The NFL’s announcement Friday that Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill has been cleared to begin training camp was met with surprise by many league observers.
The league said it had conducted a “comprehensive investigation” into allegations that Hill had abused his 3-year-old son in an incident in March, but based on the evidence available, Hill had not violated league policies. The district attorney in Johnson County (Kan.) declined to press charges in the case but said he believed a crime had been committed.
The Chiefs had suspended Hill indefinitely in April after a recording of a conversation between Hill and his then-fiancée, Crystal Espinal went public. The two could be heard discussing their son, with Hill saying, “You need to be terrified of me, too, b-.”
Many league observers expected Hill to face a suspension under the league’s Personal Conduct Policy. The NFL’s decision to allow him to begin training camp drew widespread surprise and condemnation by many, who noted that even if there is no evidence tying him to his son’s injury, the comments to Espinal should have been enough to merit a suspension.
Criticism of Personal Conduct Policy discipline by the NFL is not due to it being too harsh or too soft. It is because it is too arbitrary. #tyreekhill
– Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) July 19, 2019
– Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) July 19, 2019
Not surprised the league didn’t suspend Tyreek Hill for assault, given the lack of conclusive evidence. I am surprised he wasn’t punished for his threatening comments towards the mother. https://t.co/Z9OdJkM1uk
– Mina Kimes (@minakimes) July 19, 2019
At a minimum I’d like a public explanation from Tyreek Hill as to how his son broke his arm. I don’t think that’s asking too much.
– Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) July 19, 2019
Hill issued a statement after the NFL’s announcement thanking the league.
“To my children, my beautiful children: I love you all dearly and I promise you all that I will continue to strive to be the best father, the best friend, the best role model, and the best mentor that I can be,” Hill said.