Deshaun Watson Has Strong Reaction to Sexual Assault Allegations in Browns Press Conference

The Cleveland Browns introduced Deshaun Watson to the media on Friday, and it didn't take the media long to ask Watson about the allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against him from 22 women. Watson, who was with Browns general manager Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski, talked about the allegations and said he did nothing wrong. 

"I understand these allegations are serious. I never assaulted any woman. I've never disrespected any woman. I was raised to be genuine and to respect everyone around me," Watson said, per the New York Post. "I've never done the things that these people are alleging."  

Watson also talked about his family history. "I was raised by a single-parent mom, who has two aunties, who has a sister ... and that's who raised me," he said per TMZ Sports. "I was raised to be genuine and respect everyone and everything around me. I've always defended that and I will continue to stand on that." Berry said the Browns used independent investigators in Houston to provide a conclusion on the situation. He also said that the team was advised to not reach out to the 22 women accusing Watson of sexual misconduct since it could impact the criminal proceedings.

Two grand juries have declined to charge Watson over the allegations, but he could face additional charges in other states. The accusations began a year ago, leading to Watson not playing for the Houston Texans last season. The Browns traded for the star quarterback and sent the Texans three first-round picks a third-round pick in 2023 and fourth-round pics in 2022 and 2024. The Browns also signed Watson a five-year, $230 million deal, making it the largest contract and most guaranteed money in NFL history.

"Our organization did a tremendous amount of background on Deshaun," Stefanski said when the trade was announced. "We understand the concerns and questions that exist but are confident in the extensive work Andrew and his staff have done to feel confident about him joining our organization. It was important for us to meet with Deshaun in person as part of our team's evaluation process, we had a candid conversation regarding his approach to coming into our organization and community. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to coach Deshaun, he is ready to put in the hard work needed to help our team improve and make a positive impact in our community."  

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If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.