In Defense of Kareem Hunt
Editor's Note: Fred is not related to Kareem, despite the surname.
For about 8 years, Jim Brown was the best player in the NFL. At the tail end of his playing career, he was involved in numerous nasty incidents with women carrying through to his acting career in Hollywood. You can google all of the accusations and all of the court cases, there's a laundry list of 'em. Take a gander of this well researched article at Deadspin: Jim Brown Did Great Things, But He Also Beat Women. Jim Brown was getting a Consultant's Fee from the Cleveland Browns as late as 2015. And, let me show you this screen shot, from TODAY on clevelandbrowns.com.
I'm just unclear whether Jim Brown is still getting the 6-figure salary as an "Advisor." I knew from listening to Sports Talk since I was a kid that Jim Brown was a bad, bad, man.
Just got back from the Pro Football Hall of Fame website. Took a screen shot of Hall-of-Famer
O. J. Simpson.
The Halls' lame excuse for not taking the Juice out of the Hall? We don't have mechanisms to remove people from the Hall of Fame. I don't need to re-hash the well told story of O.J. Simpson.
But there's a nice, short version of his court cases at Vulture if you're interested:
Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens.....
Let's stop right there, because you get the gist of what I'm trying to say. Let me make a long story short. In the "old days," the NFL didn't care. Today, the NFL still doesn't care.*
*Ahhhh. But here's the new reality in 2018. The NFL doesn't care --- until there's a video.
Football is a violent game played by some violent men. Today Kareem Hunt was cut by the Kansas Chiefs once TMZ aired security footage of Hunt pushing and hitting a young woman. The problem with the footage is that it was taken 10 months ago. The NFL knew what happened, and they didn't care. The video hits the airwaves, then all of a sudden Hunt is suspended. Now the Chiefs claim that they cut Hunt because he "lied." Okay, let's not argue the semantics of the Chiefs' point, let's focus on the league. Right now, the league is in damage control. Even if the Chiefs didn't cut Hunt, it didn't matter, the Commissioner suspended the player indefinitely.
Almost the same narrative as the Ray Rice case, Rice was in little trouble when his domestic violence case became news, but then the video hit the media like a sonic boom. The NFL suspended Rice because it was about protecting the NFL brand. Enough people complained, and it was such a bad look, that the league was forced to act due to public outcry. Same thing here.
No new facts were revealed in the Kareem Hunt case. The only thing that changed today is that the video evidence was released for public consumption. In Hunt's Case, you should either be disciplined, or not disciplined, based on the standards of your employer, not by the whims of public opinion.
I'm not saying to beat women. Far from it. What I'm saying is that the NFL should have acted as soon as they had the facts in the case. Again, the Cleveland police had the facts back in February. The NFL had dropped the ball, yet again. On the other hand though, by yielding to public outcry, they are sending the dangerous precedent of Trial by Media. Hunt, too, has a bit of a troubled past, but does the punishment fit the crime? Women's Rights groups would say absolutely. But I've also read dozens of reactions that the incident was nothing but a drunken melee (with extenuating circumstances.) You could argue that in this case Public Outcry was correct. I would ask: Is the public always right?
I watched the video today, like millions of other Americans, and for the record, Kareem Hunt should absolutely be suspended.... See, that took less than one day.
Should he be suspended for life? Not from what I saw.
I'm just arguing that the public outcry today should be toward's Hunt's employer who continues not to care about the issues of violence against women until they are shamed into caring about the issues of violence against women.