A video that appears to show former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt shoving and kicking a woman at a hotel in February 2018 was released by TMZ on Friday.
In footage captured by security cameras, Hunt can be seen from multiple angles trying to physically attack a woman, pushing through several men and other women attempting to restrain him. At one point, Hunt knocked one of the men into a woman, causing them both to fall over.
Police responded to the altercation, which occurred inside a hotel in Cleveland, but no arrests were made and Hunt did not face criminal charges.
The Feb. 10 incident was known to the NFL, Chiefs team personnel and the public based on earlier reporting. Hunt addressed reporters about the accusations and a separate assault allegation prior to the 2018 NFL season, but the video had not been made public until now. In the immediate aftermath of TMZ’s report, the Chiefs sent Hunt home from practice Friday, according to ESPN.
The NFL announced Friday night that it had placed Hunt on the Commissioner Exempt list and will resume its investigation into the incident based on the video’s release. Hunt may not play, practice or attend games while on the list. The Chiefs announced shortly afterward that they had released Hunt.)
What do we know so far about what happened with Kareem Hunt?
The incident occurred Feb. 10 between Hunt and Abigail Ottinger, 19, inside The Metropolitan at the 9, a hotel in downtown Cleveland. Ottinger told police Hunt assaulted her about 3:45 a.m. outside a hotel apartment, according to Cleveland.com.
One police report listed Hunt as a suspect; another police report listed Ottinger as a suspect for allegedly assaulting another woman present at the scene, the Cleveland.com report said. Ottinger told police she refused to have sex with a friend of Hunt, which set off the scuffle. Other witnesses claimed Ottinger used a racist slur toward Hunt.
Charges were not filed and no arrests were made “because officers say they were unable to determine if a crime had been committed,” according to TMZ.
How have the Chiefs responded to the incident?
The Chiefs claimed they did not see the video footage until Friday, according to The Athletic, but several members of the organization had previously commented on the incident, mostly in an attempt to move on from the situation.
Team chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in August: “The team’s made up of a bunch of young men. . . . They’re not always going to make the best decisions, but we have a strong support system, both with the coaching staff and also with our player development department that works with young guys and talks to them about the situations that they want to be in.”
At the time, Clark Hunt did not believe Kareem Hunt would face a suspension from the NFL.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid declined to comment on the specifics of the incident when asked about it in June.
Kareem Hunt also addressed the incident with reporters in August, saying he had “learned from it” and was “focused on football.”
Neither the Chiefs nor the NFL had issued a statement following Friday’s video release at the time of publication. (UPDATE: The NFL and Chiefs have addressed the issue.)
What is the NFL’s personal conduct policy?
The NFL’s personal conduct policy explicitly grants the league freedom to punish players even if they are not found guilty of a crime.
According to the policy, “Even if the conduct does not result in a criminal conviction, players found to have engaged in any of the following conduct will be subject to discipline.” It lists “actual or threatened violence against another person” and “disorderly conduct” among potential reasons for sanctions.
Will Kareem Hunt be suspended?
The NFL stipulates a suspension of at least six games for first-time offenses involving assault, meaning the league could still act following the video’s release.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported Hunt could be placed on the Commissioner Exempt list until a determination is made about whether to hand down punishment, meaning Hunt would be ineligible to play for the Chiefs in Week 13 and until the matter is resolved. (UPDATE: The league placed Hunt on the list Friday night; the Chiefs followed by releasing Hunt.)
Spencer Ware is expected start against the Raiders.
This article has been updated with the NFL placing Kareem Hunt on the commissioner’s exempt list and the Chiefs releasing Hunt.