Kansas City Chiefs star receiver Tyreek Hill has been suspended by the team after an audio recording was aired by KCTV-TV. Information is still being gathered on the validity of the recording, per ESPN.
The audio recording is of an alleged conversation between Hill and his fiancee, Crystal Espinal. The two have a 3-year-old son whose broken arm is at the center of the controversy.
Prosecutors announced Thursday no charges would be filed in the case even though they believe a crime occurred because they couldn’t establish who hurt the child. However, KCTV reported Friday the case had been reopened in the wake of the recording’s release.
KCTV said the audio recording was sent to its investigative department. The station said it was told the recording was an “insurance policy” for Espinal and is believed to have been made in early March when the couple was walking through an airport.
A woman identified as Espinal says in the recording that their son told her, when asked about his injury, “Daddy did it.”
LISTEN FOR YOURSELF: @KCTV5 exclusive audio of Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill and Crystal Espinal.
We’ll have much more audio on our 10PM newscast tonight.
— Elliot Metz (@thatelliotmetz) April 25, 2019
“He says Daddy does a lot of things,” a man identified as Hill said in response.
“A 3-year-old is not going to lie about what happened to his arm,” Espinal said.
Perhaps the most damning part of the conversation came when Espinal noted that their son was terrified of Hill.
“You need to be terrified of me too, b—-,” Hill said in a chilling retort.
Again, to be clear, the veracity of the conversation is still being looked into. It was, however, enough for the Chiefs to take action against their top wideout.
“We were deeply disturbed and concerned by what we heard,” Kansas City said in a statement. “We have great concern for Crystal, we are greatly concerned for Tyreek, but our main concern is with the young child.
“We decided at this time and for the foreseeable future, Tyreek Hill will not take part in any team activities. We are going to gather more information, we’re going to evaluate this information, and we will make the right decision regarding Tyreek Hill.”
Statement from the Kansas City Chiefs: pic.twitter.com/Kh7LyD6dg7
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) April 26, 2019
The recording was released just a day after Johnson County District Attorney Stephen Howe said no charges would be filed against Hill in the aftermath of his son’s injury.
According to Howe, despite police being called twice to Hill’s home over the child’s injury and even his office’s belief that a crime had occurred, there was insufficient evidence to determine who had committed the crime. Howe did inform KCTV that he is reviewing the audio after it was brought to his attention.
It’s worth keeping in mind that Hill has insisted he did nothing wrong, and the audio recording shows he has been consistent with that sentiment.
“Then he kept crying because he was scared. He was terrified, and you grabbed on to him or he fell, one of the two,” Espinal said, describing the scene after an argument.
“I didn’t do nothing. That’s sad, bro. That’s really sad,” Hill said.
To say that it’s been a tumultuous year, on and off the field, for the Chiefs would be a vast understatement.
Following the Hunt fiasco, the Chiefs suffered an AFC championship game loss so disheartening that they actually wanted the rules changed. The team lost that overtime game to the New England Patriots despite having a fan point a laser at Tom Brady’s eyes.
And while a tough playoff home loss pales in comparison with the severity of the alleged acts of violence against women and children, it’s all still emblematic of a franchise paying the price of acquiring talented players with character issues.
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