The Kansas City Chiefs released their star running back Kareem Hunt after a video surfaced involving his violent altercation with a 19-year old woman that occurred in a Cleveland hotel in February.

Kareem Hunt
Chiefs’ running back Kareem Hunt walks off the field during pregame warmups in a game against the Rams in the LA Coliseum. (Image: Kelvin Kuo/AP)

Neither the NFL or the Kansas City Chiefs saw the video before it appeared on TMZ. The NFL placed the second year back on the Commissioner Exempt List, which means he is not permitted to play on the field for any team until their investigation is complete.

TMZ Breaking Another Big Story

On Friday, TMZ Sports released a damaging video of Kareem Hunt in an altercation with a 19-year old woman. The incident occurred in February of this year at the Metropolitan Hotel. The downtown Cleveland hotel is also an apartment complex where Hunt maintained a residence.

In the video, Hunt is seen pushing, shoving, and then kicking a woman. Cleveland police were called to the scene after the incident. However, Hunt was not arrested at the time. Witnesses gave conflicting reports of a situation that quickly escalated from a verbal spat to a physical altercation. According to a witness account, the young woman refused to leave Hunt’s apartment and then used racial slurs, which initiated the confrontation.

In February, the media reported on the incident, however, video was unavailable at the time. The Chiefs and the NFL did a cursory investigation, but Hunt went unpunished.

TMZ acquired hotel security surveillance video footage and body cam footage from Cleveland Police.

Despite being a $14 billion industry, the big question remains is how could a powerful entity like the NFL not acquire the videos before TMZ. The NFL claimed they attempted to acquire footage from the hotel. However, the hotel followed corporate protocol and handed over all footage to the Cleveland Police.

According to reports, Cleveland Police information officer Jennifer Ciaccia confirmed that they did not release the video to TMZ.

Quick Cut

When the video surfaced on TMZ on Friday, the Chiefs dismissed Hunt from practice and sent him home. On Friday evening, the Chiefs did not waste any time and cut Hunt from the team.

According to a statement, the Chiefs said, “Earlier this year, we were made aware of an incident involving running back Kareem Hunt. At that time, the National Football League and law enforcement initiated investigations into the issue. As part of our internal discussions with Kareem, several members of our management team spoke directly to him. Kareem was not truthful in those discussions. The video released today confirms that fact. We are releasing Kareem immediately.”

Hunt released an apology of his own. In his statement, Hunt said, “I deeply regret what I did. I hope to move on from this.”

Rising Star

Hunt, 23, played his collegiate ball out of Toledo. The Chiefs drafted the running back as the 86th pick in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Hunt signed a four-year contract worth $3.2 million and a signing bonus worth $775,000.

During his rookie season, Hunt seemed like he came out of nowhere with a sensational season. Hunt led the NFL in rushing with 1,327 yard. He also scored eight touchdowns in his first season.

In 11 games this season, Hunt rushed for 824 yards. He scored 14 total touchdowns, with seven rushing scores.

The Chiefs currently have the best record in the AFC at 9-2. Their high-octane offense is led by QB Patrick Mahomes and a devastating aerial attack. However, Andy Reid made also Hunt a focal point of the offense as a valuable weapon. Hunt proved to be just as valuable in the passing game.

When asked about the incident in training camp in August, Hunt answered, “I’ve learned from it and I’m focused on football.”

Chiefs owner Clark Hunt stood behind his young player.

“Kareem is a young man,” said Hunt. “Second year in the league, obviously had a very big year on the field last year. I’m sure he learned some lessons this offseason and hopefully won’t be in those kind of situations in the future.”

Exempt List

The NFL placed Hunt on the Commissioner Exempt List, which is paid leave while the league investigates a situation with one of their players.

“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,” said the NFL.

Under the NFL’s revamped personal conduct policy, any player can be disciplined by the league, even if he is not convicted of a crime. Even though Dallas Cowboys’ running back Ezekiel Elliot did not get charged by police for a domestic dispute incident that occurred when he was in college, the NFL suspended him for six games.

Hunt is expected to be suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Based on the Elliot incident, six games seems to be the consensus number of games Hunt will miss.

Despite his remarkable abilities, Hunt is not expected to be picked up by a team this season. If any other teams sign Hunt for next season, he is not included on the 53-man roster. Furthermore, he cannot play until he clears the Exempt List.