Kareem Hunt: 'I got to earn people's trust back'

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Running back Kareem Hunt spoke to the media Wednesday, marking the first time since signing with the Cleveland Browns.

The signing drew a lot of controversy when considering the circumstances of his well-documented release from the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 30, 2018, after video showed Hunt pushing and kicking a woman.

Hunt is suspended for the first eight games of the regular season, but acknowledged he still has to prove his sincerity.

"The only way is my actions, so just going to take it day by day," Hunt told reporters. "I got to earn people's trust back and my actions are going to show."

While Hunt has publicly apologized for his actions, he has yet to personally express regret to the victim of his assault. But he said he would if the two ever met.

"I have not, but 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."

Meanwhile, Hunt said he has been spending time visiting local high schools with a message to students to make smart decisions.

He also described himself as a positive person who enjoys bringing a smile to those around him. Hunt also said he now stays home more than he used to during free time.

"I'm just one of those guys who really don't like drama at all," he said. "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."

On the football side, Hunt revealed he drew interest from a "few" teams after his release before electing to join the Browns.

And a lot of the running back's decision-making process fell on familiarity with general manager John Dorsey, who drafted Hunt while serving in the same position with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017.

"We had a real special connection and he knows the type of person I am, and that wasn't me," Hunt said. "I mean, I definitely made a mistake and I apologize for it once again. And I told him I'm going to move forward and become a better person."

Hunt said the biggest message he received from Dorsey surrounded staying positive and not repeating mistakes.

The running back appears to be taking it to heart and indicated he came away with a valuable lesson from the incident that led to his release in Kansas City. He also mentioned that he has been receiving counseling which has helped him keep a positive mind.

"Think before you act, pretty much," Hunt said. "When your emotions get high, don't react off your emotions. Think about the long ride."

In the meantime, Hunt is allowed to participate in organized team activities, training camp and preseason games before serving his suspension.

While he'll miss the first half of the season, Hunt is prepared to contribute when he returns to action.

"Whenever I get the opportunity to play or not, I'll be ready," he said.

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