Kareem Hunt expresses shame for assault video, says NFL never asked him about incident
Former Kansas City Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt, who was released on Friday following the release of a video showing him pushing and kicking a 19-year-old woman in February, said in a live, sit-down video with ESPN’s Lisa Salters that he knows he was in the wrong.
“Honestly, I just want to let the world know how sorry I am for my actions,” Hunt said. “I am extremely embarrassed for that video. I am definitely not that type of person.”
TMZ published a video from an incident that occurred in February where Hunt had to be held back by friends during an argument with a woman whom Hunt said he met that night at a Cleveland hotel around 3 a.m. He said he met the girl that night but did not specify what the disagreement — which escalated to Hunt pushing her to the ground and then kicking her — was about.
“I’d never met the girl before that one time,” he said. ”... It was a disagreement. I honestly just wanted her to leave. But it’s no excuse for me to act that way.”
Hunt suggested that she (or someone else with her) said something that angered Hunt. It had previously been reported that a racial slur was used at Hunt, which escalated things.
“Some things were said that I did not like,” he said but added: “That’s not an excuse. That person in that video did not deserve that. 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.”
Hunt said that he plans to seek treatment for possible anger management issues but that he has not yet begun that treatment. He was not asked during the ESPN interview about Hunt’s role in a separate incident in June in which he allegedly punched a man at an Ohio resort.
Hunt admitted that he lied to the Chiefs about his role in the February incident with the woman, which was reported by local media outlets shortly after it occurred. Once the Chiefs found out about the video on Friday afternoon, they pulled him off the practice field and sent him home. Shortly thereafter, following Chiefs officials viewing the video, the team called Hunt back to the facility to inform him they’d be releasing him immediately.
“The Chiefs are right,” Hunt said. “I didn’t tell them everything, and I don’t blame them for anything... I didn’t tell them about the video. And when I saw the video, I realized what I did. It was really tough to watch.”
Backing up earlier reports by ESPN and MMQB that indicated the league didn’t seek to investigate the matter fully at the time, Hunt told Salters that the NFL never reached out to him in the initial aftermath to ask him about his role in it, even though people at the league office reportedly spoke with the Chiefs about it.
The league issued a statement following the ESPN interview, saying that it has continued to review the facts of the case, including the video that TMZ unearthed, since the incident first occurred in February.
Hunt currently is on the commissioner’s exempt list. He’s eligible to be claimed by any of the other 31 NFL teams on Monday. The Chiefs told Hunt that he would never wear their jersey again but that they would help him learn from his actions and perhaps one day endorse him to play for another team.
Asked if he had tried to reach out to the woman in question, Hunt said he had not.
“I don’t even know how to get in contact with her, but if could I would want to tell her right now that I am sorry for my actions that night,” he said.
The NFL (and ESPN) also reportedly have tried to get in contact with the woman, to get her side of the story, unsuccessfully.
Hunt said he was raised right by his family and that the incident was out of character for him. He asked for forgiveness in the ESPN interview — and said he believed he deserved it.
“I am asking for forgiveness. I definitely think I deserve forgiveness,” he said. ”… I made a bad choice, and I am not going to let this bring me down.
“I am so respectful to everyone. I made a bad decision at that time.”