John Dorsey and Andy Reid said lots of things about Tyreek Hill, and now they come due
The audio of Tyreek Hill talking to fiancee Crystal Espinal about injuries to his son is a tough listen. It’s galling in its own right to hear Hill say to Espinal, “you need to be terrified of me, too, b—-” after Espinal told him that their three-year-old son was terrified of him.
It’s even more galling, though, to consider that this is the same child that was in utero when Hill punched and choked Espinal while two months pregnant, resulting in his expulsion from Oklahoma State and getting three years of probation following a guilty plea. It’s even more galling to hear those comments and then go back and listen to all the platitudes, buzz words, and pleas to “trust us” offered up by then-GM John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid.
The selection of Hill was not a popular one when the Chiefs made the deal with the devil to acquire a top level talent at a fifth-round price three years ago. There was immediate and swift public outcry in the Kansas City community. As time passed, and there were no more public incidents and Hill became the Cheetah, one of the most exciting playmakers in the league, that outcry faded.
But now, it’s coming due. Let’s go back and hear what Dorsey and Reid said, when they specifically talked just hours after the controversial draft selection of Tyreek Hill.
“I just want everybody to understand that we have done our due diligence with regards to full vetting each one of our draft-class members,” Dorsey said. “We would never put anybody in this community in harm’s way.”
“There has to be a certain trust here, but there’s just things that we can’t go into and go through,” Andy Reid implored. “We want people to understand, like Dorse said, we’re not going to do anything to put this community or this organization in a bind.”
Andy Reid also said: “We do understand where people, the sensitivity of it, with people in the community and so forth. And Clark feels that same feeling. Before you are given the opportunity for a second chance, you better be doing the right things. He’s been in counseling, he’ll continue to be in counseling, we’ve got a great support system here for that, with quality people. So we feel good that he’s trying to right a wrong, a big wrong … it’s a big wrong. But he’s trying to do better and be a better person for it, and that part we feel very confident about.”
When a reporter specifically asked about what Hill had done to convince him the community was not in danger, John Dorsey responded:
“Well, we have done all our due diligence, we really have. I will say this, right off the bat, I have young children here, I have a girl and a boy. But I would hope that somebody in my seat did as much work as I could, I would be happy with that. Because I know that I would never put this community in any type of situation when I knew it would not be good. And we’ve done that. And God,” Dorsey said in an exasperated tone, “I would like to ask you guys to have a little trust in us.”
Andy Reid then chimed in again with this: “So my wife and I have been hugely involved in domestic violence. It’s been an awesome, awesome venture for the last fourteen years. So, the unique part of this, the part that we have to understand, very seldom does the other side try to right the wrong. So much effort from the Hope House, these different programs in the city here that are involved in this, strive to get that other half to better themselves. That’s where we see this kid trying to do that. He’s trying to make the effort to right the wrong. I think that can be a great example to so many people that have fallen into this situation.”
Dorsey also reiterated that it was a serious decision and they took it seriously. “You can see that this really is, for this organization this is one of those things we don’t take this very lightly, and I just want you all to understand that we will do everything we can to insure that this community does not have these types of situations that will come, we are not going to bring that into this community, we will not do that.”
“I believe words mean something, I really do,” Dorsey also said. “And I’ve said early on, I was going to bring guys with character in here, guys that were going to be good people in this community. I said that when I first got here, and I still mean that.”
Here’s the thing with the domestic violence in the NFL. Teams try to express that they care, until someone is talented enough to make them “do their due diligence” and use other buzz words. The downside is that you cut a guy, and that is almost certainly going to be the case in Kansas City with Hill as pressure will only increase.
But if you want decision makers to actually take it seriously, they need to be held to account when things go poorly, and not just allowed to walk away and move onto the next transaction a few days later.
Dorsey (who by the way swooped in and signed Kareem Hunt this offseason) may be in Cleveland now, but he needs to wear this every bit as much as one of his bland team crew neck sweatshirts. He needs to be called out on his past statements and empty words about process and character today. He pleaded for trust, talked about his family, and talked about character and doing all the work. The people in Cleveland need to remember that the next time he asks for such leeway. He hasn’t earned that trust when it comes to deciding when good football players are not good people. Dorsey needs to be terrified of the repercussions too, every bit as much as a three-year-old boy.
Andy Reid talked about domestic violence and all he has learned. He talked about the difference between Hill and most abusers in that Hill wanted to right the wrong. Did he not also consider that unlike most abusers, Hill also had millions of reasons to make a show of changing? It’s obvious from listening to that audio that nothing about learning from the past has actually occurred. Maybe, just maybe, NFL teams should not just hear what they want from people with clear motives to express change or denial.
Draft grades can be a tough thing to judge right after a draft. But with the passage of time, it’s pretty clear that Dorsey and Reid get an “F” on those pleas for trust and process.