Evanson Column: Tyreek Hill has no place in the NFL
Tyreek Hill is a bad guy. In fact, Tyreek Hill is a really bad guy.
The star wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs sadly made headline news this past week after an audio recording of a conversation with his girlfriend and the mother of his child, Crystal Espinal, regarding the investigation into his part in their 3-year-old's broken arm was released to the public. As part of the conversation, Hill is questioned by his girlfriend about comments his son made implicating him in the abuse. Hill later says to her, "You need to be terrified of me, too, b——."
Hill is currently under investigation regarding said abuse, after a case from early March — which resulted in him and Espinal having their son taken from their custody due to accusations of battery — was reopened by the Johnson County, Mo., district attorney's office. As a result, the Kansas City Chiefs have suspended Hill from team activities and have said they're going to reevaluate the situation in terms of his foreseeable future with the team.
One would hope. But what are you waiting for?
This isn't Hill's first run-in with the law. Nor is it his first with Espinal.
In 2016, the Chiefs drafted Hill, who had pleaded guilty the year before to domestic assault after strangling Espinal in December 2014 when she was eight weeks pregnant. As part of the plea agreement, Hill was ordered by the court to complete 52 weeks of domestic violence prevention classes. Since then, he's caught 223 passes for 3,255 yards and scored 34 touchdowns, while earning three Pro Bowl selections and twice being selected first-team All-Pro.
Oh, and learned nothing.
Despite a year's worth of "domestic violence prevention classes," of which I have to assume he completed, it only took Hill four years to find himself squarely in the middle of another scandal revolving around the cowardly act of abuse. The "Cheetah," as he's known to NFL fans nationwide, isn't raising a hand to other players on the field, unruly fans in bars or nightclubs, or social media antagonists, but rather women and small children. If that's not grounds for termination, I don't know what is.
The NFL allegedly doesn't want drug addicts; they suspend them and eventually — after repeated offense — expel them from the league.
The NFL doesn't want controversy; after all, they ran Colin Kaepernick from the league in the wake of his protest that they feared would affect their bottom line.
And they presumably don't want their players hitting women and children because they — eventually — kicked to the curb Ray Rice, Kevin Hardy, even Adrian Peterson, and most recently Kansas City's Kareem Hunt for doing just that.
So get rid of him.
This isn't a guy victim to a mistake, but rather a monster with no concern for his twisted version of right and wrong. He strangled his pregnant girlfriend, allegedly broke his toddler's arm, and undoubtedly threatened Ms. Espinal in the wake of doing it all. That's not a guy who gets it, but rather one who's likely to do it again...again...and again. And that should scare everyone, especially the Kansas City Chiefs.
Six years ago, Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend in front of their infant baby, then drove to the team's training facility and shot himself in front of Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, head coach Romeo Crennel and linebackers coach Gary Gibbs.
In that case, there were signs of trouble; after all, Belcher had been seeking help and presumably getting it prior to that tragic day. But despite a literal cry for help, there are far more signs of trouble with Hill, and everyone sees it but Hill himself.
Becky Gonzalez, the mother of Belcher's deceased girlfriend, commented last week about the Hill case: "It stings when I see this topic not being taken seriously. ... What more has to happen for a change to be made?"
Nothing, as far as I'm concerned. Hill shouldn't play another down in the NFL, should likely be in jail and should definitely remain as far away from his child as the law will allow. That's what happens to bad guys, and Tyreek Hill has proven himself to be just that.