KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The NFL decided not to suspend Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill, making the announcement on Friday. Hill has been under the microscope for months after Overland Park police were called to his home in March for a child abuse investigation, and a tape of a conversation between he and former fiancée Crystal Espinal was leaked.
NFL understands child is safe and child’s ongoing care is being monitored by Johnson County District Court. pic.twitter.com/1yJl7HDjzl
— Harold R. Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) July 19, 2019
He's eligible to join the Chiefs for training camp and all team activities. The NFL says that he's subject to court and league sanctioned conditions, which include a clinical evaluation and therapy.
Hill posted this message on Twitter Friday morning after the news broke:
Love you guys !!!✌🏿 pic.twitter.com/QWKA7ia37i
— Ty Hill (@cheetah) July 19, 2019
Hill met with league investigators in June about this case. He's been absent from team activities since the Chiefs suspended the two-time All-Pro in late April after the audio came to light. All of this happened against the backdrop of Hill's history, where he pleaded guilty in 2015 to domestic assault for choking Espinal. That led to his dismissal from Oklahoma State, but he eventually completed probation requirements and the conviction was expunged.
The Chiefs released a statement after the NFL, saying that Hill will return for training camp:
"We have been informed of the decision by the National Football League that, based on the available evidence, the league has not found that Tyreek Hill violated the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. Based on the information provided to us by the league, we have decided it is appropriate for Tyreek to return to the team at the start of training camp. The club fully supports the conditions for return laid out by the league and will continue to monitor any new developments in the case. We are glad to welcome Tyreek back to the team and look forward to the start of training camp next week."
A "child in need of care" civil case remains active, which is conducted by the state of Kansas's Division of Children and Families.
In May, the Associated Press obtained a four-page letter where Hill denied abusing his son in response to the leaked audio.
"(Hill) categorically denies he has ever 'punched' his son in the chest or anywhere on his body, or otherwise touched him in the chest in a mean-spirited manner," attorney N. Trey Pettlon wrote, adding that the audio was recorded while Hill and Espinal were considering separation.
Pettlon wrote there have been times that Hill has "tapped his son gently" and told him to "Man up, buddy," or "Don't cry, my man." Pettlon also said Hill has always done so in a "calm voice" and that he has never punched or used his fist as a form of punishment.
Here's the full statement from the NFL:
"Over the past four months, we have conducted a comprehensive investigation of allegations regarding Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Throughout this investigation, the NFL's primary concern has been the well-being of the child. Our understanding is that the child is safe and that the child's ongoing care is being directed and monitored by the Johnson County District Court and the Johnson County Department for Children and Families.
In conducting our investigation, we have taken great care to ensure that we do not interfere with the county's proceedings or compromise the privacy or welfare of the child in any way. The information developed in the court proceeding is confidential and has not been shared with us, and the court has sealed all law enforcement records. Local law enforcement authorities have publicly advised that the available evidence does not permit them to determine who caused the child's injuries.
Similarly, based on the evidence presently available, the NFL cannot conclude that Mr. Hill violated the Personal Conduct Policy. Accordingly, he may attend Kansas City's training camp and participate in all club activities. He has been and will continue to be subject to conditions set forth by the District Court, Commissioner Goodell, and the Chiefs, which include clinical evaluation and therapeutic intervention.
If further information becomes available through law enforcement, the pending court proceeding, or other sources, we will promptly consider it and take all appropriate steps at that time."
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