Kareem Hunt: Browns Signing Of Troubled Running Back, Putting Team At Odds With Fans
They say that sometimes you can go home again. Clearly, that is not the case with newly signed Cleveland Browns running back, Kareem Hunt.
Hunt, a native of the Greater Cleveland East Side suburb of Willoughby, starred at the University of Toledo, and led the NFL in rushing yards in 2017, was suspended and ultimately released by the Kansas City Chiefs after a video by TMZ surfaced of him kicking and assaulting a woman at the Metropolitan at the 9 Hotel back in February.
Following his release, there were some teams who expressed interest in claiming Hunt off of waivers including the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and hometown Browns, before agreeing to a one-year deal, with none guaranteed per reports.
While an argument could be made that thanks to the addition of Hunt, now boasts a borderline top-ten offense that has some talented playmakers such as franchise quarterback Baker Mayfield, running back Nick Chubb, tight ends David Njoku and Seth DeValve and wide receivers such as Antonio Callaway, Pro Bowler Jarvis Landry, Breshad Perriman, Rashard Higgins and Derrick Willes, that the addition of Hunt is causing quite a stir in one of the NFL’s most vocal and passionate fan bases.
Coming off the heels of a 0–16 season, and finishing 7–8–1 and was in contention for the playoffs, many NFL experts are picking the Browns to win the AFC North in 2019. With the hopes of making the playoffs and contending for a Super Bowl, the Browns are taking perhaps their biggest gamble in taking a chance on one of the NFL’s most talented — yet, troubled — players in the Age of #MeToo.
NFL female fans make up an estimated 47 percent of all fans, the largest of all the major four sports, and co-owner Dee Haslam is one the league’s Conduct Committee, that deals with domestic violence issues. While the move shows that the Browns are all about winning on the field, they may have put themselves at odds with their own fans off of it with the Hunt signing.
If there is a league that needs some seriously good PR spin when it comes to domestic violence, the NFL — for all of it’s omnipresent power and presence — needs it badly. Thanks to Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Jonathan Dwyer, Quincy Enunwa, Joseph Randle and Ezekiel Elliot are a proverbial rogue’s gallery of the leagues proverbial ineptitude and incompetence in handling attacks on women.
Not to knock the newly-crowned six-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots — but they are such an easy target anyways — you have a QB who used deflated balls in Tom Brady, a former Brown wideout in Josh Gordon and his many issues with substance abuse and a vertically challenged wide receiver who tested positive for PED’s in Julian Edelman, who just so happened to have been recently named Super Bowl LIII MVP, and yet the league seems to have an aversion in addressing domestic violence on a consistent and through manner.
Fans across social media are already going back-and-forth over the Hunt signing, which will only provide a possible distraction, and serve as a lightning rod for rival fans in 2019, may prove to be more trouble than it is worth for a perennially down-trodden franchise, that has been reinvigorated with hope and optimism, as well as a surge in ticket sales, not seen in over 30 years.
Hopefully, Browns general manager John Dorsey knows what he is doing, as this signing will make or break his time in The Land, and hopefully — like all gambles — pays off for both Hunt and the Browns.