The Kansas City Chiefs have decided to cut ties with running back Kareem Hunt. The decision by the team came just hours of a shocking video from TMZ video that showed Hunt shoving and kicking a woman during an altercation that took place in February.
According to the Chiefs, they decided to release Hunt because he wasn't honest with the team while being interviewed about the incident shortly after it happened.
"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," the team 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."
The Chiefs' decision to release Hunt is basically unprecedented in the sense that he's a star player on a Super Bowl contender. In 11 games this season, Hunt rushed for 824 yards, which ranked second in the AFC and fifth in the NFL.
Shortly after being released, Hunt sent a statement to NFL Media apologizing for the incident.
"I want to apologize for my actions," Hunt said. "I deeply regret what I did. I hope to move on from this."
Once Hunt's been officially cut, he can either be claimed on waivers or signed as a free agent if he goes unclaimed, however, that doesn't means he'd be allowed to just suit up and start playing for a new team this year. As of right now, Hunt is ineligible to play, because the NFLFriday.
"The NFL has placed Kareem Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs on the Commissioner Exempt list, and as a result, he may not practice, play or attend games," the league said in a statement. "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."
Basically, Hunt won't be allowed to participate in any football-related activities with any team in the NFL until the league completes its investigation, and the NFL hasn't offered a timetable on when that might be. It's also possible that Hunt could be out of the NFL for good. Former Ravens running back Ray Rice never played another down after a video emerged of him punching the woman who would become his wife.
The quick downfall for Hunt started early Friday afternoon when TMZ released a video that showed the Chiefs running back shoving a woman at a luxury hotel in Cleveland in February. At the beginning of the 79-second video, Hunt clearly shoves a woman. Near the end of the video, Hunt is also caught on film kicking the woman while she's on the ground. Hunt also appears to rush the woman, but he ended up hitting a man who was standing between Hunt and the woman. Hunt's charge caused both the man and the woman to fall to the ground.
The incident involving Hunt had been previously reported and addressed by the team during the offseason, but the video was made public for the first time Friday. After the video went public, the Chiefs decided to send Hunt home from practice, and after Hunt was deactivated from the Chiefs roster by the NFL, the team's front office decided it would be best to part ways with their second-year running back. The Chiefs will head into their Week 13 matchup with the Raiders with Spencer Ware likely serving as the lead running back.
According to NFL.com, the emergence of the video on Friday was the first time that the league or Chiefs had seen it. The NFL tried to obtain the video, but was unable to. The hotel provided the security video to Cleveland police, who apparently refused to turn it over to the league.
The entire incident between Hunt and the woman took place in the early morning hours of Feb. 10. There were two police reports filed from the incident with one listing Hunt as a suspect and another that listed the woman as the suspect. Cleveland Police Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia told Cleveland.com in February that since it was a cross complaint, no charges would be filed unless one of the two (Hunt or the woman) went to the prosecutor's office and asked to have charges pursued. However, neither party went that route and no one was charged in the case.