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NFL won’t suspend Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill

Posted: 7:59 AM, Jul 19, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-19 10:59:23-04
NFL won’t suspend Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill will not face additional discipline from the NFL under its Personal Conduct Policy.

In a release Friday morning, the league said they were unable to determine if Hill had violated the policy and cleared Hill to rejoin the team and training camp, which is set to start next week.

"Based on the evidence presently available, the NFL cannot conclude that Mr. Hill violated the Personal Conduct Policy," the league said in a statement. "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.

Hill has been away from the team since April 25 when audio of a conversation with his former fiancee emerged in which his fiancee alleged that Hill injured the couples' son.

In the recording, which Hill's ex-fiancee, Crystal Espinal, took as the couple walked through an airport in Dubai, Hill and Espinal discuss an injury to their 3-year-old son

Espinal says the child blames Hill for the injury. Hill then curses at Espinal.

Last week, a local radio station aired a longer, unedited version of the recording, that provided new context for the couple’s conversation. On the full recording, Hill and Espinal discuss Hill's 2014 arrest and bicker over details about the incident. At the time, Espinal was pregnant at the time with the couple’s oldest child.

Earlier this year, Hill was the subject of a police investigation by the Overland Park (Kansas) Police after Hill's son broke his arm. The results of that investigation were turned over to the Johnson Conty District Attorney's Office.

Police visited Hill’s home twice in March as part of the investigation.

The day after portions of Espinal's secret recording leaked in the media, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said at a press conference that believed a crime had occurred. However, Howe said that his office couldn’t pursue charges due to a lack of evidence. No charges are expected to be filed in the case.

The Chiefs effectively suspended the All-Pro receiver from all team activities on April 25 after the audio recording leaked. The Chiefs have since clarified that it was a mutual decision and not technically a suspension, though it had the same practical effect during offseason workouts.

"We decided that at this time and for the foreseeable future, Tyreek Hill will not partake in any team activities," Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said at the time.

That didn’t stop the Kansas Department for Children and Families from launching a child-welfare investigation and temporarily removing the 3-year-old from HIll's and Espinal's custody.

In early July, Espinal gave birth to twins and filed a lawsuit in Johnson County District Court — asking the state to determine the paternity of the children, grant her sole custody and order Hill to pay child support.

Hill has denied injuring his son through his attorneys and met with representatives from the NFL in late June, according to reports.

"Throughout the 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," the league's statement reads.

The NFL also left the door open to revisit the situation if new information is made public.

"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," the NFL said.

Non-quarterback veterans report to training camp on July 26.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has wide latitude to levy punishment under the collectively bargained Personal Conduct Policy, so a suspension certainly was possible even in the absence of charges.

Hill was a controversial pick when the Chiefs selected him in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of West Alabama.

After starting his college career with at Garden City, Kansas, Community College, Hill was a budding star at Oklahoma State before his December 2014 arrest for alleged domestic violence in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Hill pleaded guilty in that case, though his record was expunged last August after he satisfied all the requirements of the plea deal.

He’s only one of several Chiefs with domestic violence incidents or accusations in his past.

Last December, the Chiefs cut running back Kareem Hunt after TMZ released video of him shoving and kicking a woman at a Cleveland hotel. He was suspended eight games by the NFL and signed with the Cleveland Browns in the offseason.

Shortly before the 2019 NFL Draft, the Chiefs also traded for defensive end Frank Clark, who was accused of domestic violence in college at the University of Michigan.

This story was originally published by Tod Palmer on KSHB in Kansas City.