The sudden emergence of a video from a February incident that previously received little attention raises an important question for the NFL, a question for which there may be no good answer.
What did the NFL know about the existence of the video that purportedly shows Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt shoving and kicking a woman at a Cleveland hotel?
If the league office, which surely knew about the incident, knew about the video and did nothing to Hunt, that could spark a firestorm of criticism. If the league office didn’t know about the video, there could still be a firestorm.
Much of the Ray Rice debate, as fueled to a fever pitch by an Associated Press report that the league had seen the video from inside a hotel elevator before it was published by TMZ, centered on whether the league should have taken steps to obtain the video, if the league had indeed not seen it. This time around, specific questions could be asked about why the NFL, with an in-house judicial process that supposedly investigates these matters independent of law enforcement, failed to secure (wait for it) surveillance video generated by cameras at a hotel.
Basically, the league either saw the video and did nothing (which isn’t good) or the league didn’t see the video because it failed to take steps to obtain it, thereby learning nothing from the Ray Rice fiasco (which isn’t good).
The question then becomes whether the NFL will try to downplay the incident, if for no reason other than to keep the story from developing to the point where questions about whether the league saw the video and/or whether the league should have seen the video are asked.