NFL Needs Consistent Domestic Violence Policy

 

Ryan Duvall ‘21

Earlier this month, NFL star running back Kareem Hunt was released from his team, the Kansas City Chiefs. Hunt was a 2nd-year player for the Chiefs and was well on his way to becoming a top-tier rusher in the league before his release. The 23-year-old was cut due to an incident in Cleveland earlier this year when he assaulted a young woman. The drama revolving around Kareem Hunt shows once again that the NFL and its clubs have no idea or will to address violence against women by its players.

In early February, Hunt was accused of assaulting a 19-year-old woman in Cleveland. The Chiefs learned of this accusation and asked Hunt about it, but he instantly denied it. The NFL also performed its own investigation, but for some reason didn’t interview Hunt or the woman. The NFL did not give the player a punishment after their initial investigation. However, on November 30, a video was surfaced by Thirty-Mile Zone (TMZ) of Hunt striking the alleged woman multiple times. The video led to the Chiefs cutting ties with the rising superstar just a day later due to his violent character and previously lying about the incident. The league also put Hunt on the commissioner exempt list, which is a special player status where said player is ineligible to be on any active roster until or if the commissioner deems him able to play again.

Although the NFL and Chiefs have punished Hunt after the release of the video, it feels to me that they should have done this earlier on in the investigation. In my opinion, right after the league heard of the drama revolving around Hunt they should have gone to Cleveland and looked for more evidence before originally letting Hunt go without a scratch. The NFL needs to realize that sometimes in these domestic violence cases a video will not just surface that would force them to take action. The league needs to create a consistent policy in which they can go in and really dig deep to find evidence of a player being guilty or not guilty. If the league continues to be incapable of developing a policy then it won’t be as historically respected as it once was.

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