It looks as if the personal problems of Pittsburgh Steelers running back Chris Rainey have come back to haunt him professionally. According to the Steelers' official Twitter feed, the team cut the young running back on Thursday in wake of his arrest for domestic abuse:
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert “Under the circumstances and due to this conduct, Chris will no longer be a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.”— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 10, 2013
UPDATE: Friday, Jan. 11 at 10:39 p.m. by Tyler Conway
According to the Tribune-Review, Rainey's girlfriend has denied the assault took place in an e-mail, which was read by the former Steelers running back's attorney at a hearing on Friday:
Former Steelers running back Chris Rainey‘s girlfriend says she was not assaulted and that the state of Florida should drop the battery charge against him. That‘s according to Rainey‘s lawyer, Huntley Johnson, who read an email from the woman during a bond hearing Friday.
---End of Update---
Rainey was arrested Thursday morning and charged with domestic abuse after slapping his girlfriend during an argument over a cell phone, according to The Miami Herald's Matt Watts. According to the police report, witnesses said Rainey pulled his girlfriend out of a car, slapped her and chased her in attempt to retrieve the phone.
Per Watts, Rainey was arrested and charged with one count of simple battery, which is a first-degree misdemeanor.
Though this is his first arrest as a professional, Thursday's incident is not Rainey's first run-in with the law. While at the University of Florida, Rainey was arrested in 2010 and charged with aggravated stalking after sending a threatening message to a then-girlfriend. He later reached a plea deal in the case to have the felony charges dropped.
Despite those off-field problems, the Steelers drafted Rainey in the fifth round of last April's draft. Used mostly in third-down situations and on special teams, the speedster finished the 2012 season with 102 rushing yards on 26 attempts and excelled returning kicks with a 26.5-yard average.
Regardless of his on-field accomplishments, the Steelers have long been an organization that has little tolerance for off-the-field indiscretions. On Thursday, Rainey became the latest to find that out.