The Tyreek Hill letter doesn’t do much to help his cause

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The press release masquerading as a letter to the NFL’s in-house discipline czar was intended to sway public opinion regarding Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill. But while the effort to turn the tables of child-abuse allegations from Hill to Crystal Espinal may have given red meat to red-clad fans looking for a reason to defend Hill, the letter was, all things considered, ill-advised.

The goal was simple and obvious. Hill’s lawyer wanted to push back against Hill’s swift conviction in the court of public opinion that came after the release last week of disturbing audio recorded by Espinal, the mother of Hill’s three-year-old child. A press release would have made the effort too transparent; couching the quickly-leaked-to-ESPN statement in the form of formal correspondence to the NFL made it seem more organic and natural.

Regardless of whether the it was issued as a press release or as a letter to the league, here’s the problem for Hill: At some point, he’ll be grilled by NFL executives about the situation, and it will be critical that he be credible. To be credible, he’ll need to be accurate. And the letter will make it more difficult for Hill to tell his story in a way that doesn’t create the kind of inconsistencies, accidental or otherwise, that could prompt the league to conclude that he’s not being truthful.

Case in point: If someone from the league decides to aggressively question Hill on the claim in the letter that the breaking of his son’s arm was deemed to be an accident, even though the prosecutor has said publicly that a crime was committed against Hill’s son, Hill could quickly get so twisted in knots that he’ll be too rattled to thereafter remember the broader facts in a way that will result in the overall story being told in a believable way. Throw in the fact that the league already will be skeptical of Hill given his admitted misconduct against Espinal from 2014 (he assaulted her while she was pregnant), and Hill’s challenge of passing the NFL’s unofficial lie detector test will become even more daunting.

Also, by accusing Espinal of child abuse, the letter could make Espinal determined not only to defend herself but also to implicate Hill. Which could prompt her to choose to fully and completely cooperate with the league office. If she’s credible and Hill isn’t, that’s very bad news for Hill. (And since the past misconduct against Espinal becomes an aggravating factor in any potential punishment, Espinal easily will become more sympathetic in the eyes of league officials who hear the story of Hill choking and beating her.)

Ultimately, nothing in the letter changes the fact that Hill’s suddenly menacing message — “you need to be terrified of me too, bitch” — shows that Mr. Hyde still lurks under whatever Dr. Jekyll façade Hill’s lawyer tries to concoct. Given Hill’s history, hearing those chilling words made me think that Hill continues to be the same guy he was when he did what he did to Espinal more than four years ago, making him (in my opinion) unfit for the privilege that is a career in the NFL.

Remember, every second (or third) chance given to an NFL player takes away the first chance of some other player who did nothing wrong. Although some will believe Hill’s talent justifies affording him consideration that never would be granted to a lesser player, his admitted misdeeds from the past necessarily gave him a very small margin for error. His admitted words to Espinal put him on the wrong side of that line.

And nothing his lawyer could ever say will change that.

24 responses to “The Tyreek Hill letter doesn’t do much to help his cause

  1. If im the Chiefs, I demand the league suspend him more multiple seasons. They bailed out the league with cutting Kareem Hunt, taking the moral high ground, and then he gets a few games and signed by conference competitor.

  2. League needs to ban these animals who hurt women and children. Josh Brown, Kareem Hunt, Adrian Peterson, Tyreek Hill should never be allowed to play.

  3. I agree……..if guilty……suspend these animals for life, and do not allow another team to sign them. The Hunt case was a travesty, as the factory of sadness picked him up!!

  4. >.Remember, every second (or third) chance given to an NFL player takes away the first chance of some other player who did nothing wrong.

    So if someone screws up, not imprisoned, just messes up, they are permanently banished from society?

  5. All the “Chiefs Kingdom” people who are defending him should be ashamed of themselves. The guy is a loser and he’s proven it time and time again. What will it take for the Chiefs to do the right thing and cut him? Murdering his child or fiance? Beyond ridiculous.

  6. If it were really an attempt to pushback on public sentiment, and you think it serves solely as a press release, they probably don’t wait a week to release, right? Like, why would you allow 7 days to pass before you fight back against the recording, if it’s just to satisfy the court of public opinion.

