As the Kansas City Chiefs looked to continue their outstanding season this weekend, a previously unreleased video of star running back Kareem Hunt surfaced which shows an altercation between Hunt and another woman. Six hours after TMZ had posted the video, the Chiefs have now released Hunt.
The Chiefs justify their decision based on what they believe were lies from Hunt
According to a statement released by the AFC West leaders, the Chiefs believe that Kareem Hunt had lied about the events that happened in February this year which saw him shoving and kicking an anonymous woman in a Cleveland hotel hallway. The video shows both parties attacking each other and Hunt eventually being removed from the scene by several people with him during the incident.
The Chiefs believed that after all of their internal investigations, the National Football League's own investigations and reports from the Cleveland police, Hunt had sufficiently explained the situation then to the organization and thus, continued on as a valuable member of the Chiefs. After viewing the now infamous TMZ video, the Chiefs confirmed on their official website that they had released Hunt with the following statement:
“Earlier this year, we were made aware of an incident involving running back Kareem Hunt. At that time, the National Football League and law enforcement initiated investigations into the issue. As part of our internal discussions with Kareem, several members of our management team spoke directly to him. Kareem was not truthful in those discussions. The video released today confirms that fact. We are releasing Kareem immediately.”
Hunt will now be on the Commissioners exempt list for the remainder of the season and it is yet to be seen if another team will pick him up or if this will be the end of his NFL career.
The Chiefs will continue on without Hunt but questions remain of how the NFL deals with abuse cases
The Chiefs are not entirely crippled without Hunt in their ranks as they still have plenty of offensive weapons at their disposal but with Hunt now gone, Spencer Ware could not be the No. 1 running back for the Chiefs going forward. Losing Hunt is a blow to the Chiefs but the organization felt that having Hunt in their roster was now an untenable position.
What many fans in the NFL are now looking at, is how easy it is for sites such as TMZ to obtain footage of this nature but NFL teams seem to not request such footage whenever a member of their roster is involved in situations such as this or domestic abuse incidents. The Chiefs may have been aware of this video but deemed it unnecessary to review it and yet now that it has become public knowledge, have decided to act and remove Kareem Hunt from their organization. They are not the first team in the NFL to take this course of action and they will probably not be the last but if Hunt gets picked up by another team, the league and teams' pink ribbons and so forth (in support of victims of domestic abuse) seem meaningless as more and more of these cases pop up. No team has suggested that they are looking to sign Hunt but the precedence is there and that is what many fans of the game are unhappy about.
Hunt could be the turning point for the NFL but based on previous evidence, it is highly unlikely that the NFL shows more than just "lip service" when it comes to violence against women by players in the league.
Quotes via Chiefs.com