The NFL once again came under fire recently for its inability to track down video evidence of a player getting physical with a woman, and executives from the league tried to explain why that is the case on Wednesday.
Todd Jones, an NFL executive involved in off-field discipline, described the league’s investigative powers as “limited.” He said league officials act as swiftly as possible when they are able to obtain evidence like the video in the Kareem Hunt incident, but that evidence is not always readily available.
As was the case with the video of Ray Rice punching his now-wife Janay Palmer in an elevator, TMZ obtained the footage of Kareem Hunt kicking and shoving a woman earlier this year without the NFL ever having seen it. Jones noted that outlets like TMZ have the option of paying for the evidence, whereas the NFL doesn’t.
The incident with Hunt took place at a Cleveland hotel, and police in the city are investigating whether or not the allegations of assault against Hunt were handled properly. NFL officials said previously that they immediately requested footage from hotel surveillance cameras after learning of the incident, but the hotel said it would only turn the footage over to law enforcement. It’s unclear why police never followed up.
While it makes sense that the NFL would be unable to pay for information the way TMZ would, that doesn’t explain some of the other reports from the Hunt investigation that make the league look extremely shady.
Kareem Hunt is still waiting for the NFL to determine how long he will be suspended in the wake of multiple off-field incidents, and the running back is trying to show the league he is taking the situation seriously.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Hunt entered into counseling this week for alcohol and anger management. The 23-year-old knows he is going to be suspended and wants to begin serving the ban as quickly as possible, and he has been in touch with the NFL and the NFL Players Association regarding what is expected of him in the meantime.
Hunt was waived by the Chiefs after a video of him shoving and kicking a woman was released last month. That incident would likely be enough to trigger a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, but he has also been accused of punching a man in the face during an altercation at a resort over the summer and attacking a man at a nightclub back in January. He’ll likely be looking at longer than a six-game suspension because of all that.
While Ray Rice never played again in the NFL after a video of him punching his now-wife surfaced, the belief seems to be that Hunt will find work when his status becomes more clear. He was a Pro Bowler with the Chiefs and is still in his prime. Unfortunately, that often is what matters most in the NFL.
The Cleveland Division of Police is launching an investigation regarding its handling of the Kareem Hunt incident from February.
Cleveland police shared an update on their website on Wednesday that says they will be investigating two aspects of the Hunt matter.
1) They will investigate how a copy of the police report was shared with an NFL representative without going through official channels.
2) They will investigate their overall response to the incident.
Here is the exact language from the update:
“Following an internal review, it has been determined that in February 2018 a member of the Cleveland Division of Police provided a copy of the police report involving the February 10, 2018 assault incident at The 9 to a representative from the National Football League.
“The report did not go through the official public records request process.
“The Cleveland Division of Police is conducting an internal investigation regarding the overall response to the February 10, 2018 incident.”
TMZ Sports published video of Hunt shoving and kicking a woman at his apartment/hotel complex in Cleveland in February. Though details of the incident had been reported by the media in February thanks to the information from the police report, last Friday was the first time video had been distributed to the public. Hunt ended up being placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list and cut by the Kansas City Chiefs in response to his assault of the woman.
Both the NFL and the Chiefs had denied seeing the video until it was published by TMZ. One of the big questions has been why/how the NFL did not previously see the video, especially since they were conducting their own investigation and reportedly told the Chiefs to stop pursuing it. The other question is why/how the police decided not to pursue the video if it was available to them.
Neither Hunt nor the woman involved were charged with any crimes despite each party being accused of assault. They were referred to the prosecutor’s office if they wanted to pursue charges.
Kareem Hunt was waived by the Kansas City Chiefs last week after a video of him shoving and kicking a woman surfaced, and it turns out that was just one incident in a series of off-field red flags surrounding the star running back.
According to a police report obtained by TMZ, Hunt was accused of attacking a man at a nightclub in Kansas City following the Chiefs’ loss to the Tennessee Titans back in January. In the report, the alleged victim says he saw his friend getting shoved by three men, one of whom was former Chiefs running back George Atkinson. The man says he confronted Atkinson and was punched in the shoulder before a group of men — which he says included Hunt — all began beating him.
The man told police he was treated at a nearby hospital after he was hit in his head and body multiple times and believes he lost consciousness. He suffered a broken nose, broken ribs and multiple bruises. He also had cuts on his mouth at the time he filed the police report. He told police he did not want to file a report but family members convinced him he needed to.
Kansas City police told TMZ that neither Hunt nor Atkinson were ever arrested, as the victim stopped cooperating with the investigation after he filed his report.
The January nightclub incident would have been not long before Hunt got into a physical altercation with a woman at the hotel in Cleveland where he had been living. Then in June, Hunt was accused of punching a man in the face during an altercation at a resort where he had been partying.
Hunt went unclaimed on Monday despite reportedly receiving interest from some teams. He is almost certain to be facing a six-game suspension, and the ban could be even longer given that there are multiple instances where the NFL could say he violated the league’s personal conduct policy.
Kareem Hunt may have gone unclaimed after he was waived by the Kansas City Chiefs, but the early indication is that he will get another chance in the NFL eventually.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, several teams considered putting in a claim for Hunt prior to the 4 p.m. EST deadline on Monday. However, the running back is expected to become a free agent.
There’s still plenty of uncertainty surrounding Hunt’s situation. He’s currently on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, and he is expected to be hit with a lengthy suspension at some point. The baseline for the suspension will likely be the standard six games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, but it’s possible he could be suspended even longer.
