Calvin Ridley Sends Message Following Deshaun Watson’s Increased Suspension

Falcons

Getty Calvin Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons.

The “Free Calvin Ridley” chants continued following the announcement of Deshaun Watson‘s final punishment on Thursday, August 18.

After being accused of sexual harassment by more than 24 women, the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback was initially set to serve just a six-game suspension without a fine. Following an appeal and agreement by the NFL and NFLPA, he will now serve an 11-game suspension without pay and pay a $5 million fine.

Meanwhile, Ridley, who placed a bet on his own team to win, gets a harsher punishment of a full-season suspension and loses his $11.1 million salary.

Thus, the “free Ridley” chants across social media continued and Ridley, himself, had a message for fans.

The Atlanta Falcons former No.1 wideout simply tweeted, “2023 Calvin Ridley.”

But sometimes, less is more.

Ridley has been working out all offseason and should be up to speed when he returns in 2023.

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Watson Denied Any Wrongdoing

During June’s hearing, the NFL initially argued for an indefinite suspension of at least one season, plus a $5 million fine. However, the union fought back and didn’t believe Watson should receive any kind of punishment since he was not convicted of a crime after two grand juries declined to indict Watson on criminal charges.

One of the two-dozen cases, per the lawsuit [via ESPN], stated that the plaintiff massaged Watson twice. The lawsuit says that during the first session, “Watson had to leave abruptly after taking a phone call.” The lawsuit then says that Watson scheduled a second massage just a few days later where the woman claims that Watson exposed himself and masturbated and “offered no apology or explanation for his conduct.”

Throughout the entire process, Watson continued to deny any wrongdoing.

“I have never assaulted, disrespected or harassed any woman in my life,” Watson said during his introductory press conference after the Browns traded for him back in March. “I was raised differently. That is not my DNA. That is not my culture. That is not me as a person.”


Watson Still Believes He Is Innocent, But Still Apologizes

More recently, his denials became more conflicting. Following his final punishment, he released a statement where he apologized and took accountability.

“I’m grateful that the disciplinary process has ended and extremely appreciative of the tremendous support I have received throughout my short time with the Browns organization,” Watson said in a statement released by the Browns. “I apologize once again for any pain this situation has caused. I take accountability for the decisions I made. My focus going forward is on working to become the best version of myself on and off the field and supporting my teammates however possible while I’m away from the team. I’m excited about what the future holds for me in Cleveland.”

And then he went back to denying any wrongdoing when speaking with the media on his released statement.

“I’ll continue to stand on my innocence, just because you know settlements, and things like that happen doesn’t mean that a person is guilty for anything,” he said on Thursday. “I feel like a person has an opportunity to stand on his innocence and prove that, and we proved that from a legal side, and just going to continue to push forward as an individual and as a person.”

The Houston Texans traded Watson and a 2024 sixth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for first-round picks in 2022, 2023 and 2024; a third-round pick in 2022; and a fourth-round pick in 2024.

He signed a five-year, $230 million contract. All $230 million of Watson’s contract is fully guaranteed, putting him under contract through 2026.


Deshaun Watson | Press ConferenceDeshaun Watson addresses the media on August 18th, 2022. #BrownsMedia #PressConferences2022-08-18T17:30:50Z

 

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Anthony Borders
Anthony Borders
1 month ago

You mean woke corporations words speak louder than their action when it comes to social issues they supposedly care about? No way lolol. Waking up yet ppl? Employing a rapist but not a gambler. Its always about the money. They could care less about you.

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