By Andrew Tivnan
Video of Chiefs star running back Kareem Hunt shoving and kicking a 19-year-old woman in the hallway of a Cleveland hotel surfaced earlier this week. Released by TMZ, the video shows Hunt and the woman speaking in the hallway of his Cleveland residence. Hunt then pushes the woman, who retaliates by punching him in the face. Two men escort Hunt away, but he eventually breaks free and rushes at a man who bumps into the woman, knocking her over. Hunt then proceeds to kick the woman in the leg while she is on the ground. The incident occurred earlier this year, in February.
Hunt requested a one-on-one interview with ESPN on Sunday. During the interview, Hunt explained how sorry he was for his actions and explains the events that occurred that night. Hunt said that he had never met the woman before that night, and that things were said and done that he did not like, which lead to the altercation. The Chiefs organization says that Hunt was not truthful when he told them about the incident back in February. They claim Hunt did not tell them about the video that surfaced earlier this week. After the video was made public, Hunt was released from the Chiefs, and faces a minimum six game suspension from the league. While Hunt claims that the NFL never questioned him about the incident, the NFL officials did say they reached out to the woman and her friend but were unable to reach them.
Many are comparing Hunts situation to similar situations involving other NFL stars like Ray Rice. Video of the former Baltimore Ravens running back punching his then-fiancée surfaced in 2014. Rice never played in the NFL again after TMZ released the video. Rice spoke with Hunt recently about the incident and what Hunt’s best steps would be in moving forward. Hunt led the NFL in rushing yards last year as a rookie and was a key component on the Chiefs roster this season with 14 touchdowns, 825 yards, and 26 catches. The 23-year-old University of Toledo Graduate had a promising career in the NFL. He had a starting spot on the Chiefs roster, who have 9 wins and 1 loss this season, putting them at the number one seed in the AFC. Hunt said he hopes he will get another shot in the NFL, but he doesn’t know if that is going to happen. He is planning on taking anger management classes, as well as taking other steps in order to better himself. It will be interesting to see how the NFL handles the punishment of Hunt while players like Redskins running back Adrian Peterson, who was caught disciplining his children with a stick, and wide receiver Tyreek Hill, Hunts teammate, who was accused of punching his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach, continue to play in the NFL today. The NFL continues to see incidents like this in the league, and it is becoming more of problem. It will be interesting to see how Kareem Hunt handles this situation himself, and if the NFL will give him another shot to prove himself in the league again.