Freddie Kitchens, John Dorsey show Kareem Hunt how much they support him

Kitchens and Dorsey surprised Hunt at his baptism Sunday

Daryl Ruiter
May 20, 2019 - 1:03 pm
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Rocky River, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey and head coach Freddie Kitchens surprised Kareem Hunt Sunday.

They wanted to be there to support Hunt at his baptism.

“We care about Kareem as a person,” Kitchens said Monday at the 20th annual Browns Foundation golf outing held at Westwood Country Club. “We went there for Kareem Hunt as the person and not the football player. The thing we did yesterday was not about football at all, it was about Kareem as the person.”

Hunt’s agent Dan Saffron posted a picture of Hunt standing with Dorsey and Kitchens on Instagram after the ceremony.

From the moment the Browns signed Hunt both Dorsey and Kitchens have both said that they wanted to help Hunt as a person first and foremost with his football talent coming second.

Showing up Sunday was a way of showing Hunt that actions speak louder than words.  

“I care about Kareem Hunt 50 years from now,” Kitchens said. “What’s going to make him have a better chance at succeeding in his life 50 years from now? And that’s not lip service from me and that’s not lip service from John Dorsey. So, from time to time you have to show that. But to show that, you’re showing it for the person again. You’re not showing it to prove a point or anything. We showed up to support him as a person.”

Helping Hunt rehabilitate as a man is the No. 1 priority of Kitchens and Dorsey, who are all in on the troubled running back.

Football comes second.

“That’s the way I have always approached coaching even at Mississippi State or North Texas or wherever I have been,” Kitchens said. “It’s always been about the person. I feel like John is the same way.”

According to Dorsey and Kitchens, Hunt has been a model citizen since signing for the league minimum in February.

Hunt, who has been suspended by the NFL for the first eight games of the upcoming season for his off-the-field behavior, has checked all the boxes to reestablish his public image since that infamous video in February 2018 of him pushing and kicking a woman in the hallway outside of his residence at the Metropolitan at The 9 which, when it became public, led to his release from the Chiefs surface in late November of last year.

He has apologized, is attending counseling twice a week, is doing community service and has also found his faith.

“Kareem understands the things that have happened happened, and nobody's going to dispute that,” Kitchens said. “But he also understands it's a new day for you, it's a new day for me every time we week up, and you either get better or you get worse during the course of that day. Kareem understands that and he's doing a good job of just staying in the moment and continuing to strive to get better and making good choices each and every day.

“I think [Sunday] was just another step for him to do that.”

Kitchens has come to admire Hunt’s willingness to tell his story to kids. And not the one about how he led the NFL in rushing as a rookie either.

“One of the most one of the truest forms of bravery is showing your scars,” Kitchens said. “You show your scars so people don’t make the same mistakes that you make. And Kareem has done an exceptional job of showing his scars out in the public and some of these schools he’s visited without any advertisement at all. He’s chosen to do that to sorta show his scars so maybe some of the other kids don’t make the same [ones].”

Redemption stories are always hits and the Browns believe they’ve found one in Hunt.