The NFL has suspended Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt for eight games after a video surfaced late last year of him appearing to punch and kick a woman outside a hotel room.
Hunt, 23, issued a formal statement apologizing for his actions and said he will not contest the league’s ruling, which will last half of the upcoming season. On Friday, when announcing the suspension, the NFL said that the video made Hunt in violation of the personal conduct policy.
“I want to again apologize for my actions last year,” Hunt said in a statement.
“I know that my behavior hurt a lot of people, and I again apologize to them. I respect the league’s decision on discipline, and I appreciate the time I spent with Commissioner [Roger] Goodell last week,” he continued.
“I’m grateful for my time with the Browns over the last month and thankful to all the people in the organization that have welcomed me. I also appreciate all of the support I received from my union through this process. My commitment to earning the trust of the league, my teammates, the organization and this community through my actions will continue, and I understand there is a lot of hard work ahead of me before I’m able to fully return to playing the game I love.”
When the video surfaced on TMZ in November 2018, Hunt was playing for the Kansas City Chiefs, who subsequently cut Hunt from their team. He was, however, never arrested or charged with any crime.
Last month, he announced he would be signing with the Cleveland Browns, who also recently aqcuired star New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The Browns were reportedly expecting at least an eight-game suspension for Hunt following the video’s release.
The confrontation seen in the video reportedly took place in February 2018 at a Cleveland hotel and saw Hunt in a scuffle with an unidentified woman as several people try to hold him back. At one point, he attempts to hit her and eventually shoves a man who goes careening into the woman and they both hit the ground. While she is down, Hunt then kicks her.
The Browns have stated that they believe Hunt is getting the help he needs and maintained that his coaches and teammates are supporting him in his quest to improve as a person.
By Anna Hopkins