In March, at his introductory press conference, Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was asked if he had any regrets about anything. “Umm, I mean I don’t have any regrets,” he said. “The things that are off the field right now, that came up, caught me by surprise because I never did anything that these people are alleging.”
That quote sparked a wave of anger and ultimately more legal action against Watson. Since that presser, two more women filed civil lawsuits against Watson (bringing the total to 24) and in their lawsuits, both specifically cited Watson saying that he had no regrets as motivation to file their suit. Tony Buzbee, the attorney for all 24 women, told Houston outlet KPRC2 on Monday that he is now working on filing two more cases, one of which, Buzbee told CBS Sports, is a woman who was “compelled to come forward” after watching the HBO Real Sports segment on Watson, where his attorney Leah Graham was asked about Watson having no regrets, and if that was still true. “As he testified in his depositions last week, yes, he has no regrets because he did nothing wrong,” Graham told HBO’s Soledad O’Brien.
On Tuesday at the Browns mandatory mini-camp, Watson met with reporters for the first time since his introductory press conference in March. He was asked again about saying he had no regrets and if he still felt that way. He took the chance to attempt a walk back some of his provocative comment, but not in the way you might expect. Watson does have regrets now, but not because of anything that happened between him and the women who are suing. He just regrets how hard this whole ordeal has been on “the community.”
“I think that question triggered a lot of people,” Watson said. “Not just women in general but a lot of people in the league, from women to males, and what I was saying is yes, I never assaulted, disrespected, or harassed anyone, but at the same time I do understand that I do have regrets as far the impact that it’s had on the community and people outside of myself. That includes my family, that includes this organization, that includes my teammates in this locker room that have to answer to these questions, that includes the fanbase of the Cleveland Browns. That includes males, females, everyone across the world. That’s one thing I do regret is the impact that this has triggered on so many people and it is tough to have to deal with it.”
Another reporter asked a follow-up question in an attempt to clear up the roundabout non-apology: “But as far as your actions, you don’t have any regret on anything you have actually done?”
“No, like I said, I never assaulted anyone, or I never harassed anyone, I never disrespected anyone or forced anyone to do anything, ” Watson responded.
Got it. So if you are related to Watson, or if you are a Browns fan, or teammate, or a male or female anywhere in the world, Watson is sorry for the impact these allegations and lawsuits have had on you.