The Kansas City Chiefs are in the midst of a great season. They are 11-2, with the best record in the AFC, and working on homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
They have the NFL’s most dynamic offensive player this season in quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who has already passed for over 4,300 yards and 43 touchdowns through 13 games. Kansas City’s offense has been nearly unstoppable. They clearly have become the hunted in the AFC.
But, a week ago, in the midst of their hunt for the Super Bowl, the Chiefs made news for a stop they made of their own... involving two Hunts.
The Chief Chief, Clark Hunt – the Chiefs' Chairman and CEO – showed he would not let the pursuit of a Super Bowl cloud his judgment, when he released star running back Kareem Hunt. A video of Hunt knocking down and kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel last February, was released on social media on Friday Nov 30.
The Chiefs, and the NFL, had been investigating the incident, but when the video surfaced, it became clear to Chiefs’ leadership that the running back had lied to them about what had transpired during the incident. So, just like that, Mr. Hunt cut Mr. Hunt.
Undoubtedly, it was a move that cut both ways.
Kareem Hunt led the NFL in rushing last season, as a rookie. In 2018, he had already rushed for more than 800 yards and 7 touchdowns and caught 7 more scoring passes. He had established himself as one of the finest young backs in the league and was a key to the Chiefs being a multi-dimensional threat and Super Bowl favorite. Losing him could indeed cost the Chiefs dearly.
Sadly, we have often seen teams put up with a player’s gross misconduct because of that player’s value to the team. With the dollars at stake, the line between right and wrong can become blurred. Not so in this case.
I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Clark Hunt over the last 20 years. He and his wife have supported the work we have done with youth in prison and kids in urban public schools, and we reconnect annually during Super Bowl week -- I’ll see him in February in Atlanta. I have long admired his character and integrity, traits he shared with his father, the late Lamar Hunt, who I was blessed to get to know when he helped us get our organization off the ground.
It speaks to Clark’s character that in the midst of a season in which the Chiefs have become the AFC favorite to wind up in Atlanta, he didn’t hesitate to make the right move. This was not a case of the league forcing the Chiefs' hand. Rather, it was a case of the Chiefs simply doing the right thing and acting quickly to do so.
I’m proud to know the leader of the Chiefs, and grateful for what he has done to help us get the One Heart Project established in Kansas City.
Chiefly, I’m thankful that we have had the opportunity to see a leader stand in integrity and demonstrate true character in a time when it is all too rare.
Thank you, Clark Hunt.