BEREA: Kareem Hunt is receiving counseling, speaking with students from all over Northeast Ohio about her checkered past and her baptism.
The controversial Browns runner is trying to change his life, but only his long-term actions will determine if he really wins redemption. He has presented a message in that sense to General Manager John Dorsey, the man who gave him a second chance.
"I told him, 'You can trust me,'" Hunt said Wednesday after the second practice of team activities, addressing the media for the first time since the Browns signed it on February 11. "I have to earn your trust." , and I have to earn the trust of everyone in the entire organization. I'm not willing to ruin that. "
When Dorsey was the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs, he recruited Hunt in the third round of the University of Toledo in 2017.
Dorsey threw a lifesaver to Hunt three months ago, even though the previous selection of the Chiefs Pro Bowl was caught up in the security footage that pushed and kicked a woman in February 2018 in the hallway in front of her apartment in the Metropolitan at The 9 in downtown Cleveland.
The NFL suspended Hunt for the first eight games of the 2019 regular season due to that incident and another physical altercation he had with a man in June at the Bay Lodging Resort in Put-in-Bay. He was not accused of any transgression.
The Chiefs cut Hunt on November 30 after TMZ.com posted a surveillance video of the act of violence against a woman from the graduate of Willoughby South High School. He admitted that he lied to the bosses in some way because "I did not tell them everything" what happened.
Hunt said that when he saw the video: "I was like," Wow, it's pretty bad. That's not me. "I knew it was not [me]. "
Hunt insisted that his fall "definitely changed me a lot as a person, it just helped me to be stronger and he improved me".
He explained that he will go to counseling twice a week. He said there was an advisory component on alcohol in his treatment, but he focused primarily on anger management.
"I almost focused on becoming the best person and talking to them about how to control my anger," said Hunt. "And it's not like, I'm not an angry person at all, definitely not, I felt I had to make better decisions, so that was the most important thing, I want to talk about ways to make better decisions in certain situations where I'm involved "
Hunt, 23, also revealed that he will be baptized Sunday at a church on the east side of Cleveland.
"I'm looking forward to feel reborn," he said.
Hunt has been talking to local elementary, middle and high school students on a regular basis this offseason, an idea that coach Freddie Kitchens said came from the player, not the Browns.
"He continues to try to be the person he wants to be and everyone here wants him to be," Kitchens said, "and we will continue to support him in every way possible to do that."
Hunt said he told students to make smart decisions.
"When your emotions increase, just do not react to your emotions," he said. "And think about the long term."
Kitchens knows that the Browns will add an elite game creator to their arsenal in the middle of the season, starting Nov. 10 against the Buffalo Bills, if Hunt can stay on track, but his off-field behavior has priority now.
The Browns asked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to allow Hunt to remain with the team after his suspension goes into effect on August 31. Hunt said that "it would help me enormously". Goodell, who met with Hunt in early March before the league suspended him, said that two months ago he would consider giving Hunt access to Browns headquarters for at least part of his suspension, as long as he meets the stipulations they agreed to. Meanwhile.
Hunt realizes that he must avoid off-field violence to have a real future with the Browns, recognizing that Dorsey told him he would not have a third chance in Cleveland. Your one-year contract does not contain guaranteed money.
"I know I'm not going to ruin this again," he said.
Hunt has issued several public apologies, although he admitted that he never tried to approach the woman he pushed and kicked.
"But if I went to see her, I would apologize for her face," he said.
The fact that Hunt got into trouble in northeastern Ohio should not be dismissed, nor the extensive criminal history of several of his family members living in the area. The owners of the Browns, Jimmy and Dee Haslam, spoke at length with Hunt about these factors before Dorsey approved his signature.
When asked about his response to the argument that the Cleveland area is the worst place for him to try to return, Hunt said: "I'm making my own decisions, and that's what I do, so I'm not going to follow anything other than People are saying about my family or what happened here or whatever, right now, I'm getting better and I become the best person I can. "
Hunt also said he meets "with a small circle of friends and teammates." He explained that he keeps friends who knew him before coming to the NFL closer to him.
The Browns are giving Hunt the benefit of the doubt. Field marshal Baker Mayfield said he did the homework in Hunt by talking to two of the Chiefs' standouts, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce.
"Just being close to him, I think he's a great kid," Mayfield said. "Mistakes happen, I can talk about a personal experience, just talking to Pat Mahomes or Travis Kelce, the guys who have been with him, they talk very good about him, I think that's really important."
Hunt knows what it is to disappoint people who believe in him, and he does not want him to become a patron.
"It's not a good feeling, it feels like you've disappointed everyone," Hunt said. "I felt that, and I definitely do not want to go back to that place again."
You can contact Nate Ulrich at [email protected] Read your Browns coverage at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByNateUlrich and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.