NFL releases Kareem Hunt

Recent video stains league’s reputation

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NFL releases Kareem Hunt

Adam Holtzman, R1 Sports Editor

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On Nov. 30, running back Kareem Hunt was released by the Kansas City Chiefs after TMZ released a video of him kicking and shoving a woman in a Cleveland hotel in February. This is not the first time that Hunt has been in the spotlight. He had an altercation in a Kansas City nightclub earlier this year as well as a violent incident at an Ohio resort where he reportedly punched a man. The NFL has put the star tailback on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, essentially removing him from the NFL for the 2018-2019 season.

Unfortunately, incidents like this seem to be a common occurrence in the NFL and have involved players like Ezekiel Elliot and Ray Rice. In the case of Elliot, he was suspended for six games after his girlfriend accused him of domestic violence. Rice was suspended indefinitely after similar allegations were made by his fiance.

But what sets Hunt’s case apart from Elliot’s and Rice’s was the response by the Kansas City Chiefs. Within the same day of the video being released to the public, the Chiefs parted ways with the running back despite him being an integral part of their Super Bowl caliber team. Madden, the football video game series, immediately removed him from its game as well.

While many have praised the Chiefs for how they handled Hunt, the situation is not black and white. Both the NFL and Chiefs knew about the alleged abuse before the season started (without any video evidence), but still allowed Hunt to play for 11 games. Many also believe that the Chiefs or the NFL knew about the video, but chose not to act until the video was made public. The incident occurred nearly ten months ago, yet no one knew about the video until the first week of December.

In addition, Clark Hunt (no relation), the owner of the Chiefs, told reporters: “We were obviously shocked by the video. We’d had some issues with Kareem not being truthful with what happened that night, and we just really felt for everybody’s best interests we needed to head in a different direction.” Many may interpret this as releasing Hunt because he lied about the incident, not because of the violence seen in the video.

Possibly the most unexpected aspect of the situation was Hunt’s response. After the video was released, he apologized live on ESPN in an interview with reporter Lisa Salters. Hunt repeatedly said he was sorry throughout the interview; however he did not mention any specifics of the event.

Despite the prompt response by the NFL, the situation adds another stain on the league and its reputation. While this type of behavior is bound to repeat itself, all are hopeful that the NFL will learn from its mistake and handle future incidents more swiftly, holding their players to a higher standard.