Kareem Hunt’s release a warning to players, but exposes NFL’s limits

Hunt is 23 years old, led the league in rushing last season as a rookie and currently ranks fifth in the league in rushing in the second year of a four-year contract that pays him an average of $610,625 per season. The Chiefs are 9-2 and in position for their best chance at a Super Bowl title since they won it in 1970. Releasing a player of Hunt’s caliber and value was, from a pure-football standpoint, one of the most difficult and detrimental things they could have done to their team.

But they did it, and their explanation was simple and direct.cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

“Earlier this year, we were made aware of an incident involving running back Kareem Hunt,” the team’s official statement read. “At that time, the National Football League and law enforcement initiated investigations into the issue. As part of our internal discussions with Kareem, several members of our management team spoke directly to him. Kareem was not truthful in those discussions. The video released today confirms that fact. We are releasing Kareem immediately.”

He lied, they say, so he’s out. And just like that, the Chiefs did more for the future of the NFL’s ability to conduct these types of investigations than the NFL ever could do on its own.2

See, the NFL is in a shaky position with this investigation stuff. Remember, in the wake of the Ray Rice video in 2014, the league established a new personal conduct policy that was supposed to get tougher on cases of violence against women? As part of that revamped policy, the league gave itself the responsibility of investigating such cases on its own, independent of law enforcement, and assessing penalties even in cases where the legal system did not.

The problem is, the league doesn’t have the power that a government or a police force has to subpoena evidence or compel testimony. Even if they were willing or able to procure these types of hotel-camera videos as successfully as TMZ does, there would still be dozens of other holes in any such NFL investigation. In Hunt’s case, sources say, the NFL couldn’t get the alleged victims to talk to them and couldn’t get the video from the hotel or from the Cleveland Police Department.cheap wholesale nike nfl jerseys

Which means, if the player isn’t being truthful about what happened, the league doesn’t have a whole lot on which to base a conclusion. Which obviously puts the league and its teams in a bad spot when, inevitably, more evidence comes out.

So the message the Chiefs sent by releasing Hunt tells players who might find themselves in this situation in the future that they’d better cooperate. The Chiefs established a previously unheard of consequence for a player of Hunt’s caliber that should serve as a deterrent to those who might think they could lie and still avoid being caught. It doesn’t matter how good you are, how young you are, how important you are to the team … you lie about violence against women, you can lose your job.