lock in on myself, channel and really know who I’m surrounding myself with and just really who’s going to be there and support me even when I’m at my lowest point and the last few years were definitely my lowest point in my life. But that’s part of life. I just grow from it, I learn from it. I continue to move forward and push forward and continue to show my real character, my real personality and who I am.”
The Cleveland Browns signed Watson to a 5-year contract with a record $230 million guaranteed in March 2022.