Deshaun Watson speaks to media Photo credit: Cleveland Browns

Deshaun Watson has been hard-pressed to find headlines celebrating his name and story in recent years, but that’s his fault, not the media’s.

Last season, the Cleveland Browns quarterback was suspended by the NFL for 11 games after dozens of women accused him of sexual misconduct. Those allegations have rightfully dominated the headlines and articles written about Watson since the first accusation was reported in 2021. With Browns’ training camp opening over the weekend, Watson spoke to reporters and was asked about last season’s suspension.

“The whole situation changed me,” Watson claimed. “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 was 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.”

Watson later told reporters that he was able to share his background with the team and in doing so, he casually faulted the media for overshadowing his life story.

“Things that people don’t really get to hear about,” Watson said after talking about growing up without a father figure or NFL aspirations. “Especially last year, it’s been the media directing and narrating something else. [My story] has been kind of overshadowed. Having the opportunity to tell that story in front of those guys and look my teammates in their eyes and be able to touch them and let them know why I am who I am, it’s definitely powerful.”

Watson’s belief that his ability to overcome the odds and rise to NFL stardom despite a difficult upbringing can serve as an inspiration might be true. But Watson is the one who changed the narrative away from that story, putting himself in a position to be viewed in a negative light as dozens of women accused him of sexual misconduct.

In addition to his 11-game suspension, Watson was supposed to be evaluated and undergo mandatory behavioral treatment before he was eligible to return. Watson did return last season to start six games for the Browns, signaling he participated in that treatment program.

More than two years after the NFL quarterback was first accused of sexual misconduct and suspended for his actions, it sounds like he’s still attempting to play the victim instead of taking accountability. Blaming the media for “directing and narrating something else” will only have people questioning whether the suspension and last two years “changed” Watson at all.

[Cleveland Browns, Mary Kay Cabot]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to