How the NFL’s “Willful Ignorance” Bungled the Handling of Kareem Hunt Case
The league didn't know exactly what happened with Hunt because it didn't want to know.
The only reason the NFL didn’t know what happened with Kareem Hunt at his Cleveland hotel residence is that it didn’t want to, in ESPN’s analysis.
Following the offseason incident which was captured on a video later released by TMZ, Hunt went to the Kansas City Chiefs and gave his version of what happened. The team then talked to the NFL about it and were given assurances the league would look into it.
The league then made a halfhearted attempt to get the video of the February incident and interview the victims. The hotel denied the league’s request and the victim also declined to talk, so the NFL apparently gave up. Incredibly, Hunt was not even interviewed and went on to play 11 games this season before the bombshell TMZ post.
“It should surprise me, but it doesn’t,” National Coalition Against Violent Athletes founder Kathy Redmond told ESPN. “These are non-investigations. It goes back to willful ignorance, and arrogance and hubris on the part of the NFL. It feels like everything the NFL does is on the surface, and to address PR and the brand they have to protect.”
On Sunday morning, Hunt attempted to explain his actions and did eventually apologize to the woman in the video. “You can’t really explain it,” Hunt said. “The video shows it. I was in the wrong. I’m not that type of person. I’m really disappointed and embarrassed in myself.”
While he won’t play the rest of this season, Hunt could be back in the NFL as soon as next year — unless enough people make it clear they will no longer support the league with their cash if it continues to give players like Hunt multiple chances.
“Fans are culpable in this as well,” she said. “If they wanted something different, they’d demand it. But we move on, and the NFL likes that we do, because the games provide an escape. We can’t escape anymore. We have to confront this.”
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