Patrick Mahomes told reporters on Sunday that the Chiefs' decision to release running back Kareem Hunt on Friday was one that he knew the team had to make.
Speaking to the media after Sunday's 40–33 win over the Raiders, Mahomes admitted to reaching out to Hunt before the game. Hunt was placed on the Commissioner's Exempt list and released on Friday after TMZ Sports released hotel footage that showed the star running back attacking a woman in a Cleveland hotel back in February.
In an interview with ESPN's Lisa Salters, Hunt apologized for his actions and for lying to Kansas City in his initial conversations with the organization.
"I've talked to him, but I'll keep it between me and him," Mahomes said according to The Athletic's Nate Taylor. "I saw the stuff that happened. We don't do those things."
Mahomes and Hunt came to Kansas City as members of the 2017 draft class, forming a tight friendship and often sharing their hopes of leading the Chiefs to a Super Bowl win. Mahomes finished Sunday's game 23-of-38 for 295 yards and four touchdowns without Hunt on the field.
Wide receiver Chris Conley, like Mahomes, also took time to address the incident after the game.
"Kareem being a friend of mine, I think the impact is just that—Kareem as a person," Conley said. "I didn't think about football, or how it would have an impact on this locker room or on our season, at all. Because obviously, this is secondary. And life, life is first. You know, he has some things that he needs to learn. Some time that he needs to take. Reflection. I think he's going to do that. Hopefully he has those people around him in that circle who are going to help him through that. It was a little bit of shock, with the things going on. It came at us pretty fast here. But life moves fast and it doesn't wait for anybody. I've reached out to him, hoping that he gets the help that he needs and that he can grow as a man and really, the focus is on Kareem as a person, not the football player right now."
Coach Andy Reid declined to elaborate on the incident and instead used Sunday's postgame press conference to praise his players.
"We made the decision that we made,” Reid said. “We put out a statement to explain the situation. As we’ve done in the past, when things come up that’s where we go. We handle it within and we handle it with the person that it affects. We’ve done all of those things.”
The Chiefs improved to 10–2 with Sunday's win and will host the Ravens (7–5) next week.