After a four-month investigation into child abuse allegations against Tyreek Hill, the NFL announced on Friday that he will not face any suspension.
The NFL failed to find any evidence to substantiate the allegations that Hill broke the arm of his 3-year-old son. Despite a leaked recording of Hill discussing the incident with the boy’s mother, then NFL decided none of the evidence was credible.
Tyreek Hill A Brief History
In 2015, Tyreek Hill entered a guilty plea in Oklahoma following an incident in which he choked and punched his pregnant girlfriend. This led to a falling of his draft stock, and him eventually being picked in the fifth round by the Kansas City Chiefs.
As the incident occurred whilst Hill was in college it was not open for suspension consideration once he was in the NFL. Hill has subsequently completed the probation requirements of this conviction it has been expunged from his record.
Latest Incident Highlights Inconsistencies in Punishment
As soon as Hill was drafted, people were questioning if he should be allowed to play in the NFL. Domestic violence has rightly become a hot-button issue. For players of the most popular sport in the land, role-models to children and adults alike, they need to be held to a higher standard.
The NFL’s personal conduct policy(PCP) has often drawn criticism for its uneven punishments. Players such as Santonio Holmes, Randy Starks, Vincent Jackson, and Steve McNair were arrested multiple times, for incidents ranging from domestic abuse, to DUI, and weapons charges, without being charged under the PCP
However, those tales seemed to be behind us after Ray Rice was banned for just 2 games for domestic abuse back in 2014. Video footage subsequently emerged of Rice knocking his girlfriend unconscious in the altercation and the NFL responded to scathing criticism by giving Rice an indefinite suspension.
To put this in perspective, around the same time as Rice was given his 2-game ban for domestic violence, the NFL banned Josh Gordon for a whole season for smoking Marijuana. The leagues’ stance on domestic violence seemed at odds with the stand being taken in society as a whole.
Subsequent incidents involving Ezekiel Elliot and Adrian Peterson seemed to have set the precedent for a more aggressive investigating style and punishment vectors.
It Boggles The Mind
However, the Tyreek Hill situation boggles the mind in this context. The NFL PCP clearly states:
While criminal activity is clearly outside the scope of permissible conduct, and persons who engage in criminal activity will be subject to discipline, the standard of conduct for persons employed in the NFL is considerably higher. It is not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime. Instead, as an employee of the NFL or a member club, you are held to a higher standard and expected to conduct yourself in a way that is responsible, promotes the values upon which the League is based, and is lawful.NFL Personal Conduct Policy
In the leaked audio recording the child’s mother tells Hill that when the boy was asked about his injured arm he replied: “Daddy did it.”
Hill denied any role in what happened to the child, saying: “He says Daddy does a lot of things.” And when Espinal says their son is “terrified of you,” Hill replies: “You need to be terrified of me, too.”
Let that last part sink in.
The NFL feels a statement that the mother of his child should be terrified of him is fine. The NFL feels that a threat of this type does not violate their own policy that states in part: “(you) conduct yourself in a way that is responsible, promotes the values upon which the League is based“
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there is enough evidence to convict Hill or prove that he most likely broke his son’s arm. But this isn’t about the criminal act. This is about conduct detrimental to the league.
Given Hill’s previous conviction, and a recording of him making a threat it boggles the mind how in the current climate this doesn’t add up to a suspension of some kind.
Let’s just hope the boy is safe, and that with no need to correct his behaviour in any way, Hill can become a man and begin acting in a way that is actually beneficial to his family, and the NFL as a whole.