Kareem Hunt Proves The NFL Has A Violence Issue

By Lawrence Lease on December 3, 2018

The specter of an uglier NFL reared its head again Friday, and, unfortunately, it may not be for the last time.

Upon viewing video evidence of running back Kareem Hunt assaulting a young woman at a hotel in Cleveland on Friday, November 30th, the Kansas City Chiefs moved swiftly in releasing Hunt from the team. Mind you not suspending, not putting on probation, but cutting.

Kareem Hunt

By: Pixabay.com

Kareem Hunt, second-year sensation and last year’s leader in rushing yards, is no longer employed by the Kansas City Chiefs.

While many applauded the swift response from the NFL’s Kansas City club, those same voices were highly critical of the Washington Redskins, who recently signed former 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster. Foster, like Hunt, had been released earlier this week due to reports of domestic violence.

In these converse actions, some begged the question if 2018 was drawing comparisons to 2014, when Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was seen in surveillance footage assaulting his then-girlfriend, now wife. His subsequent penalty of a two-game suspension was heavily criticized by those outside the league, leading to the reversal of that initial decision and Rice’s indefinite suspension.

Ultimately, the muddled responses from around the league seem to say a few things:

1. There is still a problem with domestic violence among NFL players

2. Some of these problems are outside of the purview of the NFL

While NFL players have had issues with off-the-field violence since as long as anyone can remember, the problem now has seemed to grow especially gruesome, especially with such lackadaisical responses as that toward Rice’s incident in 2014.

And while some have made concerted efforts at improvement, such as the Chiefs, others seem to remain tone deaf, such as the Redskins.

That’s not to say that I don’t believe in second chances at all. I’m very much a proponent of redemption. That’s a human narrative. A spiritual one, even. That being said, the path to redemption for those who have transgressed, and especially for those who have transgressed egregiously, should not be easy and painless. The path to true redemption is one paved with blood, sweat, and tears. And in all honesty, it’s not always successful.

Neither Kareem Hunt nor Reuben Foster has exhibited any of that blood or sweat in atoning for their actions. Not yet, anyway. According to reports from the Chiefs, Hunt at least showed some remorse, pleading with the organization to reconsider its decision and apologizing for his actions. Despite such measures, given that he had not been truthful with either the team or the league since news of his incident first broke in February, it’s difficult to find sincerity in any such apology.

As for Foster, I have yet to see even that, despite the Redskins’ signing of him. And despite claims that they did their research on Foster’s incident before the signing, reports contradict that, including statements that reveal the team did not talk with Tampa police (where the alleged assault took place) nor with several of Foster’s former University of Alabama teammates on their own roster.

All of which is to say, that while the nuance in each of these cases might be apparent, the accountability is not. There is still a violence problem that haunts the NFL, and while perfection may not ultimately be attainable, I don’t believe it unreasonable that we ask to strive towards it.

Born and raised in Wasilla, Alaska. I am citizen journalist and looking to find a official paying journalism job somewhere in the country. I enjoy watching TV, reading books and traveling.

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