Kareem Hunt speaks in first interview since video emerged
Former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt said he regrets pushing and kicking a woman, days after footage of the incident emerged and prompted the NFL team to drop the star from its roster.
“Honestly, I just wanted to the let the world know how sorry I am for my actions,” Hunt said in an interview with ESPN. “You know, it’s been a tough time for me. I’m extremely embarrassed because of that video.”
Video of the February incident in a Cleveland hotel hallway surfaced on TMZ’s website Friday. Hunt has not been charged, NFL.com says.
But the video, which shows Hunt shoving the woman several times and kicking her as others try to hold him back, led the NFL to place Hunt on the “Commissioner Exempt List,” preventing him from playing, practicing or attending games.
Just 40 minutes later, the Chiefs released a statement confirming they were severing ties with him. The team said it had been made aware of the incident earlier in the year and management had spoken with Hunt, but the video made clear he was “not truthful in those discussions.”
Hunt confirmed that in his interview with ESPN, which aired Sunday, and extended an apology to the team.
“The Chiefs are right, and I didn’t tell them everything,” he said. “I don’t blame them for anything. My actions caused this.”
“I regret the entire thing,” Hunt said. “I regret the entire thing and I’m gonna take the time to you know, like I said, better myself and learn from this.”
Hunt also told ESPN that the NFL never questioned him about that night. The NFL said in a statement Friday it began investigating “immediately” after the incident in February.
The league reiterated that point in a new statement Sunday.
“Consistent with investigatory practices, the NFL continues to pursue a complete understanding of the facts,” it said, adding that the investigation will include “further conversations with all parties involved in the incident.”
Incident stemmed from a ‘disagreement,’ Hunt said
Hunt told ESPN he had never met the woman, who called 911 around 3:42 a.m. on February 10 and told dispatchers she’d been assaulted. Two additional calls followed, one from a man and another from the hotel’s security officer.
“It was just a disagreement,” he said. “And I honestly wanted her just to leave, but it’s no excuse for me to act that way or to even put myself in that position.”
“You can’t really explain it,” Hunt said of kicking the woman while she was on the ground. “The video shows it. I was in the wrong, and I’m not that type of person.”
Hunt hadn’t seen the footage — he didn’t even know it existed, he said — until it came out on Friday. That was when the full gravity of his actions hit him, he said.
“I realized what I did once I saw the video, and it was really tough to watch,” he said.
Hunt said if he could speak with the woman, “I’d want to tell her right now that I am sorry for my actions that night.”
The 23-year-old was a top five running back who rushed 824 yards and scored seven touchdowns this season, according to NFL.com. He was drafted in 2017 in the third round (86th overall) after playing for the University of Toledo in Ohio.
“I’m asking for forgiveness and I definitely believe that I deserve forgiveness,” he said.