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The Tyreek Hill Decision Leaves the NFL in Murky Water

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The Tyreek Hill Decision Leaves the NFL in Murky Water

When the news broke on draft night, that Chiefs star wide receiver Tyreek Hill was being investigated for yet another incident involving domestic violence, everyone shuddered.  There were emotions of sadness, rage, and anger, that this young man did not learn from his past mistakes.  However, all of those emotions instantly shifted to feelings of concern for Tyreek's young son and his well being.  

No child should be subjected to live under the conditions that this little boy has faced throughout his life.  He has been raised in a home of dysfunction and domestic violence which could present a world of negative ramifications for him as he grows up.  

According to the Johnson County DA office and child protective services, Hill's son has been removed from his parents' custody and is in a positive environment under the supervision of responsible adults who can adequately care for him (We hope and pray).  

After the news of this accusation broke, the Kansas City Chiefs immediately suspended Tyreek Hill from all team activities and the NFL launched a full-scale investigation into the events that took place prior to, during, and after the incident.  

Yesterday, the NFL concluded that there was not enough evidence presented against Tyreek Hill to administer any further punishment.

This ruling presents many different quandaries into how the NFL does business when investigating heinous acts committed by their employees. (They were inept at uncovering any evidence in this case).  First of all, when has the NFL ever disciplined a player based on sufficient evidence obtained from their investigations?  

Let's remember that the NFL took Tom Brady to the U.S court of appeals and suspended him four games over DEFLATED FOOTBALLS.  What is more important here, a child's safety or whether a player deflated a football? Obviously, the NFL has let us all know their stance here.

The NFL's Precedent in Similar Cases:

Adrain Peterson was indicted on similar charges of child abuse in 2014, in Montgomery Texas.  There were many of the same patterns of abuse in Peterson's case as there were in Hill's case. Peterson abused his son with physical force using belts and switches and then texted his son's mother confirming the abuse.  After the investigation into these allegations and two-year probation were handed down by the courts, the NFL suspended Peterson for an entire season.

Hill's case presents some similar characteristics with Peterson's in the type of abuse their children have endured.  Both children have used physical force, both children have had belts used on them, and both children have suffered unconscionable injuries to their bodies. (Hill's son's arm was broken).  These facts alone make anyone with a heart, brought to tears because an innocent child endured this type of abuse and trauma by someone who was supposed to love them unconditionally and care for them.  

As an educator, I shudder that any child would have endured a family life like this.  

This is why the NFL simply has to do better.  They have to not only do a better job of protecting their players but, they have to do a better job of protecting the families of their players when there are documented issues of violence and abuse occurring in the household.

The NFL is in the empire business and simply does not care about the safety of their players or their families.  They are more concerned about sweeping unconscionable behavior under the rug and moving on to the next money-making event on the calendar.

The NFL needs to do more with their resources.  They need to be more vocal in their communities, more present on the national stage, and they need to be more involved in their players' lives.  Football is a brutal sport.  We have seen gruesome injuries and gruesome effects of a lifestyle that is conducive to mental and emotional trauma.  

There have been repeated cases of domestic violence and child abuse in this sport and more needs to be done to protect the people who are victims of this behavior. The NFL choosing not to suspend Tyreek Hill is simply a symbolic gesture that they still do not do enough to protect their players and their families.  

Suspending Hill indefinitely is simply not enough, The NFL needs to step up and provide whatever support Tyreek's children need, and set a precedent that child abuse will not be tolerated in their sport.          


David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (38) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Coldworld's picture

Once again the NFL fails to do either the right or the consistent thing.

Lare's picture

So there's enough evidence of abuse for child protective services to remove Hill's son from his parents' custody but there's not enough evidence for the NFL to conclude such abuse took place.

There's something really wrong with this situation.

Tarynfor12's picture

The NFL is not in the justice business but the image business and they concluded that Hill is less damaging to the image than say Peterson was and showing so with the season long suspension,though with pay via the Commissioner's List.
This doesn't make the decision right or wrong but allows the NFL to remain squarely positioned with the fence post secured up their arse allowing them to sway back and forth to either side as needed in the name of the image.

ricky's picture

There issue of abuse of a child is not in question. There were two "parents" in the home. Who committed the heinous act of harming a child? Two investigations (by the local police and the NFL) decided the issue was inconclusive. The tape that the woman made was approximately 17 minutes long. We heard only small snatches of the interaction between the "parents" (and that is only in the sense they had sex and produced a child; neither seems to be qualified to be a real parent). The NFL investigators heard the entire, unedited recording, and came to the conclusion there was no way to determine who actually abused the child. Neither of the "parents" should be allowed visitation without severe restrictions, including active supervision of any interactions between "parent" and child. The NFL has decided not enough evidence exists to take action. But the Chiefs got rid of Kareem Hunt after a video showed him physically interacting with a woman. The decision is now theirs: will they follow the precedent set in the case of Hunt? Or will they ignore the behavior of Hill and re-sign him to a big contract?

