On Monday morning, Judge Sue Robinson issued her decision regarding Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. On Monday afternoon, Browns ownership issued a statement that expressly respects her decision while implicitly disregarding a key piece of it.
Said owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam, “Throughout this process, Deshaun and his representation have abided by the newly created and agreed upon process for the NFLPA and the NFL to defer to the objective Judge Sue L. Robinson to comprehensively review all information and make a fair decision. We respect Judge Robinson’s decision, and at the same time, empathize and understand that there have been many individuals triggered throughout this process. We know Deshaun is remorseful that this situation has caused much heartache to many and he will continue the work needed to show who he is on an off the field, and we will continue to support him.”
They say they know Deshaun “is remorseful,” even though Judge Robinson — whose decision they supposedly respect — specifically found as an aggravating factor in determining the suspension of six games that he has a “lack of expressed remorse.”
So the Haslams can’t claim credibly Deshaun has expressed remorse and that they respect Judge Robinson’s decision, since that decision includes a finding that he has failed to express remorse. And if the Haslams are referring to Watson expressing remorse regarding the impact of the allegations on others such as family members and the Browns organization, that’s the kind of hair splitting that has no place in a supposed embrace of and respect for the decision reached by Judge Robinson.
Speaking of credibility, Judge Robinson politely and tactfully concluded that Watson has none, at least not when it comes to his categorical denial of the accusations made against him. And that’s a pretty important point. In Judge Robinson’s assessment, he failed to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth on the most significant aspect of the entire situation. If the Haslams truly respect and accept Judge Robinson’s decision, they’re respecting and accepting the fact that, in her professional assessment, Deshaun Watson’s testimony wasn’t believable.