In addition to being investigated by the league over the video that showed him shoving and kicking a woman back in February, Hunt was accused of punching a man in the face during an altercation back in June. That could result in his suspension being longer than six games.
While Hunt’s situation is similar to Ray Rice’s, Rice was 29 at the time a video surfaced of him punching his now-wife in an elevator. Hunt, on the other hand, is 23 and in the prime of his career. Like it or not, that matters to NFL teams.
Members of the Kansas City Chiefs were asked after Sunday’s win over the Oakland Raiders about what happened with Kareem Hunt. Patrick Mahomes gave the most straightforward response.
“I saw the stuff that happened,” Mahomes said after the game, via ESPN’s Adam Teicher. “We don’t do those things.”
Hunt was involved in two incidents during the offseason where he was accused of assault. He was not charged for either nor punished by the league. Then on Friday, TMZ published video showing Hunt shoving and kicking a woman during a February incident inside his hotel/apartment complex.
The NFL placed Hunt on the Commissioner’s Exempt list, making him ineligible to play or practice. The Chiefs cut him, saying he lied to them about what happened.
Mahomes’ response is short, to the point, and perfectly expresses what should be a clear policy: don’t get physical with women.
Kareem Hunt took responsibility on Sunday for his actions in a physical altercation he had with a woman back in February, and he also admitted to not being truthful with the Kansas City Chiefs about what took place.
In an interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters, Hunt apologized and said he is “extremely embarrassed” by the video that shows him shoving and kicking a woman at a hotel in Cleveland where he was living earlier this year. He also said he does not blame the Chiefs for cutting him.
“The Chiefs are right. I didn’t tell them everything. I don’t blame them for anything,” he said. “My actions caused this. … I didn’t tell them the video part. I didn’t say anything about too much of that.”
There have been reports that the reason Hunt was so enraged is that the woman used a racial slur against him, but the 23-year-old would neither confirm nor deny that.
“It was just a long night. It doesn’t really matter what happened,” Hunt said. “I was in the wrong. I could have taken responsibility and made the right decision to find a way to deescalate the situation.
“There was definitely some things that were said and did that I did not like. That’s not an excuse. That person in that video did not deserve that.”
Hunt said he didn’t know the woman and that he had just met her that night.
As for the NFL’s investigation (or lack thereof), Hunt confirmed reports that the league never interviewed him about the incident. He said no league officials ever spoke with him about anything having to do with it.
Hunt could be facing a suspension longer than six games because of his alleged involvement in a separate incident during the offseason, but he is clearly hoping to get another chance in the NFL by holding himself accountable.
The NFL is once again taking a huge public relations hit in the wake of the Kareem Hunt video that was released on Friday, and it sounds as if much of the criticism is well deserved.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that the NFL never interviewed Hunt or the woman he shoved and kicked when some details of the incident were first published back in February. The league never asked to interview Hunt as part of its investigation, and the woman and her friend did not respond to inquiries.
The NFL apparently spoke to other witnesses, and league investigators were told that Hunt had no involvement. The footage obtained by TMZ proves that he was, in fact, involved in a physical altercation with a woman, but the NFL feels it did everything possible from a legal standpoint.
In their statement after they cut Hunt, the Chiefs said they did so in part because the running back was not truthful about what happened with the February altercation. Schefter notes that the NFL obtained a copy of the police report from the incident and spoke to the Chiefs about their discussions with Hunt, but there was no attempt to interview him after that.
Both the NFL and law enforcement said they were denied requests to obtain surveillance footage from the hotel where the incident took place, so it sounds less unreasonable that league officials were unable to view it. Still, between the lack of interviews and what the NFL reportedly told the Chiefs about pursuing the footage, mistakes were almost certainly made yet again.
The Kansas City Chiefs are loaded with playmakers and should be able to find ways to score points without Kareem Hunt, but at least one former NFL player does not think it will be that simple.
With the Chiefs 9-2 and in prime position to earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC, one former NFL player texted ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Sunday to predict that the team is going to implode.
Hunt already had more than 1,200 yards from scrimmage and had scored 14 total touchdowns, so that type of production will be difficult to replace. However, the Chiefs have a viable backup in Spencer Ware, who has averaged 4.7 yards per carry for his career and always filled in admirably when Kansas City has dealt with injuries in the past.
The player who texted Schefter likely would not dispute that the Chiefs have the personnel to overcome the loss of Hunt, but a sudden change is never a good thing for a team that is humming along. Kansas City had no choice but to release Hunt after the way he allegedly kept the team in the dark about what really happened between him and the woman he assaulted in February. Now, the Chiefs will have to answer endless questions about Hunt in addition to being without one of their top difference-makers.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt is almost certain to be suspended after a video of him assaulting a woman was released this week, but that incident is apparently not the only one the NFL will be investigating when determining what the punishment for Hunt will be.
The baseline for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy is a six-game suspension, but Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that Hunt could actually be suspended for longer than that. In addition to looking into Hunt pushing and kicking a woman back in February, the NFL will also investigate Hunt allegedly punching a man at an Ohio resort back in June.
Hunt was accused of punching a man in the face during an altercation at a resort where he was partying over the summer. He was not arrested and the victim never pressed charges.
According to Rapoport, the NFL may have found enough evidence in the June incident to add to the suspension that is likely coming Hunt’s way. Depending on how quickly the investigations move, Hunt could end up missing a large portion of the 2019 season.
Even though Hunt was not suspended initially when a report surfaced that he got into a physical altercation with a woman back in February, the video that was released on Friday is being treated as new evidence. We are already hearing questions about how motivated the NFL was to obtain the footage, but that isn’t going to help Hunt.