The former Kansas City Chiefs running back allegedly punched a man in the face at an Ohio resort in June. That, combined with the suspension he faces for his altercation with a woman in a Cleveland hotel, could lead to a lengthy banishment from the league.
The former NFL rushing champion last year, Hunt was cut by the Chiefs when video surfaced of his February fight with a 19-year-old woman. The NFL also put him into suspension.
UPDATE: Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt has spoken for the first time since being cut by the Kansas City Chiefs for a violent confrontation captured on video.
“That person in that video did not deserve that,” Hunt in an ESPN interview since video surfaced of his February confrontation with a woman at a Cleveland Hotel. “I didn’t mean to hurt anybody or anything like that. It’s really tough because I feel like I let a lot of people down.”
Hunt said “it was a long night” when asked about the incident, and admitted he was in the wrong. “There were some things said and did that I did not like. That’s not an excuse.”
Body cam video TMZ obtained shows the woman, 19-year-old Abigail Ottinger, asking police to look at surveillance footage. Officers told her any footage had to be subpoenaed. Hunt was not arrested, and a slow-walk NFL and Chiefs investigation allowed the top rusher to play through this season. He was a key factor in the team’s rise to the top of the AFC West division.
Hunt claimed in the interview that the NFL has never interviewed him on the incident.
EARLIER: One of the leading rushers in the National Football League has been cut by the Kansas City Chiefs after a video surfaced showing him violently shoving and kicking a woman.
Kareem Hunt was released late this afternoon by the Chiefs after the star running back was shown in a TMZ video accosting a woman at a Cleveland Hotel. The 19-year-old woman, a college student, had accompanied Hunt and some friends back to his hotel room. When the women were asked to leave, a confrontation ensued.
Earlier today, Hunt was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list by the NFL. That sanction meant he could not practice, play or attend games during a league investigation. The league issued a statement on the suspension: “The NFL’s investigation, which began immediately following the incident in February, will include a review of the new information that was made public today.”
Much as it did in the 2014 incident where Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was shown punching his girlfriend (now his wife) in an elevator, the NFL apparently was slow to act in yet another violence against women incident until video surfaced. Rice was initially suspended two games for his incident, but then received an indefinite ban when the video surfaced. He never played another NFL game.
The Chiefs admitted they knew about the Hunt incident, which happened last February, but claimed Hunt lied to them about it.
“At that time, the National Football League and law enforcement initiated investigations into the issue,” the Chiefs team statement said. “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.”
Hunt was the fifth leading rusher in the NFL this year, helping the Chiefs to a 9-2 record and first place in the AFC West conference. Last year, he led the league with 1,327 yards rushing.