Currently unemployed running back Kareem Hunt sat down with ESPN’s Lisa Salters on Sunday in Kansas City, for an interview that was aired live on the network’s “Sunday NFL Countdown.”
Here is the transcript of that conversation:
Salters: You requested this interview, you requested this opportunity. Why?
Hunt: Honestly I just want to let the world know how sorry I am for my actions. It’s been tough time for me and I’m extremely embarrassed because of that video.
Salters: The images speak for themselves, what is there for you to say today?
Hunt: I’m definitely not that type of person. My mother raised me right. I was raised by my mom and my grandma. It was just us. They’ve always taught me well and I know right from wrong and I’m always a person [who] wants to make everybody happy.
Salters: What happened that night – take me back.
Hunt: (Sigh) Honestly it just – it was just a long night and to be exact, it don’t really matter what happened. I was in the wrong. I could have taken responsibility and made the right decision to find a way to de-escalate the whole situation.
Salters: It does matter, though. We need to hear from you how you got to that point – what happened?
Hunt: There were definitely some things that were said and did that I did not like, and that’s not an excuse … that person in that video did not deserve that, I didn’t mean to hurt anybody or anything like that. It’s really tough. It’s tough because I feel like I let a lot of people down, and I just really want to apologize to everybody, the Chiefs organization, my family, and close friends.
Salters: Who is this person, how did she end up being in the hallway of your residence?
Hunt: Honestly, I never met the girl before that one time. I met her one time, and it was like … it was my first two days living at this new place, the Nine in Cleveland.
Salters: What led to the incident?
Hunt: It was just [a] disagreement … I honestly, I wanted her just to leave but it’s no excuse for me to act that way or to even put myself in that position.
Salters: The lasting impression for me was the kick, you kicking a woman while she was down, you kicking a woman period. How do you explain that?
Hunt: You can’t really explain it. The video shows that I was in the wrong. I’m not that type of person. I’m really disappointed and embarrassed in myself, and for my family, and I really am taking actions to learn from this and do everything possible to be a better man.
Salters: The Chiefs said you were not truthful with them. Were you?
Hunt: The Chiefs are right. I didn’t tell them everything, and I don’t blame them for anything. My actions caused this and I really wish I could just apologize to them and let them know there’s no hard feelings between me and the Chiefs. I love the program, love the people there and I just want to you know take this time to better myself and not let anything like this ever happen again.
Salters: What didn’t you tell the Chiefs?
Hunt: I just didn’t tell them the video. The video part that came out. I didn’t say anything really about too much of that. When I saw the video, it was like my first time seeing it. I really didn’t – I realize what I did once I saw the video, and it was really tough to watch, and I’m not that type of person.
Salters: When did you first see the video?
Hunt: After they came out. When everybody else saw the video, that’s when I saw the video, that’s when the Chiefs saw the video, and to see that, it’s tough because I wish I would have handled it differently.
Salters: What did you think of yourself when you saw it?
Hunt: I just thought of myself as being … you know, just not me. That’s not me. I was raised better than that. I’m not the type of person to ever even think about putting my hands on anyone – a woman, a girl, doesn’t matter.
Salters: Has the NFL ever questioned you?
Hunt: No, they have not.
Salters: Did they ever ask you to talk about that incident?
Hunt: No, they have not.
Salters: The Chiefs sent you home after the videos came out, then they had you come back to the facility and they released you. What did they say to you then?
Hunt: I lied to them, so they said … they pretty much said we love you, everybody cares about you, and we gotta let you go. It was a tough conversation. The Chiefs, they did what was right. I made a poor decision and I’m willing to take full responsibility for any actions that come from this point on.
Salters: How did you feel after that?
Hunt: I was definitely upset; I felt like I let the Chiefs down, my family down, you know, those players down, and those are really like my brothers.
Salters: In your statement, you said you deeply regret what you did. What exactly do you regret?
Hunt: I just regret not … you know, just getting it all out there, and I regret my decision that I made that night and it was just, you know, a big, big mistake.
Salters: How much do you regret what happened or do you regret that you didn’t tell the truth about it all or do you regret that it came out, that it was on video?
Hunt: I regret the entire thing; everything. I regret the entire thing, and I’m going to take the time to, like I said, better myself, to get some help if needed, talk to people, and just really take this really serious.
Salters: Have you reached out to the young woman?
Hunt: I have not.
Salters: Do you intend to?
Hunt: If it comes down to it, I don’t really know the woman at all, and I don’t know how I couldn’t get in contact with her. But if I could, I would want to tell her right now that I am sorry for my actions that night.
Salters: You also said in that statement that you hope to move on from this. How do you move on?
Hunt: By just taking it day by day, bettering myself, earning people’s trust back, and just, you know, not worrying about it and see where it goes from there.
Salters: Have you sought any counseling since this incident
Hunt: Yes, for sure, definitely. I’m going to keep talking to my people about getting that arranged and set up.
Salters: So you haven’t [had counseling yet] …
Hunt: No, not yet.
Salters: Do you think you have an issue with anger management?
Hunt: [Deep breath] Ah, it could be an issue. I feel like everybody gets a little angry sometimes, and I’m going to get treatment on it, I want to make sure this never happens again.
Salters: Do you think another team will give you a chance?
Hunt: Honestly, I really don’t know right now. I hope so. I’ve worked for this my whole entire life. I’ve [given] everything and sacrificed so much for this, and to get in this position, and if I get another shot, the team won’t regret it, I know I won’t, and I’ll do whatever I can to help win.
Salters: Given what’s on the video, why should another team give you a chance?
Hunt: On that video, that’s not me. That’s not the person I am. It’s out there, it happened, I’m very embarrassed about it and ashamed of myself and I just want to do whatever it takes to earn people’s trust back and show them that I’m really a good guy.
Salters: What do you want to happen next – what do you think you deserve?
Hunt: I’m asking for forgiveness and I definitely believe I deserve forgiveness. Everything is really happening fast right now, and I just want everybody to forgive me. I know it’s going to be hard, I made a bad choice, and I’m not going to let this bring me down.
Salters: Why do you think you deserve that?
Hunt: I think I deserve it because if you really know me and everybody that I’m really close to, I’ve had really close women that are friends, and everybody, I’m so respectful to everyone, and I made a bad decision at that time, and I hope that people forgive me.
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