A few important questions: When did the NFL and the Chiefs see the video of Hunt shoving and kicking a woman at a Cleveland hotel in February? If the league and team hadn’t seen the video before Friday, why not? TMZ first published the video Friday afternoon.
NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport said the NFL and the Chiefs had not seen the video before Friday, though they attempted to obtain it.
Neither the NFL, nor the #Chiefs, had seen the video before it was published today. I’m told the league made several attempts to obtain it. The hotel said it was corporate policy to only turn it over to law enforcement. Cleveland PD would not provide it to the league.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 1, 2018
There will be skepticism about the report, or how the NFL couldn’t get the video when TMZ did.
TMZ got the Kareem Hunt video before the NFL saw it
As was the case in the Ray Rice case, TMZ was the first to show the video. TMZ reportedly will pay for controversial videos. It reportedly paid $15,000 for the video of Rice striking his then-fiancee.
The NFL doesn’t have legal power to get a company or the police to turn over videos that aren’t public record. It’s part of the problem with the NFL deciding to do its own crime investigations regarding its players.
In this instance, Cleveland police had not viewed the surveillance footage of the incident until TMZ released the video Friday. A spokesperson told USA Today Sports “detectives only follow up on felonies. This is a misdemeanor.”
The NFL’s handling of the issue will be dissected for a long time, just like the Rice situation. If what sources told Rapoport is true, people will say the NFL should have done more to get the video, though there was nothing legally the NFL could do to get it.
Hunt is only part of the story
The NFL has a bad history with domestic violence, and even the highly damaging Rice saga hasn’t fixed everything. Just this week the Washington Redskins claimed Reuben Foster off waivers after Foster was cut by the 49ers following his arrest on a domestic violence accusation. Then Redskins vice president of player personnel Doug Williams made the situation worse by saying the accusations against Foster were “small potatoes.” Williams apologized on Friday.
Hunt was put on the commissioner exempt list on Friday, and he can’t play or practice for any team while he’s on the list. The NFL will have to figure out what punishment to give Hunt. That’s only one part of the story. We’ll get plenty of scrutiny for the NFL over what it did to try to get the video, and why nothing was done in February when the incident with Hunt was widely reported.
Even if the NFL didn’t see the video, as was reported by NFL Network, that doesn’t mean there aren’t many more questions for the league 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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