Kareem Hunt gave his first interview since being cut by the Kansas City Chiefs following TMZ releasing a video that showed the running back shoving and kicking a woman at a Cleveland hotel in February.
Hunt sat down with ESPN’s Lisa Salters for a one-on-one interview Sunday, expressing remorse for the incident while also asking for forgiveness and another opportunity in the NFL. Something he doesn’t deserve.
“Honestly, I just want to let the world know how sorry I am for my actions and, you know, it’s been a tough time for me and I’m extremely embarrassed because of that video,” Hunt said to open the interview with Salters. “I’m definitely not that type of person and my mother raised me right — I was raised by my mom and my grandma and it was just us and they’ve always taught me well and I know right from wrong and I’m always a person who want to see and make everybody happy.”
Salters, who showed the importance of asking tough questions, asked the 23-year-old what happened on the night in question.
“Honestly, it was just a long night and to be exact it don’t really matter what happened,” Hunt said. “I was in the wrong, I could have took responsibility and made the right decision to de-escalate the whole the situation.”
No, it does matter. It matters why you felt the need to repeatedly rush at a woman and kick her while she was on the ground. It matters why you committed this act.
As to the why he did what he did, apparently “some things were said.”
“It was definitely some things that were did and said that I did not like, that’s not an excuse, it’s not — that person in that video did not deserve that, I didn’t mean to hurt anybody or anything like that and it’s really tough. It’s tough because I feel like I let a lot of people down and I just want to apologize to everybody, the Chiefs organization, my family and close friends.”
The Chiefs released Hunt on Friday, saying he was not honest with them during their initial inquiry into the incident. Hunt acknowledged he didn’t tell the team the whole truth. He also noted the NFL, as reported earlier, did not interview him about the incident.
Salters then pressed Hunt about whether or not he had apologized to the woman he attacked and his answer is pretty disgraceful.
“I have not,” Hunt said when asked if he had reached out to the woman he assaulted. “I mean, if it comes down to it I don’t really know the woman at all and I don’t even really know how I could get in contact with her, but if I could I want to tell her right now that I am sorry for my actions that night.”
To finish the interview, Salters asked Hunt why another team should give him the opportunity to play in the NFL.
“On that video, that’s not me, that’s not the person I am,” Hunt said. “It’s out there. It happened. I am very embarrassed about it. I am ashamed of myself and I just want to do whatever it takes to earn people’s trust back and show them that I’m really a good guy. I’m asking for forgiveness and I definitely think I deserve forgiveness. Everything is really happening fast right now and I just want everybody to forgive me and I know it’s going to be hard. I made a bad choice and I’m not going to let this bring me down.”
The sad fact is, another team likely will give Hunt another chance. He’s just 23 years old and led the NFL in rushing a season ago. Unlike Ray Rice, Hunt isn’t a running back who had lost his effectiveness and is easy to cast aside.
But should he? Absolutely not.
It’s unsettling the NFL has once again decided not to handle the issue of domestic violence in the proper way and that it took a video coming out for the Chiefs to cut Hunt. Make no mistake, KC didn’t release the back because of what happened, the Chiefs let him go because it was on video and because Hunt lied to them. After all, the Chiefs still choose to pay Tyreek Hill, who has plead guilty to choking and punching his then-pregnant girlfriend in the stomach in 2014, so it’s not the action that got Hunt the boot.
But it is the action that should keep him off the gridiron. Playing in the NFL is a privilege and at some point, the NFL and its organizations need to send a message that they take the issue of violence against women seriously.
Sure, Hunt apologized but his explanation and remorse seemed tone-deaf at times. You can’t say you aren’t that person when you clearly are that person. And if you are that person, you shouldn’t be allowed to continue playing football and making millions of dollars.
That should be the price NFL players pay for horrendous acts such as this.
Thumbnail photo via Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports Images