Under Armour has announced that it is terminating its endorsement deal with beleaguered NFL star Kareem Hunt.
UA reportedly made its decision known via a statement issued to the Baltimore Business Journal early Saturday, December 1. In short, the sports apparel company told BBJ that it has “parted ways” with the 2017 PFWA Rookie of the Year. Under Armour’s decision comes on the heels of the controversy that has swelled since video surfaced showing Hunt assaulting a woman in the lobby of a Cleveland hotel earlier this year.
The UA endorsement falling through marks the latest development in a 24-hour period that has seen Hunt get released from the Kansas City Chiefs’ 53-man roster after the league placed the Pro-Bowl running back on its commissioner’s exempt list. As the Inquisitr reported in its coverage of fallout from the TMZ leak, signs of what was to come began when the team sent Hunt home from its facility shortly after the surveillance footage went viral.
The recording in question shows Hunt and the woman being kept apart by a group of friends as they argue and attempt to approach one another for a confrontation. At one point, the 19-year-old woman slaps Hunt in retaliation of him pushing her away. Seconds later, Hunt shoves a man standing between them into the woman, sending her to the floor. He then manages to break free from restraint and gets close enough to kick her while she is down.
In the explanation that was put out to detail the franchise’s reason for moving so quickly, a spokesperson for the Chiefs told the press that Hunt’s lack of transparency and truthfulness were the deciding factors in their decision.
The Chiefs, the NFL, and Cleveland authorities have all been under the microscope, with the public trying to get to the bottom of why the 23-year-old Toledo alum was allowed to continue playing in spite of an ongoing investigation into such a violent exchange. Each of the aforementioned parties have given the excuse that they hadn’t actually seen the recording up until this point, with Cleveland police defending that they never bothered to look into it because the incident resulted in a mere misdemeanor, according to Total Pro Sports.
Under Armour’s decision to split from Hunt is being interpreted by some as a swift measure to save face, following its own scandal involving women. Weeks ago, the public company was exposed in a Wall Street Journal report that unveiled its practice of using corporate funds to treat employees and athletes to strip clubs and other adult entertainment functions.