KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said Sunday the club was aware of three publicly reported incidents involving Kareem Hunt before the club decided to cut ties with him.
“It was a collective decision, everybody was on board with it,” Clark Hunt said about the running back's release following Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens. “I don't think we were necessarily trying to make a statement, we just felt that the best thing for the Kansas City Chiefs moving forward was for us to part with Kareem.”
Hunt reiterated the team's statement that the running back failed to come forward with an accurate account of a February incident at a Cleveland hotel. Security video of that event released last month led to Kareem Hunt's release from the team,
“We were obviously shocked by the video, I think like anybody who saw it,” Clark Hunt said, “and we had had some issues with Kareem about being truthful about what had happened that night, and we just really felt for everybody's best interest we needed to head in a different direction.”
The owners said the club had prior knowledge of all three publicly known incidents involving the player. That includes an alleged altercation at a Kansas City night club following the team's playoff loss to Tennessee in January.
“We were familiar with all three of the incidents he had had in the offseason,” Clark Hunt said. “They had all been reported to the NFL and then NFL was investigating them.”
He also said the club saw no red flag's in Kareem Hunt's background before selecting him in the third round of the 2017 draft.
“Our staff felt comfortable taking him, otherwise we would not have selected him,” he said.
Clark Hunt praised his team's scouting staff for their vetting of potential players to add to the club, but admitted the process isn't always perfect.
“Sometimes you have somebody who in college didn't have any incidents and they get the pro level and with the fame and fortune and so forth that comes with the position they do something you don't expect,” he said.
He added that the team didn't intend the move to send any message to his team's other players, but said there is an expectation he holds for his employees.
“When anybody comes to the Chiefs organization, part of what we expect from them is they're going to be good citizens in the city,” Clark Hunt said. “We want them to give back, but really a first step for a young player is learning how to conduct themselves not only on the field but off the field.”
As for Kareem Hunt's future, Clark Hunt said he hopes the player receives counseling to address his issues. He alluded to a report that Kareem Hunt is doing that, and the owner wished him the best in the future.
“I hope at some point he is able to come back into the National Football League,” Clark Hunt said. “I'm not sure when that will be. Our message to him was even though we're having to part ways with you today, we're still supportive of you, and if you need us to get you some help off the field, we're willing to do that.”