Within hours of TMZ releasing damning surveillance footage that appeared to show him assaulting a woman in a Cleveland hotel, the Kansas City Chiefs confirmed that Pro-Bowl running back Kareem Hunt has been cut from the team’s 53-man roster.
Sports Illustrated reports that Hunt’s release from the team concluded an afternoon of gradual developments that saw him get sent home from the Chiefs’ practice facility and later placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list as a result of the violence displayed in the recording. Through the 11 games Kansas City has played this season, Pro Football Reference had Hunt scoring 14 total touchdowns and rushing for 824 yards on his way to replicating the stellar Rookie of the Year campaign he put in the books in 2017. But the Toledo alum’s Pro-Bowl caliber play ultimately wouldn’t be enough to keep the organization from cutting him, on principle.
“Earlier this year, we were made aware of an incident involving running back Kareem Hunt. At that time, the National Football League and law enforcement initiated investigations into the issue,” CBS Sports quotes a statement that was eventually released by the organization as saying. “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.”
— NFL (@NFL) December 1, 2018
While reports of Hunt’s involvement in a violent incident involving a 19-year-old woman have been circulating for most of the year, not until this point had video showing what actually happened seen the light of day. The footage shows a group of Hunt’s friends trying to keep him and the woman separate from one another as they face off in the lobby of The Metropolitan at the 9. At one point, they get close enough to put hands on one another, with Hunt pushing the woman away from him before she retaliates with a slap to his face. It was at that point that tensions heightened, and after Hunt shoved a friend of his into the woman, sending her to the ground, he made his way toward her and delivered an extra kick as she sat on the ground.
TMZ also published clips showing the woman and Hunt’s friends giving separate accounts to officers who arrived on the scene. She claimed that he got violent and expelled her from the company of the group upon her refusal to engage a man in his party in sex. Hunt’s associates begged to differ, and claimed that they had only pled for her to leave them after they learned her true age and inability to get along with the group.
NFL insider Adam Schefter has conveyed to ESPN that sources from within the NFL and the Chiefs organization insist that while they were made aware of the incident soon after it reportedly went down in February, none had seen the recording until now.
Henceforth, Hunt can be picked up by another team. But in addition to taking on the public relations nightmare it might prove to be, they’d be prohibited from playing him — or so much as allowing him to practice — pending the outcome of a league investigation, according to the New York Post.