Kareem Hunt Says Chiefs “Did What Was Right" in Releasing Him
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A contrite and apologetic Kareem Hunt admits he omitted key details from Chiefs officials about an incident involving him and a 19-year-old woman in a Cleveland hotel in February, which led to his release Friday after a security video contracted his version of events.
“The Chiefs, they did what was right. I made a poor decision and I'm willing to take full responsibility of any actions that come from this point on,” Hunt told ESPN's Lisa Salters during a live interview from his home in Kansas City.
“The Chiefs are right and I didn't tell them everything, I don't blame them for anything and my actions caused this,” Hunt said. “I really wish I could apologize to them and let them know there's no hard feelings between me and the Chiefs. I love the program, love people there and I just want to take this time and better myself and not let anything like this ever happen again.”
Hunt admitted he didn't tell the team any of the details shown in the security video posted online by TMZ Sports. The video showed Hunt shoving and kicking a woman in the hallway outside his room.
“When I saw the video, it was like my first time seeing,” Hunt said. “I realized what I did once I saw the video and it was really tough to watch. I know I'm not that type of person.”
Hunt says he learned of the video's existence at the same time everyone else did, including the team. The Chiefs initially sent Hunt home on Friday immediately following the video's release. They brought him back to the facility later in the afternoon informing him of their decision to let him go.
“They believed that I lied to them, I lied to them,” Hunt said. “They pretty much said we love you, everybody cares about, and just we got to let you go. We all care about you. It was a tough conversation.”
Hunt was naturally upset by the news.
“I felt like I let the Chiefs down, my family down, those players down,” he said. “And those are really like my brothers.”
During the interview, Hunt declined to elaborate on the details of the incident and what led up to the altercation.
“To be exact it doesn't really matter what happened,” Hunt said. “I was in the wrong. I could have took responsibility and made the right decision to find a way to deescalate the whole situation.”
Hunt says he has a hard time reconciling the person he believes himself to be and the person he sees on the security video.
“I'm definitely not that type of person,” Hunt said. “My mother raised me right, I was raised by mom and my grandma. It was just us and they've always taught me well and I know right from wrong. I'm always a person who wants to see and make everybody happy.”
Team security and the league investigated the incident, and no punishment had been handed down until Friday evening when the league placed Hunt on the Commissioner Exempt list. But Hunt said the NFL never contacted him or requested an interview about the incident.
“No, they have not,” he said.
Hunt remains unsure of where he goes from here. The Chiefs say they have closed the book on Hunt and he won't return to the team. Hunt doesn't know if another NFL team will give him a chance.
“I hope so, I've worked for this my whole entire life,” Hunt said. “I've gave everything and sacrificed so much for this and to get into this position. If I get another shot, the team won't regret, I know I won't and I'll do whatever I can to help win.”
The 23-year-old Hunt says he's participated in counseling since the incident and plans to continue seeking treatment. He says he only met the woman once and doesn't know how to contact here, but he offered an apology to her during the interview.
He hopes eventually to gain forgiveness for what he describes as “a bad choice.”
“I'm asking for forgiveness and I definitely believe I deserve forgiveness,” Hunt said. “Everything is really happening fast right now. I just want everybody to forgive me. I know it's going to be hard, I made a bad choice and I'm not going to let this bring me down.”