  7. Many of us in Kansas City are completely disgusted with him . We don’t want him representing Kansas City Missouri or the nfl for that matter – I’ve heard a few people on sports radio try to defend him but these people are clearly in the minority and are absolute motives for the stance that they take – every city has a few unfortunately, people who will defend a star player over and over again no matter what the guy does.
    To reiterate the majority of Kansas City fans want him gone and banned from the league

  8. NFL needs to man up and get rid of these chumps and why does anyone that does these crimes deserve another chance….everyone knows it’s wrong with out having to think twice….

  9. The mother has apparently admitted to injuring the child. That is a big deal. Obviously, neither Tyreek nor her are fit to be a parent.

  10. I get the dilemma the Chiefs are in from seeing what happened with Hunt and Foster. Their teams do the right thing by cutting them only to see them sign with other teams. I’m sure that if Hill gets cut some other team will scoop him right up.

  11. History has a tend to repeat itself unless we learn from it. Hill has not been able to learn from his mistakes and compounds them. KC/NFL Exec’s needs to separate this type of activity from the league and make consequences for their conduct. NFL Investigators do not have the same burden of proof the justice system has, nor should it if ethics, image and accountability are to be regarded. Role Model behavior needs to be standard in their contracts like safety in US work place.
    Personally, i feel the Prosecutors should re-open the case and drag him away from the field. Let him defend himself against adults in the legal system. There won’t be any bullying there!

  12. What Hill did is far worse than what Hunt did.
    I think Hunt was punished too severely.

    Hill needs a year off.
    And if he’s acutally convicted in court, rather than in the media, you can ban him forever

  13. Would Tyreek actually cover for Espinal if she’d broken his son’s arm at the risk of his NFL career?

  14. Hill’s lawyers’ tactic is to try and sway public opinion to give the NFL a bit of leash on their investigation. The NFL is less considered with being right, and more so LOOKING like they did the right thing.

    If Hill stayed silent, public opinion would fester and the NFL would feel compelled to act more harshly. Now it raises some cloud of uncertainty. It may cause Hill more trouble when he is trying to answer questions, but I can see why they advised him that way.

  15. What are the Vegas odds of the Browns or Washington picking him up as soon as the Chiefs cut him? 2-1? The Chiefs need to squat on his rights, and this is THE ONLY time I think its appropriate to do so. Then the NFL sends him to purgatory. If you pretend to carry a “Shield”, them man up and carry it.

  16. cadreamer1969 says:
    May 3, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Sign of the times, hate, hate, hate.

    WOW, you’re kiddin’ right? Because the only one I see hating is Hill, hating his child making him hold his arms out and punching him in the chest and his GF the way he beat and choked her and ADMITTED to it by pleading guilty!

    Why do some people overlook the real “hater” in this case Hill to try and find/call/accuse other of being haters, the ones that just want him punished for doing these things?
    It makes absolutely NO SENSE to me!

  17. I think Espinal was already determined to implicate him. Do you think she just happened to be discussing this topic while she happened to be recording him?

    I don’t know which, if either, are guilty of the specific incident that created this investigation, but I do feel as though neither one are responsible enough to handle a child. What’s worse is that they may be beyond simply “irresponsible” and may actually be abusive, and it sounds like that is the case. Negligence is abuse, just as excessive force is. If Espinol covered for Hill, then she is guilty, just as she would be if she did it herself, and considering that that is a possibility (as is what Hill said being true), it makes me wary to have the kid around either of them. Surely there is a better place for him to live than with Hill and Espinol.

  18. which justice system are we going by this time?

    the one for the players, or the one for the owners and management—I.e., NE Patriots, Indy Colts, Arizona Cardinals—or the court of public opinion?

    sordid as the situation is, we may never know the full, not that that has stopped the prosecutor from convicting Hill sans trial based on pieces of sketchy evidence;

    on the other hand, no prosecutor has openly convicted Kraft without a trial, and we have yet to see the prima facie evidence;

    but what else is new with the Patriots and condemning videotape?

    so apparently were Tyreek a billionaire, he’d be President;

  19. “But while the effort to turn the tables of child-abuse allegations from Hill to Crystal Espinal may have given red meat to red-clad fans looking for a reason to defend Hill…”
    This implies that Chiefs fans in general are defending Hill. Not true. The truth is that the overwhelming majority of Chiefs fans want him gone. Failing to accurately qualify statements like this does a great disservice to a loyal fan base that is just as appalled with this situation as everyone else.

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