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Watch: Browns QB Deshaun Watson’s Entire Introductory Press Conference

Editors note: This story contains accounts of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at

The Browns formally introduced Deshaun Watson on Friday a week after acquiring the quarterback in a trade with the Texans.

Watson was flanked by Browns general manager Andrew Berry and coach Kevin Stefanski for the duration of the nearly 40-minute press conference held inside the team’s training facility in Berea, Ohio.

Berry opened with a statement detailing the “five-month odyssey” Cleveland embarked on as it conducted a thorough investigation of the quarterback and the graphic allegations he faces for sexual assault and sexual harassment. 

The graphic accounts that allegedly occurred during massage therapy sessions range from the quarterback’s refusing to cover his genitals to “touching [a plaintiff] with his penis and trying to force her to perform oral sex on him.”

Berry said the organization understands that “this transaction has been very difficult for a lot of people, particularly women in our community” and “that in addition to the nature of all the allegations weighed heavily on all of us.” He also noted that the club was instructed by the organization’s lawyers to not to reach out to the 22 women with active civil lawsuits against Watson because it would be considered interfering with the criminal investigation. All but one of the criminal investigations were wrapped up before the Browns traded for Watson.

Friday’s presser came a day after a grand jury in Brazoria County, Texas declined to charge Watson for a criminal complaint alleging sexual assault and sexual harassment. It was the 10th count dismissed against Watson this month; a Harris County, Texas grand jury returned nine “no” bills on nine criminal complaints on March 11. Watson’s civil depositions, which began on the same day the first grand jury convened, are still ongoing.

After Berry and Stefanski expressed their confidence in the quarterback and the team’s research, Watson began his remarks, thanking his new GM and coach, as well as Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam, for the opportunity. He also shared his desire to “get out in the community” and “get back to that brand, that person I was” before the allegations.

Watson was asked early on if he had a message for those who remain unconvinced that he is not who the accusations claim him to be. He responded, “I’m not naive to that. I know these allegations are very, very serious. I’ve never assaulted any woman. I’ve never disrespected any woman. … 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.”

Watson also responded to a question about attending counseling in response to the allegations, to which he replied, “I don’t have a problem,” before adding “I’ve never done these things people are alleging. I want to show people who I really am.”

Watson spent the remainder of the time addressing his decision to join Cleveland, future off the field and his desire to clear his name going forward.

Berry concluded the press conference with one final vote of confidence for his new QB and what lies ahead. “We feel very confident in Deshaun the person, and we have a lot of faith in him. We believe as he gets into the community and the organization, he’s going to make a positive impact,” he said.

The NFL’s investigation into Watson for violating the league’s personal conduct policy is still ongoing, and he could still face suspension. For a recap of what has happened on and off the field since Watson’s last snap, click here.

To watch Watson’s interview in its entirety, click here.

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