Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill’s been suspended as NFL investigates allegations of child abuse in his home.
Year after year, for at least the past decade, the spring months are packed with controversy over the actions of NFL players. This paradigm dates all the way back to the likes of Paul Hornung and Jim Brown, one of whom was caught up in a gambling controversy while the other allegedly was a woman beater.
These days, the veneer of infallibility that professional athletes enjoyed back then has been shorn away by the cultural revolution of what is acceptable from public figures.
Today we awaken to more of what has become all too familiar as of late, a black NFL player being accused of physical abuse. It’s a subject that has been covered extensively at The Shadow League, from Ray Rice to Adrian Peterson and former Kansas City Chiefs and current Cleveland Brown running back Kareem Hunt.
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill is now in the cross hairs after the news broke that his fiancee accused him of abusing their 3-year-old son.
The recording, which surfaced a day after prosecutors announced they believed Hill beat his son at his home last month but declined to press charges. However, they did not press charges because it was unclear who actually abused the child.
Drew Rosenhaus, Hill’s agent, informed him that he would no longer be allowed to workout with the team and is suspended as the Chiefs enter voluntary off-season workouts.
“We were deeply disturbed by what we heard. We have deep concern for Crystal, and are concerned for Tyreek, but we have real concern for the child,” Kansas City GM Brett Veach said in his statement. “We are going to continue to gather information and we will make the right decision.”
Police were reportedly called to Hill’s residence twice last month and investigators did determine that his son had been injured. Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said charges would not be filed but that he was “deeply troubled” by the situation and said “we believe a crime has occurred.”
Hill released a statement via his attorney that stated that his “son’s health and happiness is my number one priority.” Hill said his focus is on “working hard to be the best person for my family and our community that I can be, and the best player to help our team win.”
Later that day, a television station in Kansas City aired part of an 11-minute audio file in which Crystal Espinal, Hill’s fiancee, tells Hill that her child said his father injured his arm when she asked him.
Hill denies the accusation, saying : “He says Daddy does a lot of things.”
Espinal also tells Hill their son is “terrified of you.”
Hill replies, “You need to be terrified of me, too, b****.”
Espinal later says to Hill, “What do you do when the child is bad? You make him open up his arms and you punch him in the chest.”
The two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver with a history of domestic issues, including a case in which he was accused of punching Espinal while she was pregnant and they were attending Oklahoma State.
How he even got drafted after such a damning accusation is anybody’s guess. However, history shows us that the National Football League is, at best, apathetic toward instances of domestic violence among their players unless the incident is publicized.
The Chiefs recently traded their first-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks as part of a deal to acquire defensive lineman Frank Clark, who himself has a history of domestic violence.
If you recall, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was initially lenient in meting out punishment to former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice prior to the horrific video that showed him knocking out his wife on an elevator surfaced.
Trey Pettion, Hill’s attorney, told news outlets that his client waived his Fifth Amendment rights and answered questions from law enforcement and the Department of Children and Families, and that he would further cooperate with authorities.
However, the recording throws that into question as Espinal implored him to consider her loyalty in light of the situation.
“Now I really want you to sit and think about it,” she tells Hill, “because I rode for you against that detective.”
What is it about NFL players and violence that seems to go hand and hand, other than the notion that a violent sport creates a violent man? No one knows for certain whether brain injury, psychological conditioning or some other factor comes into play, but behavior like Hill’s has become prevalent and it’s a terrible look for the league.