By Timothy Klapac, Columnist
On Friday, a video surfaced of Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt assaulting a woman at a hotel in February.
Following the release of the video, Hunt was placed on the NFL’s Commissioner’s Exempt List, and soon after, was released by the Chiefs. While the swift response to the publication of the video may indicate that the league is making a concerted effort to address domestic violence issues among its players, they failed to handle this situation when it occurred ten months ago.
Following the incident, Hunt was questioned by investigators of both the NFL and law enforcement. The Chiefs said in a statement that Hunt “was not truthful in those discussions.” The NFL has said that their attempts to obtain the surveillance video were denied by the hotel, whose corporate policy prevents them from sharing security footage with anybody except law enforcement officials. But how could TMZ, a tabloid outlet, obtain the video before the National Football League, a multi-billion-dollar organization?
This is yet another example of the NFL failing to conduct due diligence when incidents occur, choosing to be reactive instead of proactive. Most football fans thought back to the Ray Rice incident when watching the Kareem Hunt video. The behavior was similar, and the response was nearly identical. The NFL claims they addressed the issue when it happened, chose not to hand down discipline, and closed the book on it. However, once the public sees the video, the NFL then decides to act, simply in response to public opinion.
The NFL continues to make the wrong decisions when handling sensitive issues. They take the offenders at their word and instead of conducting a complete investigation through a third-party, they handle it in-house with the hopes of sweeping it under the rug. Once again, Roger Goodell will have to run the PR gauntlet in order to fix the damage this latest incident has caused. But when do we, as consumers and fans of the sport, say enough is enough?
Simply condemning the player is not enough, and it is not fair to the victims. This pattern exhibited by the NFL promotes a culture of keeping it quiet and everything will be ok. It is unacceptable and the league should face scrutiny from a legal authority.