KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up the 2016 NFL Draft on Saturday, but one selection in the 5th round is raising concerns in the Chiefs Kingdom.
The Chiefs took a small, speedy wide receiver named Tyreek Hill. He’s got legitimate 4.3 seconds speed in the 40-yard dash.
Hill played one season at Oklahoma State before transferring to West Alabama, but Hill left Oklahoma State because he pleaded guilty to assaulting his pregnant girlfriend by punching her in the stomach. In fact, he’s still on probation for the crime.
The news isn’t sitting well with Chiefs fans. Hailed for his talent and cheered on by thousands, Hill began his career playing for Oklahoma State, quickly building a name for being the fastest wide receiver in the game, but is he fast enough to outrun his troubled past?
“I just have to wonder… what is going on?” one caller asked on Kansas City sports radio station, 810 WHB.
As news broke of Hill’s selection, WHB was on the air for hours, inundated with calls. Chiefs fans were irate to hear Hill is heading to KC.
“Horrible situation… I just can’t believe it,” one caller said.
“It’s absurd!” 810 host Danny Clinkscale said.
Last year, Hill pleaded guilty to domestic assault and battery. His former girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time, said Hill punched her in the face and stomach and choked her inside their home. Hill was released from Oklahoma State’s football team and sentenced to three years probation, but still while on probation, Hill earned a chance to play for the Chiefs.
“Maybe just maybe this guy can just his life. Come into camp, be a great rookie,” a caller said.
“Does he really have a right to have that opportunity? And is it right for the Chief’s to provide it?” Clinkscale asked.
#TyreekHill began trending on Twitter, fans tweeting “I’m not liking the #KCCHIEFS draft pick of Tyreek Hill. Conviction for hitting and choking your pregnant girlfriend should not be ignored. While another wrote, “I support Chiefs and Tyreek Hill and his chance to better his life by overcoming past mistakes.”
In Saturday’s conference call, Hill was questioned about his past.
“What have you done to try to make sure something like that doesn’t happen again?” a reporter asked Hill.
“I just try to choose my friends wisely you know what I’m saying,” Hill said.
“Instead of just saying I was completely wrong, I made a horrible mistake, I apologize to the victim what does he do? Says I need to pick people better next time,” Clinskcale said.
The Chiefs did officially make a comment on the draft pick of Hill:
“We’ve done our due diligence to fully vetting our draft class, we would never put anybody in this community in harm’s way,” said general manager John Dorsey.