The Chicago Bears were one of the NFL‘s most pleasantly surprising teams in 2018. A year after being one of the most boring and uncompetitive teams in the NFL, the Bears rode the league’s best defense (thanks, Khalil Mack!) and an improved offense to an NFC North title and a playoff appearance.
New Bears coach Matt Nagy put Mitchell Trubisky in position to succeed by scheming him wide windows through which to throw and the supporting cast improvements the team made last offseason (Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller, Trey Burton, and more) made for a much more explosive offense. Already this offseason, there are rumors swirling that the Bears could add one of the more explosive available free agents: former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt.
Nagy used to be the offensive coordinator of the Chiefs and so is familiar with Hunt from those days, and he did not exactly close the door on the team signing Hunt when asked about it last month. “I was raised … to give guys second chances, not third chances,” Nagy said, via ESPN.com, obviously referring to the disturbing and violent video that emerged of Hunt in a hotel hallway and how that might affect the running back’s future employment prospects.
General manager Ryan Pace stressed that the team has not thought about the possibility of adding Hunt just yet, but did not shoot the possibility down. “We’re not even there yet,” Pace said. “I mean, I know what he is as a player obviously from watching. Matt knows more about him as a person. We’re not even close to that point.”
At least one member of the Bears would welcome Hunt to the team, if the Bears decide to bring him in.
“From when I met [him] and everything like that, for us to bring him into our locker room, I think guys would welcome him with open arms,” wide receiver Allen Robinson said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “He’d be one of us. … A guy they’d bring into our locker room would be our brother.”
Hunt is obviously a very good football player. But he is potentially facing a suspension for his actions in that disturbing video, and more importantly, his main concern in the wake of the video’s emergence seemed to be moving on rather than doing some soul-searching about what he did or how it reflected his attitudes toward women and/or violence.
If Hunt shows some level of remorse or makes affirmative efforts to better himself, to advocate for victims of violent acts like the one he committed, or makes other changes in his life, then sure, he should be afforded employment opportunities in his chosen vocation. But short of that, a team like the Bears electing to sign him will only shine light on the fact that the league does not actually care about violence against women as much as it claims to, and will often and happily overlook it if doing so means acquiring a good player.