“I feel like he’s playing us”

In the eight days since Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson: (1) accepted an 11-game suspension and a $5 million fine; (2) issued a statement accepting responsibility for his decisions. and (3) he immediately proclaimed his innocence in a press conference, the NFL had little to say about Watson’s lack of remorse.

On Friday, a consultant hired amid the Ray Rice fiasco spoke, aggressively, about Watson’s attitude.

“I feel like he’s playing us,” NFL senior domestic violence and sexual assault counsel Rita Smith told Mary Kay Cabot. Cleveland Plain Merchant. “He’s saying exactly what he thinks he needs to say to get back on the field. He doesn’t think strategically at all. “Did I hurt other people?” He doesn’t question his behavior at all. He is absolutely sure of the last statement: “I have done nothing wrong. It’s all about people trying to hit me and I just want to go play ball.”

Smith believes Watson’s refusal to accept responsibility sets the stage for continued misconduct.

“This action does not bode well for future iterations,” Smith told Cabot. “That implies to me that he’s still a danger to people, because he’s done absolutely no self-reflection that I can tell. You haven’t reported that many violations by someone who is doing nothing wrong. . . . Something is wrong with them [massage] sessions. It does something inappropriate in them [massage] sessions. So he needs to understand what this is and how he can stop it so that no one gets hurt in the process.”

Part of the problem, as Smith sees it, is that Watson is surrounded by agents and lawyers who blindly support him, reinforcing his position that he has done nothing wrong.

“He’s put people around him that will lead him forward in whatever decision he makes, and that’s dangerous,” Smith told Cabot. “It’s dangerous for Deshaun Watson, too. He can change, but not if there are people around him saying, “Yeah, he’s just after your money” and “You paid all that money and it still didn’t make any difference.” He needs to get rid of these people, because they are not serving him well.”

They didn’t serve him well from the start. An attempt to settle Ashley Solis’ claims was rejected, setting the stage for her lawsuit and 23 others. A stubborn insistence by Watson’s camp that a potential settlement of the claims in April 2021 not include a confidentiality provision led to a missed opportunity to end the cases fairly quickly. Along the way, attorney Rusty Hardin stated that all of Watson’s accusers are lying.

No, Watson has not been well served. He needs someone to tell him harsh truths. Hopefully this will happen through counselling. If he refuses to accept and heed the things he’s going to hear, he shouldn’t be reinstated for Week 13 in Houston — or at any point until he stops maintaining his innocence and starts adopting strategies to understand how these things came about. issues and how to avoid them in the future.

NFL senior adviser Rita Smith on Deshaun Watson: ‘I feel like he’s playing us’ appeared first on Pro Football Talk

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