Me2777's picture

Well written article. All the profits in the world are useless if they are simply used to keep the masses entertained while anything like this is taking place.
There are many aspects of sports I am becoming uncomfortable with lately and they all simply revolve around the idea that we could and should care for one another.

blacke00's picture

I think there is "more to the story" here. Just because the media reports something doesn't mean it's so. God! Look at the crap coming out of the MSM over the last couple of years.

I'm not saying this guy is not a chump but evidence is necessary in our system of justice and even in the NFL (shocking as it maybe) realizes this.

There was(is) not substantial evidence to do anything to this guy. You're dreaming, smoking a lot of dope or just plan ignorant if you think the NFL..for one second is going to let a situation like this affect their image without doing something about it.

There was no real (or a appearance of a) case here or they would have dealt with it. Both legally and/or the NFL.

Coldworld's picture

Like all the other times the NFL evaded and prevaricated till it had nowhere to hide?

dblbogey's picture

No fair using big, multi- syllabic words.

holmesmd's picture

perseverated? LoL

PeteK's picture

Blacke, read Lare's earlier comment.

blacke00's picture

I'm not saying this guy is a saint.

But remember there are other "caregiver(s)" in the home. Also, the police are (or should be aware of what Social Services recommends) yet they didn't press charges. Hmmm? Sounds fishy to me. Could it be that other "caregiver(s) may have had a hand in the alleged abuse? I don't think we are privy to the all facts in this case.

To many you guys just want to "bitch" about the NFL Not that they don't deserve it at times but I'm not sure this is the case to do it

Bearmeat's picture

I have the opposite take:

I want the NFL out of the entire non-competitive suspension business. If it's bad enough to fire someone (as this seemed to have been, but turned out not to be?), then cut the man. If not, then move on.

The NFL does not have the objectivity, or the resources, to deal with any felony. I want law enforcement to deal with it. Tom Brady should not have been suspended for any amount of games for supposedly deflating footballs, nor should Josh Gordon (or Aaron Jones) for smoking weed. Steroids etc is different - that provides a competitive advantage and should be dealt with via suspension. This leads me to say that the NFL's drug testing policy is a complete joke, but I digress...

Again, if it's a felony and they're proven guilty in a court of their peers, the should pay the fine and do the time. Since it was proven that Peterson and Rice did what they were accused of, they are definitely schmucks. But they're schmucks who should be in prison as the society sees fit, not in a kangaroo NFL "court." And, once their debt to society is paid, they should be free to work in their field again.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

This is an awful article, and I don't think much of most of the comments.

There was child abuse, so the child has been removed from the home. In the United States, authorities still need evidence to charge and imprison a person. So does the NFL before it can take action.

If there is any indication that the NFL found reasonable evidence of wrongdoing by Hill, that should have been presented in the article.

Samson's picture

Of course you are correct.

Unfortunately, many people (including the author of this article) put themselves into a position of judge, jury & ultimately executioner. They do it because it's so easy to take a stand against any kind of abuse --- especially against a child. --- However, their prognosis of the "actual facts" of the situation are not known by them & never will be. --- They are grand standers. ... They disregard the full story because the full story counters their pitiful efforts at reporting a story. --- They look for the pat on the back because it makes them feel righteous...... The truth is .... they are as crippled as any child abuser.

David Michalski's picture

Here are some facts, the child ended up with a broken arm, Tyreek Hill admits to being rough with the child on tape. Although the evidence was inconclusive does not mean a crime wasn’t committed against the child, hence child services taking him away.

Now let’s address the obvious vendetta you have against me.

How dare you make a comment like that against me. You really think I’m just looking for a pat on the back? How dare you hint that I’m as crippled as a child abuser. Just because you hate my guts as a writer doesn’t give you the right to make outlandish claims against me or take personal shots at me.

You’re well within your rights to criticize my work, say I suck, disagree with my takes on any situation or football opinion but let’s not cross the line as far as you did with that comment.

Let’s face it if we were standing at the atrium at Lambeau field you wouldn’t say it to my face.

Bearmeat's picture


I often don't agree with your takes, as is the case here. That said, I will always defend your right to write what you believe is right in whatever rite you might be a wright. (see what I did there?) ;)

Even if you were a paid author for JSOnline or something like that, you're going to have to get used to the fact that there are jerks out there. When those jerks can be anonymous, they're even worse. I prefer the name Facebook Balls, but Keyboard Warrior also works.

Just ignore them. There are probably half a dozen commenters on CHTV that I just scroll over their comments because whatever they post is almost always either mean or completely stupid.

