The Cleveland Browns have signed Kareem Hunt, the former Kansas City Chiefs running back who was recorded pushing and kicking a woman at a Cleveland hotel one year ago.
Hunt led the NFL with 1,327 rushing yards in his rookie season in 2017.
Browns General Manager John Dorsey released the following statement:
“My relationship and interaction with Kareem since 2016 in college was an important part of this decision making process but we then did extensive due diligence with many individuals, including clinical professionals, to have a better understanding of the person he is today and whether it was prudent to sign him. There were two important factors: one is that Kareem took full responsibility for his egregious actions and showed true remorse and secondly, just as importantly, he is undergoing and is committed to necessary professional treatment and a plan that has been clearly laid out.”
“We fully understand and respect the complexity of questions and issues in signing a player with Kareem’s history and do not condone his actions. Given what we know about Kareem through our extensive research, we believe he deserves a second chance but certainly with the understanding that he has to go through critical and essential steps to become a performing member of this organization, aside from what the NFL determines from their ongoing investigation. We fully understand that Kareem is subject to discipline by the NFL. Here at the Browns, there is a detailed plan with expectations laid out that he understands and must follow, because any similar incident will not be tolerated. We will support Kareem through this process and utilize our resources, however permitted, to help him become successful on and off the field as long as he continues to show the commitment necessary to represent this organization.”
Kareem Hunt made this statement on signing a free agent contract with the Browns:
“First off, I would like to once again apologize for my actions last year. What I did was wrong and inexcusable. That is not the man I was raised to be, and I’ve learned a great deal from that experience and certainly should have been more truthful about it after the fact. I’m extremely grateful that John Dorsey, Dee and Jimmy Haslam and the Cleveland Browns organization are granting me the opportunity to earn their trust and represent their organization in the best way possible on and off the field. I am committed to following the necessary steps to learn and to be a better and healthier person from this situation. I also understand the expectations that the Browns have clearly laid out and that I have to earn my way back to the NFL. I’m a work in progress as a person, but I’m committed to taking advantage of the support systems that I have in place to become the best and healthier version of myself.”
Late last year, TMZ released video of Hunt shoving, pushing and kicking a woman at The Metropolitan at the 9 Hotel in Cleveland back in February 2018. That video resulted in Hunt being released by the Chiefs.
Hunt has voluntarily sought counseling after being involved in multiple incidents this past year.
Hunt was also involved in an altercation at a resort in June about which the league questioned him. He was also involved in a violent incident at a nightclub in January about which the NFL didn't know until recently.
Hunt was drafted out of Toledo by Dorsey in 2017 when Dorsey was the club's general manager.