SportsPulse: NFL Insider Mike Jones ponders why it took a TMZ video for the Chiefs to make the right call and where the league and Kareem Hunt go from here.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the Friday release of a video that showed him shoving and kicking a woman in a February incident, former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt said Sunday he was “embarrassed” and sorry for the incident but still hoped to be forgiven and afforded another chance in the NFL.
“Honestly, I just want to let the world know how sorry I am for my actions,” Hunt said in a live interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters. “It’s been a tough time for me. I’m extremely embarrassed because of that video.
“I’m definitely not that type of person. My mother raised me right. … I know right from wrong.”
In the video published by TMZ on Friday, Hunt engaged in a verbal altercation with a woman at a Cleveland hotel and then shoved her. The woman subsequently swatted at Hunt’s face. Two men walked Hunt away before he charged back, colliding with a man who then knocks over the woman. While she was on the ground, Hunt kicked the woman with his right foot.
Hunt offered few details Sunday when asked about the incident unfolded.
“It was just a long night, and to be exact, it don’t really matter what happened,” Hunt said. “I was in the wrong.”
The Chiefs said in a statement Friday they would be releasing Hunt, alleging the second-year player had “not been truthful” with the team about the incident at a Cleveland hotel.
“The Chiefs are right. I didn’t tell them everything,” Hunt said. “I don’t blame them for anything. My actions caused this.”
Hunt was also placed on the commissioner’s exempt list by the NFL prior to the Chiefs’ announcement, making him ineligible to play or practice for any team that would potentially pick him up until the league reaches a decision on his status.
No charges were filed against Hunt in the aftermath of the incident.
Police reports said “surveillance available upon request,” and the NFL said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports and other outlets that the league “made multiple attempts to obtain the video” and “contacted the Cleveland Police Department, which did not provide the NFL any video.”
Hunt also said the NFL did not seek to speak with him about the incident during its investigation, which ESPN reported earlier Sunday. A person with knowledge of the NFL’s efforts, speaking on anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation, told USA TODAY Sports that the woman and her friend did not respond to the league’s attempts to gather more information.
In a statement Sunday, the NFL said its ongoing investigation would take steps to hold “further conversations with all parties involved in the incident.”
During his apologies to the Chiefs and his friends and family, Hunt did not mention the woman until asked specifically about her.
“I don’t know the woman at all, and I don’t know how I could get in contact with her, but if I could, I would like to tell her I am sorry for my actions,” Hunt said.
The Chiefs were told by the NFL to stop pursuing the video once the league began its investigation, according to The Athletic.
Cleveland police spokesperson Jennifer Ciaccia told USA TODAY Sports in an email Saturday that no one within the department had reviewed the video until TMZ posted it, saying, “detectives only follow up on felonies. This is a misdemeanor.”
Hunt said he still hoped to get another chance in the NFL.
“I hope so,” Hunt said. “I’ve worked for this my whole entire life. … If I get another shot, the team won’t regret it. I know I won’t.”
Hunt added he hoped the moment would not come to define him in others’ eyes.
“I’m asking for forgiveness, and definitely believe I deserve forgiveness,” Hunt said. “If you really know me … I’m so respectful to everyone, and I made a bad decision.”
Contributing: A.J. Perez