David Michalski's picture


I totally understand where you’re coming from with this being part of the territory in terms of criticism. I have no issue with being criticized or people saying they disagree with me because they often do (which makes for good debate). However, there’s a point when someone crosses the line in an insult and that’s where I was at.

It was out of line and I’m always going to defend myself in that situation.

As always thanks for your takes on CHTV!

flackcatcher's picture

I think both you and Bearmeat said what had to be said here. I will only say this. Child abuse is usually an early sign of far deeper problems within the family that need long them help. The hard part is getting both parents to understand why they need to seek ways to get themselves healthy. Their are some things both public and private organizations can do, but both are limited by contracts and the law. Above all, this is first and foremost a mental health issue that is best addressed outside of court or thru threatening actions by an employer. The whole idea is for them to accept they need to be well, not only for their child's sake, but for themselves too. Next time the author decides to hit the keyboard. I hope he takes a step back, a deep breath and walks away before another screed like this goes online.

LeotisHarris's picture

Tgr, I share your sentiments, but remember the author is offering an opinion piece here. It's not investigative journalism. He'd like clicks, and comments so in that sense it's a job well done. :::shrug:::

Your point on authorities still needing evidence to charge and imprison a person in the United States is debatable, but I see no need to do that here.

Coldworld's picture

Emergency removal means that a child is perceived to be in imminent danger of ongoing harm. That and the resulting proceedings are separate from any criminal charges that may be filed. As far as I am concerned, the fact of removal is sufficient that this individual should no longer be acting as a highly paid role model. It goes with out saying that he has brought the game into disrepute.

This is not a he said, she said scenario. Removal is sufficient in my mind to warrant a player being suspended until such time as he is cleared of wrongdoing. We do not need to wait for a conviction.

To those who argue that the NFL should not be in the business of making such determinations, i agree. It is neither impartial nor qualified to adjudge guilt or innocence and has no right to evidence either. That is why an ongoing removal should suffice to trigger suspension in such scenarios in my view. Zero tolerance.

Bearmeat's picture

You have some fair points, but legally speaking, Hill was cleared of wrongdoing. I would also say that in every single field, there are schmucks scattered throughout the ranks. And in my experience, there is a particular concentration of schmucks at the top of many fields. I am a professional classical musician, and some of the stories I've heard would make your toes curl. Just because someone is excellent at something, that doesn't make them "role models." A man's actions is what makes him one of those - even if that only is to his children and no one else.

Coldworld's picture

I don’t disagree with anything you say Bear except a possible quibble with the statement that he was cleared. I read it as more that it is unclear not as to harm but as to the details of how that occurred and by whom.

I think where I am coming from is that some things deserve zero tolerance and I do see a difference between a normal joe and a highly paid professional athlete who is a face and role model to kids and parents alike. Yes, I know that that statement is concerning in itself, but it is reality.

Over the years I have also seen some pretty disturbing things. I certainly take your point about this behavior not being unique to football or sport. However, if those high profile arenas tolerate this, there is little hope that others will change. Here, there is evidence of harm, but uncertainty about the how. It would have been a good chance to send a message that details don’t count when the fact if child harm occurs.

Bearmeat's picture

Hey, I agree with you. Child abuse, or potential child abuse is a zero tolerance crime. But here's the thing - transcendent talent that makes other people money (like a stud WR or a world-renowned concertmaster) is always going to get more leeway regarding socially unacceptable behavior with the people who collect that money. That is just human nature.

Which is why I don't want it in the hands of the NFL pseudo-cops, who have a financial interest in selling tickets and eyeballs glued to TVs and selling jerseys. When money is involved, human nature corrupts justice for that money: Whether that is Tom Terrific getting 4 games for BS Sour Grapes by Irsay, or Ray Rice getting 2 games for that despicable act. Justice should be justice - regardless of how it's perceived, and that's been The Rog's biggest mistake in his time as Commish. No, I want it in the hands of the actual police, who have no financial interest in a WR who may or may not play for the chiefs. Granted, fandom can hurt there too, but it's far less likely that bias seeps in when finances aren't involved.

When you involve industry in policing itself, you're always going to get a tainted justice system. On one hand, you have Jerry Jones hiring a "common sense bodyguard" for Dez, and on the other, you'd have the deflate-gate and Duke LaCrosse team circus. Yes, I'm a college prof, and the Title IX cops are worse than the NFL front office morons.

BoCallahan's picture

Are you a violinist?

Bearmeat's picture


Coldworld's picture

Bear, at the root of this lies the NFL opting to be its own policeman. I share your dislike of that and your belief that they lack the tools or expertise. The problem is that NFL policy places them in that ambiguous position.

