Kareem Hunt Suspended Eight Games for Videotaped Altercation

Kareem Hunt, the former Kansas City Chiefs star running back who was captured on video pushing and kicking a woman, was suspended without pay for the first eight games of the regular season by the N.F.L. on Friday.

Hunt, who joined the Cleveland Browns in February, will not appeal the suspension, his agent said.

The N.F.L. said in a statement that the suspension came in connection with “physical altercations at his residence in Cleveland last February and at a resort in Ohio last June.” The N.F.L. said it conducted interviews with Hunt and others and reviewed law enforcement records in coming to its decision.

The incident at Hunt’s residence was the videotaped altercation with a woman, which did not result in a police case. In the resort incident, Hunt is accused of punching a man in the face.

The case fed debate and discussion over how seriously the N.F.L. investigates and punishes players’ behavior off the field, particularly fights and assaults that are reported but do not result in police charges.

The league recently completed its investigation, which it said included “reviewing available law enforcement records, video and electronic communications, interviews with numerous witnesses, and multiple interviews with Hunt.”

When the video emerged in November, the N.F.L. suspended Hunt, though it had earlier learned of the altercation. The Chiefs released him. He had starred as a rookie for the team in 2017, leading the league in rushing yards, and had played well again in his second season, gaining 824 yards in 11 games.

In February, Hunt was signed by the Cleveland Browns. John Dorsey, the general manager, said: “Given what we know about Kareem through our extensive research, we believe he deserves a second chance.”

In the announcement, Hunt was quoted as saying: “First off, I would like to once again apologize for my actions last year. What I did was wrong and inexcusable.”

The Hunt signing was part of a dramatic makeover for the once woeful Browns. After 1-15 and 0-16 seasons, the team, led by the promising rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, raced to a 7-8-1 record in the 2018 season, its best since 2007. Hopes are high for an even better season next year: On Tuesday the team traded for the receiving superstar Odell Beckham Jr. from the Giants.

In the videotaped incident in Cleveland, Hunt pushed a 19-year-old woman, and was then held back by other men. He broke free, and the woman fells down in the chaos. Hunt then kicked her. Hunt does not face criminal charges.

In 2014, the N.F.L. suspended Ray Rice for two games after video emerged of him punching his fiancée. The suspension was roundly criticized as too short, and the league has prioritized increasing discipline for domestic abuse cases since.

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