Kareem Hunt pledged to “earn people’s trust back” as he spoke publicly for the first time since securing a second chance.
It seems the running back is off to an encouraging start with at least one teammate.
“Just being around him, I think he’s a great kid,” Baker Mayfield told reporters Wednesday of his new Cleveland Browns teammate. “You know, mistakes happen. I can speak from personal experience.”
Mayfield was likely referring to his February 2017 arrest, in which police video showed the then-Oklahoma star running from law enforcement before being tackled. Mayfield was charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and fleeing and resisting arrest. He completed community service, took part in alcohol classes, went onto win the Heisman Trophy and became the No. 1 pick in the following year’s draft.
“They speak very highly of him,” Mayfield said of Hunt’s ex-teammates, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. “So, I think that’s really important, and it’s been pretty important for him to be here, too.”
Hunt’s redemption tour, though, will involve a few more hurdles than that of the popular signal-caller.
The 23-year-old was cut from the Kansas Chiefs after sickening video emerged showing him kick and shove a woman in a Cleveland hotel. No criminal charges were filed, though Hunt will serve an eight-game suspension before making his debut with the Browns. Hunt, who had previously apologized publicly for his actions, said Wednesday he hasn’t been in contact with the woman involved.
“If I was to see her, I would like apologize to her face,” Hunt said. “But I have not had the chance to do that.
“I’m just one of those guys who really don’t like drama at all,” he added. “So, I’m a guy who will go out in the community and do what I can for them. I’ve always done that stuff in the community.”
Hunt spent some of the offseason visiting with local high school students with a simple message: “Don’t make the same mistake I did,” as Browns GM John Dorsey put it.