NFL running back Kareem Hunt was cut from Kansas City’s lineup in December, but the Cleveland Browns just announced they’ve signed him, once again drawing attention to the league’s lax handling of domestic abuse.
The Chiefs cut the 23-year-old Ohioan after a video from last year surfaced of him shoving and kicking a woman at a Cleveland hotel. But John Dorsey, general manager of the Browns, issued a statement saying his relationship with Hunt, dating back to 2016, factored into the decision to sign him despite the violent incident.
“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,” Dorsey said in a Browns news release.
Although he’s now a Cleveland Brown, Hunt is still on the Commissioner’s Exempt List pending an NFL investigation into the video as well as another alleged incident that occurred on the Put-in-Bay resort island off the coast of Sandusky, Ohio, where Hunt punched another man.
“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,” Dorsey said.
For his part, Hunt issued a statement that called his past actions “inexcusable” and thanked the Browns’ management for signing him to the team.
The NFL has a rampant problem with players committing domestic violence with few consequences. Deborah Epstein, a law professor who sat on the NFL Players Association’s commission on domestic violence, resigned in June 2018 because she was tired of “paying lip service” to domestic violence prevention.
Cover: In this Nov. 19, 2018, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt carries during the second half of the team's NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo, File)