Rookie running back Chris Rainey of the Pittsburgh Steelers has found himself in trouble over a dispute over a cell phone and the Steelers organization acted decisively. Rainey became physical with a female during the dispute and allegedly slapped her, which caused the Gainesville, Florida, police department to charge Rainey with simple battery, a first-degree misdemeanor, and book him into the Alachua County Jail. After hearing the news, the Steelers waved Rainey from their team.
“Chris Rainey’s actions this morning were extremely disappointing,” Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said. “Under the circumstances and due to this conduct, Chris will no longer be a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
It is an unfortunate action for Rainey who was doing well with the Steelers. Selected in the fifth round of the 2012 draft, Rainey ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns. He added 39 kickoff returns, averaging 26.5 yards. Agile and athletic, Rainey also hauled in 14 passes for 60 yards. His biggest moments came when the Steelers' running backs core was decimated by injury and he was asked to step up.
Rainey, who was raised by a single mom and his grandmother, moved in with Rob and Lisa Webster during his prep years. The Websters were parenting fellow Steelers player Maurkice Pouncey and his brother Mike. During college, Rainey was in a rocky relationship with an older girlfriend. When things were not going smoothly, Rainey sent her a threatening text message, indicating that he felt she should die. The text got Rainey into hot water with his coach at the University of Florida, who cut Rainey from the team. Rainey plead to a misdemeanor stalking charge. His sentence was deferred, but he was required to attend counseling for anger management and domestic violence issues, pay court costs, and donate 10 hours of his time to community service or pay $100 to a domestic violence shelter. To get the charges dropped altogether, Rainey would have to stay out of any legal trouble for six months. Rainey eventually rejoined the football team on Oct. 10, 2012. He finished his career at Florida ninth on the school's all-time rushing list (2,464 yards).
At the time, Lisa Webster called his actions a matter of people saying "stupid stuff when they get in arguments" and insisted that Rainey would never have followed through.
A release from the Gainesville police department today revealed that officers were sent to an apartment complex at 8:26 a.m. due to an argument between a female and male that had turned physical. Witnesses told police officers that Rainey struck the female and that both of them were on the ground before Rainey chased her, apparently to retrieve his cellphone. Neither suffered visible injuries.
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