Chiefs owner: Team was aware of Kareem Hunt's nightclub incident

Terez PaylorSenior NFL writer
Yahoo Sports

Only days after the Kansas City Chiefs released Kareem Hunt on Nov. 30 after the running back was captured on video shoving and kicking a woman in the hallway of a Cleveland hotel, it also became known Hunt had been accused of a nightclub attack in Kansas City a month prior.

On Sunday, Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt was asked following the team’s 27-24 victory over the Baltimore Ravens whether the Chiefs were aware of that incident.

“We did know about that, yes,” Clark Hunt said. “We did know about all three of the incidents he’d had in the offseason. They’d all been reported to the NFL and the NFL was investigating.”

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Clark Hunt said the club’s decision to release the Pro Bowl running back, who was also accused of striking a man at an Ohio resort in June, was unanimous among their decision-makers.

“It was a collective decision – everybody was on board with it,” Clark Hunt said. “I don’t think we were necessarily trying to make a statement, we just felt that the best thing for the Kansas City Chiefs moving forward was to part ways with Kareem.”

The Chiefs won their second straight game since cutting running back Kareem Hunt. (Getty Images)
The Chiefs won their second straight game since cutting running back Kareem Hunt. (Getty Images)

He reiterated the league’s leading rusher in 2017 was dishonest with the team about what occurred in the video, which was released by TMZ on Nov. 30 and led to his release.

“We were obviously shocked by the video, like anybody who saw it,” Clark Hunt said. “We had some issues with Kareem not being truthful about what had happened that night, and we just felt that for everybody’s best interests, we’d be headed in a different direction.”

He was asked if Kareem Hunt’s issues will lead to the team changing the way it vets players during the pre-draft process.

“It’s always smart to try to get better at everything you’re doing,” Clark Hunt said. “Our scouting staff does a really good job of vetting players and part of that analysis is their character.

“Obviously, it’s very hard to learn everything about somebody. Sometimes you have somebody who, in college, didn’t have any issues and then they get to the pro level and with the fame and fortune, they do something you don’t expect. So we’re certainly going to try to get better but I don’t think you can ever be perfect in that regard.”

He was then asked if the Chiefs had any red flags with Kareem Hunt, a third-round pick in 2017.

“No,” Clark Hunt said. “Our staff felt comfortable with taking him, otherwise we would not have selected him.”

Hunt said he hopes Kareem Hunt gets counseling for his issues, which Yahoo Sports reported Friday began this past week.

“I think the most important thing for Kareem is that he gets some counseling that can help him with his issues – I heard today that there was a report that he was going to do that,” Hunt said. “Certainly, we wish the best for Kareem in the future. I hope at some point he’s able to come back to the National Football League, not sure when that’ll be.

“Our message to him was, ‘Even though we’re having to part ways with you today, we’re still supportive of you. If you need us to get you some help off the field, we’re willing to do that.’ ”

The NFL also came under fire as many questioned the depths of its investigation into the matter after the league failed to interview Kareem Hunt directly and also failed to formally request the records related to the February incident.

But when asked what changes he’d make to how the league handles such incidents, Clark Hunt was unsure much could be done.

“I’m not sure I’m at a point right now where I can say there was a breakdown and specifically what that breakdown was,” he said. “The league has spent a lot of time and resources trying to build a department that can handle these types of situations. Obviously, it’s imperfect. I’m not sure you can ever reach perfection. There are limitations on the type of information that the league security is able to get, and I’m not sure that we can change that.”

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