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RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Frank Clark spent the past week since being drafted in the second round by the Seattle Seahawks reliving what took place last November, when he was arrested on a domestic violence charge.
Despite Clark saying he's been upfront and honest about the arrest since the start, the past week has been difficult for the rookie defensive end with the scrutiny raised about his selection by Seattle.
"It matters because at the end of the day you don't want to be labeled as what some call a woman beater or things of that nature," Clark said. "But at the same time it doesn't bother me because I know what I did and what I didn't do."
Clark took part in his first practice with the Seahawks on Friday as Seattle opened its weekend rookie minicamp. It was the first practice for Clark since last November, prior to his arrest in Sandusky, Ohio and getting kicked off the football team at Michigan as a result.
Clark's name has been brought up nationally all week, debated as to whether he was worthy of being drafted considering the details of the police report following his arrest, and whether Seattle did an adequate job of investigating the circumstances around the incident.
The Seahawks have remained steadfast that their investigation into Clark and his arrest made them comfortable to make the selection.
"I just want to gain the trust of the fans. I want to gain the trust of my coaching staff as far as playing on the field. And I want to gain the trust of everyone, all my fans, and the viewers watching personally," Clark said. "Like I said, I'm not a bad person at all. I'm a great person. I'm a family person. I'm a great guy to be around."
Clark agreed to a plea deal last month that dismissed the first-degree misdemeanor charges for domestic violence and assault and had him accepting a charge of persistent disorderly conduct, a fourth-degree misdemeanor.
The police report in the case showed that officers responded to calls about a disturbance at a hotel and found Clark in the parking lot with bloody scratches on his nose and the odor of alcohol "emanating" from him, according to the police report. Inside, they found two broken lamps and a woman, Diamond Hurt, with a welt on her cheek and blood on one side of her head.
Hurt's 15-year-old brother told police Clark "grabbed (Hurt) by her throat, picked her up off the ground and slammed her to the ground while also landing on top of her."
Clark reiterated on Friday that he should not have put himself in that position.
"I believe this whole thing about (domestic violence), I believe it's a major thing. I believe no woman, nobody in specific should go through it," Clark said. "Like I said, myself personally, in my case I believe I put myself in a bad position."
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said the team's investigation into Clark's background and the arrest last November led them to fully believe that Clark deserved an opportunity to be drafted.
"I think he'll continue to show you why," Carroll said. "We'll support him through it. He's got a great opportunity and I think he's going to take advantage of it and do the right thing. I think he's going to be an asset and be a positive and a plus to us as we watch him develop."
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