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The Kansas City Chiefs and NFL took their time. They waited more than five hours after TMZ released a video of Kareem Hunt shoving and later kicking a woman to say anything about the story everyone was talking about Friday.
When action finally came, it was swift. The Chiefs cut Hunt, who led the NFL in rushing yards last season.
Hunt was put on the commissioner exempt list by the NFL on Friday night. Shortly after the Chiefs released a statement, saying Hunt wasn’t truthful about the February incident, which was shown in the TMZ video. They said at the end of the statement they were cutting the second-year back.
After Hunt was released, he put out a statement through Ian Rapoport of NFL Network:
Here is the entirety of the NFL’s statement regarding Hunt going on the commissioner exempt list:
“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 NFL’s investigation, which began immediately following the incident in February, will include a review of the new information that was made public today.”
As with linebacker Reuben Foster, who was claimed by the Redskins off waivers after the 49ers cut him following an arrest on a domestic violence accusation, Hunt will go through waivers because he’s on his rookie contract. Hunt, a third-round pick last year, is 23 and one of the best running backs in football.
Kareem Hunt incident happened in February
The Chiefs and NFL knew about the incident in February. It was widely reported. Hunt had been accused of physically assaulting a 19-year-old woman at a Cleveland hotel. Cleveland.com reported then that one police report listed Hunt as a suspect, and another report listed the woman Hunt shoved, Abigail Ottinger, as a suspect. A woman who was with Hunt’s friends said Ottinger assaulted her.
Presumably due to those conflicts and, until Friday, the lack of video evidence, the NFL and Chiefs decided to move without Hunt facing discipline. Hunt also wasn’t disciplined after it was reported by TMZ in June that Hunt got into an argument with a man at a resort in Put-In-Bay, Ohio and punched him.
Rapoport said the NFL and the Chiefs had not seen the video before Friday.
Once TMZ released the video of the February incident, it became impossible for the NFL and Chiefs to ignore it any longer.
Hunt was big part of Chiefs’ offense
While the football part of the story is minor compared to the rest of it, there is a clear impact on the Chiefs. They are 9-2 and considered a Super Bowl contender. That’s in part because of Hunt, who was the NFL’s leading rusher last season as a rookie and ranks fifth in the NFL with 824 rushing yards this season. Spencer Ware is the likely replacement, and he has only 22 carries all season.
Football-wise it’s a big blow to the Chiefs’ Super Bowl hopes. In the big picture the football ramifications don’t matter much. The Chiefs, and the NFL, have much bigger questions to answer.
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Jason Garrett may have saved his job with Cowboys
• TMZ video shows Chiefs’ Kareem Hunt striking woman
• Cubs sticking with Addison Russell despite domestic violence suspension
• Reasons why Jeff Brohm changed his mind and is staying at Purdue
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