Kareem Hunt went unclaimed on NFL waivers Monday, three days after a video was released that showed the star running back shoving and kicking a woman in an incident that ultimately led to his release by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Police did not charge Hunt with a crime, but the Chiefs released him for being untruthful with them about what happened during the February incident. Hunt currently is on the commissioner’s exempt list and cannot play even if another team signs him. The NFL says it is continuing its investigation.
Also on Monday, a police report surfaced in which a suburban Kansas City man told police that Hunt was among a group of men that assaulted him during a nightclub altercation in January.
The incident happened Jan. 11 at Mosaic, a club in downtown Kansas City. The 38-year-old victim was treated at a hospital for a broken rib, broken nose and other injuries. But as was the case in the assault captured on a Cleveland hotel security camera, no criminal charges were filed in the case.
The Chiefs declined to comment on the January incident.
“I think I’m hoping and would like Kareem to get help along, you know, obviously with everybody involved in it,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said more broadly. “I just think it’s a tough deal. It’s not a win-win situation for anybody, the young lady (in the Cleveland incident) included.
“My prayers are that everybody involved gets help there most of all,” Reid said, “because we’re all in this fraternity in our earth-life, and we’re all living together.”
Hunt acknowledged he misled the Chiefs about the incident in Cleveland during a live interview with ESPN on Sunday. He also apologized to those that were affected by his actions.
“You can’t really explain it. The video shows it,” Hunt said. “I was in the wrong and I’m not that type of person. I’m really disappointed and embarrassed in myself.”
Hunt admitted he may have anger issues, and he said that “I’ve taken action to learn from this.” But when asked whether he had sought counseling, Hunt said he had not.
“I feel like everybody gets a little angry sometimes, and I’m going to get treatment on it. I want to make sure nothing like this ever happens again,” he said. “I’ve worked my whole entire life. I’ve gave everything and sacrificed for this. And if I get another shot, the team won’t regret it.”
Last month, the Redskins claimed linebacker Reuben Foster off waivers after he was released by the 49ers following a domestic violence arrest in Tampa, Florida. It was only the latest in a series of legal troubles for Foster, who remains on the exempt list and is facing a league suspension.
Washington drew criticism for the signing, and coach Jay Gruden admitted Foster might never play for the Redskins. But they would retain his rights if he ever steps on the field again.
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said he has not spoken to Hunt, but sent him a text message.
“I let him know that we are thinking of him and that he’s always going to be our brother, and to let a few things settle down,” Kelce said. “He needs to understand some things, how people are viewing him right now. I’ll eventually get to him and get in his ear. He knows we love him.”
Lions tight end Michael Roberts, who played with Hunt at Toledo, said he briefly spoke with Hunt since the video was released. Roberts said he’s hopeful that Hunt winds up back in the NFL.
“Other than be supportive, there’s not much you can say to him or anyone in that situation,” Roberts said.” It’s just about the next step for him and his mental (state) and whatever organization he, you know, hopefully ends up with.
“I just hope he does (play again),” Roberts added. “I know this is what he wants, what he strives for. We were together when we had nothing. I just wish him the best and also to not take any attention from the woman. I hope she mentally is dealing with it all as well.”