We’re the policy one that renders known involvement in child harm results in automatic suspension, this would be a much simpler proposition. In my view it should be.

I think part of this stems in fact from the CBA, so in part it is time for the union to clean up its act. Protecting abusers is no longer acceptable.

Bearmeat's picture

Well said.

blacke00's picture


Ferrari Driver's picture

David Michalski: Superbly written and informative article. Fully agree with your comments.

blacke00's picture

Totally disagree

BoCallahan's picture

Ferrari Driver,
Is your 1st name David?

Johnblood27's picture

I haven't read anything further than this article on Tyreek Hill and the accusations.

I see mention of a 17 minute tape with inconclusive evidence as to who did what.

I hear that a child was removed from his parents custody due to severe physical abuse.

The premise that there is no identifiable perpetrator in this scenario makes me want to vomit from the disregard shown to this poor child.

one of only 2 people is responsible, or they both are responsible, either both by commission or one by commission and one by omission of action to prevent.

Any jurisprudence system that cannot see fit to punish both parties in this scenario deserves absolutely no respect from the society it supposedly serves.

It is sheer idiocy like this that society should deem unacceptable and remove the idiots who make rulings like this and modify the system.

Maybe more information could modify my stance, jut I doubt it.

buddrow53's picture

It seems to me that everyone blames the league for dealing with the players problems. What happened to the teams dealing with the actions of their employees?

All of this covering up for the misdeeds of their employees/idiots have been around sports forever.
We don't want bad press it affects public perception/ ticket sales. It happens in all levels of sports all the way down to high schools.

Teams should be held responsible and if they don't act then the nfl should penalize them not their players.

Another thing where in the hell is the players union in all this crap? They sure seem to disappear when their star players are accused.

Let the season begin I am tired of waiting and reading all the off season articles.
Go PackGo

4thand1's picture

His reputation as a man is stained forever in the court of public opinion as is Peterson's. Hope they can make the changes in life that better life for everyone involved for their families (especially the kids). Pete Rose banned for life for gambling, Peterson should not get into the HOF.

Packer Fan's picture

I no longer work for a living, so perhaps what I did when issues like drugs abuse and such came up. People need to be treated fairly whether they are the victims or perpetrator. And with respect. Taking away their livelihood must be done carefully. This article is way over the top for me. Zero tolerance is a very bad idea. Take into account what is best and helpful for everyone involed. Can Hill be helped, or monitored? What I see here is incomplete info and a lot of judgments. And again, not helpful.

Coldworld's picture

Help is something that should be part of many of these issues, both from the NFL and the Union. Zero tolerance is not incompatible with such measures.

ILPackerBacker's picture

This is very true.
"FACTS" are often twisted and slippery. There is always behind the scenes movement taking place.

We know a child was hurt badly.
We heard the tape and know what was said.
But we also know that people run their mouths and lie, especially over pampered athletes.

We know CS was involved.

We can see that some odd result was reached. the PR aspect is worse here than many NFL infractions that led to suspensions.

OTH the uneven 'justice' of the nfl system is not the answer especially where money and the job, make a living aspect is removed before a real hearing.

For example in the RR case....once it happened was she no longer 'allowed' to decide living as a multi millionaire getting hit was or was not better than living on a minimum wage?

Tough questions that the NFL after deflate gate, the fail mary, the current patriot owner issues has demonstrated a total inability to work out.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

The prosecutor's office refused to release any "police records, witness statements, 'photographs and video recordings depicting either the alleged victim’s or the alleged perpetrator’s physical condition' and other information to the NFL.

The NFL interviewed Hill for 8.5 hours, but Hill's girlfriend refused to cooperate with the NFL, probably because the prosecutor conceivably might still charge her. The NFL also interviewed relatives of both parents and others.

Hill chides his girlfriend for not playing with their son and suggests that he is the only one that plays with the child, who gets physical with him. In that context, Hill appears to mean that only he picks the child up, perhaps twirls him around.

The NFL can be questioned about its decision not to suspend Hill for making a verbal threat. Hill told his girlfriend that she needs to be terrified of him. The NFL suspended Chris Johnson for 4 games due to making verbal threats. The code of conduct requires it to be actual or threatened physical violence, but this seems to fit within that parameter.

What the standard should be for terminating parental rights, involuntarily committing people, etc., is a policy and legal issue. The standard for convicting someone of a crime is prescribed.

What the standard should be (i.e., level of proof, such as preponderance of the evidence, clear and convincing, beyond a reasonable doubt, no standard at all) for an employer to terminate an employee for wrongdoing outside the workplace, particularly when the employment is via a contract for personal services contract as opposed to employment at will, is another.

Here is a link to an article describing (indeed, transcribing) the tape the girlfriend secretly made while she and Hill were flying to Dubai. The tape seems to be a large part of the available information.

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