Hunt Wasn't Truthful With Chiefs About Incident Before Release
Former Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt admitted he did not tell the team everything about the hotel incident earlier this year that resulted in his release late Friday night. A video released on Friday shows Hunt kicking a female, and during a live interview yesterday on ESPN, Hunt said, "I don't blame them for anything. My actions caused this" ("Sunday NFL Countdown," ESPN, 12/2). The Chiefs issued a statement Friday in conjunction with their release of Hunt, which read, "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." In K.C., Brooke Pryor noted the video of Hunt, released by TMZ, is "related to a February 2018 altercation." The Chiefs and NFL "did not take any action against Hunt after the altercation was reported to police in February." No charges have been "filed stemming from the altercation" (K.C. STAR, 12/1). THE ATHLETIC's Nate Taylor noted the Chiefs "sent Hunt home" on Friday moments after TMZ posted the video. Hours later, they "called him back to tell him in person they were releasing him." Sources said that Hunt "cried in front of his coaches and members of the front office." With "trembling emotion in his voice, Hunt apologized for his mistake and pleaded to the Chiefs to reconsider their decision" (THEATHLETIC.com, 12/1).
WAS THE LIE BIGGER THAN THE ACT? In K.C., Sam Mellinger wrote there is "no way to know what might’ve happened if Hunt was truthful from the beginning, but the Chiefs’ statement gave the impression that this was about the lie." Hunt made Chiefs Chair & CEO Clark Hunt "look bad and weak." Clark Hunt responded in the "strongest way possible, one that may cost his team on the field." There are "no moral high grounds left in the NFL, but this is at least a move sacrificing short-term football for broader priorities" (K.C. STAR, 12/1). In N.Y., Ken Belson noted Kareem Hunt is "one of the most prominent players on a contending team to lose his job in the middle of a season because of an incident involving violence against a woman" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/1).
A LOOK AT THE LEAGUE: THE MMQB's Albert Breer noted the Chiefs "followed the league's lead throughout on the case -- standard procedure holds that once the NFL starts an investigation, the club has to yield" (SI.com, 12/2). SI.com's Michael Rosenberg noted there is "no indication, at least right now, that the NFL knew what Hunt did until Friday." There is "no evidence that the NFL failed here" (SI.com, 11/30). ESPN.com's Dan Graziano wrote what the Chiefs did Friday was "throw the league a lifeline." The NFL still has "so far to go before it's credible to the public on these matters, and it's fair to wonder if it can ever get there." But, one of its teams "bailed out the league Friday with a decision that future teams and players might just see as a game-changer" (ESPN.com, 12/1). However, USA TODAY's Mike Jones wrote under the header, "Don't Applaud The Chiefs And NFL For Too Late Actions On Kareem Hunt" (USA TODAY, 12/1).
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD? CBSSPORTS.com's Jason La Canfora noted Hunt is "expected to play in the NFL again" and some league execs "believe he might even be claimed on waivers this week." However, sources said that they "did not foresee any circumstances where Hunt was eligible to play again this season." Hunt was put on the NFL Commissioner's Exempt list prior to the Chiefs releasing him (CBSSPORTS.com, 12/1). CBS Sports' Amy Trask said she would not consider putting in a claim on Hunt "without sitting down with him in person, looking him in the eye and having a conversation to get a sense of whether I think he is being honest and whether I think he has learned from this" ("The NFL Today," CBS, 12/2).
CHANGING IMAGE: In Baltimore, Holden Wilen noted Under Armour "parted ways" with Hunt in the wake of the video released Friday. News of the incident involving Hunt comes as UA "attempts to repair its own image with women" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 12/1).