Johnson On Hunt Video: "It Made Me So Upset"

Kareem Hunt may have played his last down in the NFL – and it was completely avoidable, Larry Johnson says

Zach Gelb
December 03, 2018 - 2:05 pm

USA Today Images

Categories: 

Larry Johnson played for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2003 to 2009. He was a highly productive back, earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2006. 

But he had run-ins with the law – with domestic violence, specifically. 

Which is why he was so frustrated when he saw a video of Kareem Hunt assaulting a female.

“When I saw this video, it made me so upset because these young players do not reach out to guys who have been through these situations,” Johnson said on The Zach Gelb Show. “He is wearing literally my number, my jersey. We are linked in a way that he doesn’t want to be linked. That’s why I was cheering him on during the season. I was really proud of him for everything he’s done. He was really owning that number. But when this situation happened, it made me so upset because I was watching myself. I saw when he was talking to the police, I had that face – that face of, ‘I know I messed up, but I don’t know how to get out of it.’”

Hunt assaulted a woman at a hotel in Cleveland in February. Video of the incident became public Friday. The Chiefs cut Hunt within hours.

Johnson said the team “handled it perfectly,” but feels the league needs to do more.

“The league will not use the tools of former players who have been in these situations,” he said. “Guys do not listen. They don’t listen to their coaches half the time about their social life. They have to bring in guys who have walked in those shoes – who came out of darkness, who came out of hell – to help others. They have to start recognizing that. If they don’t, then keep releasing players. Keep embarrassing themselves. They need to stop kidding themselves, wise up, and start using these guys who are willing to come out and be a champion for a subject no one wants to talk about.

“I ain’t the only DV criminal walking around here,” Johnson continued. “Where are the other guys that’s been through these situations? Those guys are cowards to me. I’m not the only guy that got in trouble, but why am I the only player willing to come in front and tell these players (what not to do)? I’m not going to be the last player to go through these situations, and (teams) need to start understanding that.”

Hunt, a third-round pick out of Toledo in 2017, led the NFL with 1,327 rushing yards as a rookie. He had 25 touchdowns (15 rushing, 10 receiving) in 27 regular-season games.

Only 23, his career could be over.

“It’s slim. It’s slim,” Johnson said of Hunt’s future in the league. “It’s hard to come back. The running back position is already dwindling down to receivers being in the backfield. It’s not like you really need a big-time running back anymore. The running back position is almost non-existent. I don’t want to put it out there badly that he won’t get picked up again, but right now it’s a 50/50 situation. Again, he has to go to an offense that has his style.”