Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press
The Kansas City Chiefs expect Kareem Hunt to be suspended for six games after a video of him shoving and kicking a 19-year-old woman at a Cleveland hotel in February surfaced on Friday, according to The Athletic’s Nate Taylor.
Following the release of video showing Ray Rice punch his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, in 2014, the NFL implemented a new policy that would levy a six-game suspension upon first-time offenders of domestic violence. A second offense would result in banishment from the league.
The NFL placed Hunt on the commissioner exempt list Friday, and the Chiefs followed shortly later by releasing the second-year running back.
Taylor notes that Hunt initially told the Chiefs that he “didn’t do a thing,” as he “never left the (hotel) room.” However, the video posted by TMZ Sports provided evidence to the contrary (Warning: Video contains disturbing material):
The team reportedly only found out about the altercation via the police reports. Courtney Astolfi of Cleveland.com reported two police reports were submitted, but no charges were ever filed.
Kansas City made it clear in a statement regarding the release that the 23-year-old was “not truthful” about his role in the altercation, per the team’s official website:
“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. 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.”
Per Taylor, the Chiefs—while insisting the player received counseling—would have been open to standing by him had he been open and honest about the altercation from the start.
Hunt later expressed remorse for his actions, via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport: “I want to apologize for my actions. I deeply regret what I did. I hope to move on from this.”
Taylor added that Hunt apologized to the Chiefs while asking the team not to release him. And the organization told him it would do its part to see he gets another chance in the league if he takes proper action to improve his behavior.
“You feel the kid was already on the right track,” a Kansas City official told Taylor. “You want to see him succeed.”
Teams around the NFL are now free to sign Hunt, as he is now a free agent. However, teams may be wary about signing him with a league investigation going on.
Hunt appeared in 11 games for Kansas City this season, recording 824 rushing yards (which ranks fifth in the NFL), 378 receiving yards and 14 total touchdowns.