Hunt’s placement on the exempt list means he will be on paid leave while the league conducts an investigation into what happened. He can’t practice, play in or attend games until the investigation is over and a decision on potential discipline is made, but he will not count against the team’s 53-man roster.
In a statement, the league said its investigation, which began immediately after the incident in February, “will include a review of the new information that was made public today.”
The Chiefs have an AFC-best 9-2 record entering Sunday’s matchup with the Oakland Raiders.
In the video published by TMZ earlier Friday, Hunt is seen shoving and kicking a woman at a Cleveland hotel where Hunt had an apartment. The incident had been previously reported by multiple outlets, but Friday was the first time video was publicized.
Hunt and the woman trade words in a hallway and are separated by several people on multiple occasions, TMZ showed. Hunt pushes the woman, who responds by hitting him in the face. Two men escort Hunt down a hallway before he charges out, colliding with a man who then knocks the woman over. Hunt also kicks the woman in the leg.
Police were called to scene, but no arrests were made or charges filed. TMZ reports that prosecutors had access to the hotel surveillance video, and the hotel, in a statement to ABC News, said it is assisting in the investigation.
Through body-cam footage obtained by TMZ, the woman and witnesses gave differing accounts of what escalated the incident. She told police that she wouldn’t have sex with one of the men with Hunt, while they said she called him the N-word after being asked to leave Hunt’s hotel room.
Hunt was at practice on Friday but was sent home from the facility and excused from team activities after the release of video, sources told ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
He led the NFL in rushing as a rookie with 1,327 yards and eight touchdowns in helping Kansas City make the playoffs. This season, he has run for 824 yards and seven TDs in 11 games and has seven touchdowns receiving.
But the former Toledo star has had trouble off the field, including the February incident and another in which he was accused of punching a man. Asked in August about them, Hunt said he had “learned from it” and was focused on football.