Kelvin Kuo / Associated Press
The NFL published a strange statement on Friday evening about the devastating and ugly video TMZ had released and one of the league's star players, Kareem Hunt from Kansas City, shoved and kicked a woman in a hotel. Curious is a word for it. There are others.
"The investigation of the NFL, which began immediately after the incident in February," the statement of the League "will include a review of the new information that has been released today."
New information? That's what we're supposed to believe was this?
This is not the assumption that a cover-up has taken place or has been attempted. We do not know that. We may never know that.
What we do know is that the NFL is using a private army of ex-cops, FBI agents, and former investigators. The league could find a check mark on Vladimir Putin's dog while the dog was in Moscow and New York.
And yet TMZ got this band, but a billion-dollar league could not?
No, not supposedly a cover-up, but that's strangely strange.
The League placed Hunt on the commissioner's list of exceptions and published its opinion in response to the TMZ report. Just minutes after the announcement, in one of the fastest moving big stories of the year, the Chiefs announced that they had released Hunt. He is gone for the time being.
However, in a typical NFL form when it comes to female players and violence against women, the league acted too late – only after the public's outcry had made persistent inaction impossible.
Maybe this time, the NFL even tried to do the right thing. TMZ reported that the league had contacted the hotel and police when they tried to get the video. We do not know how she might have gone beyond that or not. But due to the history of the league, there is every reason to doubt its intentions.
Football, violence against women and a video – is that familiar? Why yes. Yes that's true.
In 2014, Ray Rice threw his then-fiancée Janay Palmer into an elevator – and the NFL said she had not heard a video that was eventually found by TMZ. The league only reacted harshly when those terrible images emerged from this elevator.
But what happened to Rice should change everything. At least that's what we were told. Now, however, we have Hunt's actions in February 2018, and once again a league of enormous financial and investigative resources has been overtaxed by TMZ.
We do not know how TMZ got the video or how the NFL might have overlooked it. Nothing can be proved at this point about the action or non-action of the league. There are essentially three possible explanations for why the League once again lacked brutal and definitive evidence regarding the violent behavior of one of its stars: The NFL and the Chiefs were truly ignorant, deliberately ignorant, or they were on involved in an attempted coverup.
I will take the third option off the table for the time being. I do not think even the NFL can imagine that this could be hushed up any more. Sometimes I'm not sure if the NFL can back-sell.
We should also give TMZ some credit. It would not be shocking if TMZ could just pinpoint these things.
But it's perfectly legitimate to wonder if the NFL does not want to find a video. The history of the league has lost it because of the doubt about it. One may wonder if Hunt just wanted to believe – and then did it and put off the search for other documentary evidence. (We saw NFL teams and the league ignore an indicator cache and still sign a player who committed domestic violence for their talent, in fact the chiefs did so by signing the popular receiver Tyreek Hill.) 19659004 Regardless, the result is the same: another terrible and shameful situation in a league that makes far too many mistakes in this arena.
"As a league, we look like amateurs on this issue," said NFC team manager Bleacher Report on Friday.
The League has abused many allegations of violence against women and we do not need to go deep into history. The Giants extended the contract with kicker Josh Brown, who knew that his then wife Molly had said he was violent against her. The league originally suspended him for a game. When the disgusting abuse that Brown had committed became public, the league finally suspended him six games.
The Washington team signed linebacker Reuben Foster, just days after being released by the 49ers, who were suspected of domestic violence.
There are more examples. and one of the common denominators is that the NFL gets caught and says that next time it will handle things better, and when it arrives the next time, it makes the same mistakes.
It's the terrible NFL move in this matter.
Apart from the fact that this two-step step goes in circles and never ends – a systemic problem that the league has intentionally or not intentionally sent "round and round" instead of resolving it.
Walk forward. Ten steps back.
Here it goes off again.
Mike Freeman covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @mikefreemanNFL.