In 2014, a video emerged of Ray Rice dragging his then-fiancée, now wife, Janay Palmer, out of an elevator unconscious after assaulting her. The fallout saw a near yearlong back and forth between Rice and the NFL. It ended with the Ravens settling Rice’s claim of wrongful termination with the organization, paying the athlete near half of his demanded $3.5 million. Rice has remained unsigned ever since.

In the aftermath, commissioner Roger Goodell vowed the NFL would be better when dealing with cases like Rice.

On Friday, ESPN revealed that Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt will be suspended for the first eight games of the upcoming NFL season. The suspension is for violating the League’s personal conduct policy, stemming from a video of Hunt punching and kicking a woman outside his residence in Cleveland in February 2018. While it will cost Hunt over $300,000 of his annual salary, he can still earn the rest in the back half of the season and has a chance to earn $200,000 in roster bonuses per-game. He will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

These cases highlight that, despite Goodell’s vow, the NFL may not have lived up to it its promise. While the Hunt assault happened over one year ago, the NFL didn’t take action until November 2018 when Hunt was placed on the Commissioner’s exempt list. This meant he could participate in non-football activities, like general workouts, while signed but couldn’t attend practice or games. He was then released by the Kansas City Chiefs after that decision was handed down, only to be signed by the Cleveland Browns last month.

But one could argue that the only reason the NFL took this level of action in these cases was due to video evidence of the acts. There have been other instances where teams and the league have done the bare minimum in cases with no video or photo evidence of an assault occurring. One just has to look at the Reuben Foster arrest as proof of this.

Foster was arrested twice in 2018 under suspicion of domestic violence, being released by the San Francisco 49ers after the second arrest. He was almost immediately picked up by the Redskins.

There was also the arrest and conviction of former defensive end Greg Hardy, who was found guilty and sentenced to 18-months probation for assaulting his ex-girlfriend in 2014. Hardy would appeal the conviction and win after the victim failed to appear, subsequently being signed by the Dallas Cowboys for the 2015 season. It would also be expunged from his record and Hardy has since moved into MMA.

All in all, despite the claims that the NFL would work to improve how the league handles these situations, it can appear from the outside that little progress has been made. And for anyone interested in seeing how many players have been arrested for assault charges like this, see this USA Today NFL arrest record.

Kareem hunt suspension
Kareem Hunt's eight game suspension reflects a the checkered history of NFL's handling of domestic abuse. Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs is pictured carrying the ball during the game against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium on Oct. 28, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. Jamie Squire/Getty Images