On Sunday morning, ESPN’s Lisa Salters interviewed former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt regarding his actions and subsequent release.
The following is a transcript of former Kansas City running back Kareem Hunt’s live one-on-one interview with Lisa Salters of ESPN on Sunday morning. Hunt was released by the Chiefs on Friday after a video of him assaulting a woman at a Cleveland hotel in February became public.
Lisa Salters, ESPN: Kareem, you requested this interview. You requested this opportunity to talk one on one with us. Why?
Kareem Hunt: Honestly, I just want to let the world know how sorry I am for my actions. It’s been a tough time for me and I’m extremely embarrassed because of that video.
LS: Many would say those images speak for themselves. What is there for you to say?
KH: I’m definitely not that type of person. My mother raised me right. I was raised by my mom and my grandma. It was just us. They always taught me well. I know right from wrong. I’m a person who always wants to make everybody happy.
LS: So what happened? Take me back to that night. I understand this occurred in a hallway of your residence in Cleveland back in February of this year. What happened?
KH: It was just a long night. To be exact, it don’t really matter what happened. I was in the wrong. I could have taken responsibility and make the right decision to deescalate the whole situation.
LS: I think it does matter, though. We need to hear from you on how you get to that point that night.
KH: Definitely some things were said that I did not like. That’s not an excuse, I’m not that person and that video. I deserve that. I didn’t mean to hurt anybody or anything like that, and it’s really tough. It’s tough because, like, I feel like I let a lot of people down. I just want to apologize to everybody. The Chiefs organization, my family and close friends.
LS: Who was this person? How did she end up being in the hallway of your residence?
KH: I never met the girl before besides that one time. I met her one time. It was kind of my first two days living in this place, at The 9 in Cleveland. I kind of just had some friends over.
LS: What were you arguing about in the hallway?
KH: Just a disagreement. Honestly, I wanted her just to leave but it’s no excuse for me to act that way, to even put myself in that position.
LS: When I watched the video, the lasting impression for me was the kick. You kicking a woman while she was on the ground. You kicking a woman, period. How do you explain that?
KH: You can’t really explain it. The video shows i was i the wrong. I’m not that type of person. I’m embarrassed for myself and my family, and I really am taking action to learn from this. To do everything possible to be a better man.
LS: The Chiefs say you were not truthful with them when you told them back in February about what happened. Were you?
KH: The Chiefs are right. I didn’t tell them everything. I don’t blame them for anything. My actions caused this. I really just want to apologize to them. There’s no hard feelings between me and the Chiefs. I loved the program, loved the people there. I’m going to take this time for myself and not let anything like this ever happen again.
LS: What didn’t you tell the Chiefs back then?
KH: I just didn’t tell them the video, the video part that came out. Didn’t say anything much about too much of that. When I saw the video, it was like my first time seeing it. I really didn’t , I realized what I did once I saw the video and it was really tough to watch. I know I’m not that type of person.
LS: When was the first time you found out that the videos existed?
KH: After they came out. When everybody else saw the video that’s what I saw the videos, when the Chiefs saw the video. To see that, it’s tough because I wish I would have handled it differently.
LS: What did you think of yourself when you saw those videos?
KH: I just thought of myself as being, not me. That’s not me. I was raised better than that, like I said. I’m not the type of person, to ever even think about putting my hands on anyone, a woman , a girl, it doesn’t matter.
LS: Has the NFL ever questioned you about that incident?
KH: No they have not.
LS: Did they ever ask you to talk about that incident?
KH: No they have not.
LS: The Chiefs sent you home after the videos came out and then they had you come back to the facility, and they released you. What did they say to you then?
KH: They believed that I lied to them. I lied to them. So they said, they pretty much said that we love you and everybody cares about you, but we have to let you go. It was a tough conversation. The Chiefs did what was right. I made a poor decision and I’m willing to take responsibility for any actions that come from this point on.
LS: How did you react at the time?
KH: I was definitely upset. i felt like I let the Chiefs down, my family down, the players down, and those are really like my brothers.
LS: In a statement you released on Friday, you said that you deeply regret what you did. What exactly do you regret?
KH: I just regret, not, you know, getting it all out there. I regret, I just regret my decision that I made that night. It was just a big, big mistake for me.
LS: How much do you regret what happened being in that position at all, or is it more than you regret that you didn’t tell the truth about what happened, or do you regret that it came out, that it was on video?
KH: I regret the entire thing, everything. I regret the entire thing and I’m going to take the time to, like I said, better myself and learn from this. Get some help if needed, talk to people and take this really serious.
LS: Since the incident, have you in any way reached out to the woman?
KH: I have not.
LS: Do you intend to?
KH: I mean if it comes down to it, I don’t really know the woman at all. I don’t know how I could get in contact with her, but if I could, I would want to tell her right now that I am sorry for my actions that night.
LS: You also said in that statement that you hope to move on from this. How do you move on from this experience?
KH: By just taking it day-by-day, bettering myself, earning people’s trust back. Not worrying about it and see where it goes from there.
LS: Have you sought any counseling since this incident?
KH: Yes, for sure, definitely, and I’m going to keep talking to my people about getting that arranged.
LS: So you haven’t had any counseling yet?
KH: No, I have not.
LS: Do you think you have an issue with anger management?
KH: Uh, it could be an issue. I feel like everybody gets a little angry sometimes and I’m going to get treatment on it and make sure that nothing like this ever happens again.
LS: The Chiefs have said you will never play for them again. Do you think that another NFL team will give you a chance?
KH: Honestly, I really don’t know right now. I hope so. I have worked for this my whole entire life. I’ve gave everything and sacrificed so much for this and to get in this position and if I get another shot, the team won’t regret it, I know I won’t. I’ll do whatever I can to help one.
LS: Given what’s on those videos, why should another team give you a chance?
KH: On that video, that’s not me. That’s not the person I am. It’s out there, it happened and I’m very embarrassed about it. I’m ashamed of myself and I want to do whatever it takes to earn back people’s trust and show them that I’m really a good guy.
LS: What do you want to happen next for you, Kareem? Do you want forgiveness and do you think you de3serve that? I don’t know the answer to that, but what do you think you deserve?
KH: I’m asking for forgiveness and I definitely believe I deserve forgiveness. Everything is really happening fast right now and I just want everybody to forgive me and I know it’s going to be hard. I made a bad choice. I’m not going to let this bring me down.
LS: Why do you think you deserve that?
KH: I think I deserve it because if you really know me and the people I’m close to, I’ve had really close women who are friends and I’m respectful of women and I made a bad decision at that time and I hope that people forgive me.
LS: Thank you for taking the time to us today.
KH: Thank you.