NFL Proves to be Tone Deaf in Reported Tyreek Hill Discipline

The NFL has never really gotten a good handle on the discipline side of the personal conduct policy. Whether it be the Ray Rice case, their handling of Josh Brown's allegation, or close to home with the , Commissioner Roger Goodell continues to prove inconsistent when it comes to off the field issues for its players. Tyreek Hill is the latest example.

Nate Taylor of The Athletic is reporting that the believe Tyreek Hill will get no more than a four-game suspension. Tyreek Hill is under investigation stemming from an incident that left his child with a broken arm. Though the district attorney's office stated that they would not file charges against Hill, audio was released between Hill and his fiancé that was pretty disturbing.

Now, there is a report that the investigators determined that the cause of injury was accidental, and that is certainly plausible. Accidents happen all the time. However, as a medical professional of more than 14 years, I've learned that in cases of domestic violence as well as child abuse, it's very difficult to determine what's assault and what's an accident. This is why domestic violence and child abuse is so difficult to prove because the evidence can point in opposite directions. Without eyewitness testimony, and three-year-olds aren't reliable sources of information (I know, I have a three-year-old), it's easy to see why the criminal justice system declined to pursue the matter further.

The above indicates that neither Hill or his fiance currently has custody of their child. Investigators found welts on their son's body and the two admitted that they've spanked and used a belt to discipline their son, though investigators can't determine who is responsible for the welts.

From the above report:

“The investigation into Hill and Espinal began weeks after the broken bone was first treated, when Espinal, according to sources, asked a third party to call authorities and tell them that Hill was responsible for the boy’s .  Espinal has admitted she was trying to shame Hill because in her mind, he had become too controlling and abusive again in their long and stormy relationship.

Hill and Espinal are currently separated and neither has custody of the boy at this time.

The investigation into the couple’s parenting accelerated when Overland Park police checked on the boy in March and found bruises and welts on his body.  Both Hill and Espinal have admitted to investigators that they spanked the 3 year old with their hands and a belt, but prosecutors can’t determine for sure which parent, or if both, went too far.

In April Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe held a to announce criminal charges wouldn’t be brought against Hill or Espinal but stated he believed a crime was committed against the boy and it was believed the crime was about the broken arm.  It was not.  Howe’s team has halted working on the case as they still can’t bring charges for bruising and harming the boy.”

Kevin Keitzman – WHB Sports Radio 810

Tyreek Hill has a history of violence against his then-girlfriend when he punched her in the stomach while she was pregnant then choked her. In that instance, Hill pled guilty. Now there’s the that alludes to Hill breaking his son’s arm. In that same audio, Hill is overheard threatening his fiancé as well. And the NFL only wants to suspend him for four games?

If you'll recall from 2014, was suspended for the entirety of that season without pay after pleading no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault in relation to the excessive discipline of his then four-year-old child.

As we've learned from the way the NFL works, they don't need the justice system to prove someone is guilty to take action against one of its players. While Hill's fiance has gone back on her story, which is a common thing for victims of abuse to do, the NFL doesn't need proof to come to a decision on Tyreek Hill. We've seen that the allegation is proof enough. Hill's , the murkiness of the allegation, and the audio all paint a troubling picture.

Ezekiel Elliott received a six-game suspension from the NFL for allegations of assault during his college days. The NFL's lead investigator at the time recommended no suspension for Elliott, but the league suspended him six games anyway. Text messages from Elliott’s accuser indicated that she may have fabricated the accusation against Elliott and the league gave him a six-game suspension anyway.

As we've also seen, you can't rely on the NFL to be consistent when it comes to matters of discipline.

The NFL continues to be a very poor and inconsistent disciplinarian when it comes to player conduct. The national narrative on as an alternative therapy for pain and mental wellness is changing and yet, the league continues to keep , , and in the drug treatment program and indefinitely suspended. Obviously, those suspensions could still be lifted, but those players have lost years of their career for an that doesn’t even to what Hill is accused of, with audio to support the notion.

If you recall, got four games for his alleged role in the “deflate-gate” saga. In the eyes of the NFL, “deflate-gate” and Tyreek Hill’s alleged offenses are of similar magnitude.

It’s time for the NFL to get a better handle on the way they go about disciplining players, or maybe don’t discipline them at all. This will be one of the talking points when the league and the player’s union come together for the next round of collective bargaining. There needs to be a better way forward because having one guy sitting at the top making all the decisions isn’t working.

Roger Goodell and the NFL, to what should be the surprise of no one, are failing again to have a clue when it comes to player discipline. Assault and abuse are very difficult to prove. It's why you’ll see a suspension for Hill despite no action from the criminal justice system.

If the NFL truly believes that Hill didn't do anything wrong, then he doesn't deserve a suspension. However, if they believe he's responsible for something, they can't give him anything less than six games.

This piece was edited to reflect further information that was missing from the original story and to provide additional context for the author's perspective. 


Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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Real Fan

You think a threat is the same as cheating? Yes he was a troubled young man when he abused his girlfriend and pled guilty. But this time she made up this entire thing to get attention and to get him in trouble. That is why all charges against him were dismissed. Maybe you’re just mad that KC gets to keep an allstar player and you know Dallas who is loaded with talent again will get nowhere because of crap coaching and conditioning staff. Tom Brady cheated twice and got away with it. The man should be fired and stripped of all records because his very actions dishonored all of the honest people who play this game.

Michael A. Minor

The arm was from a fall. And the audio was edited. Please get all of the facts.

Kurt C

Piss poor reporting here… It is widely known that the investigation showed early on that the broken arm was an accident, and not due to abuse by either parent. That was weeks ago. But go ahead and keep spreading misinformation to support your opinion.

lawrence stacy

Not true but you people think your football team means more than simple human treatment. You are spreading the misinformation my friend. I would rather lose than have him on my team.

Silas B. Hayes

True and you are rabid for hate

Thomas Hubbard

You haven’t seen/heard the evidence outside of assumptive reporting based on sketchy leaks and an incident from 5 years ago being considered. Local media and Yahoo sports are already saying there was proof submitted that Tyreek is innocent and it was not said nationally because of it being a CPS case where a child was involved. A lot of negative assumption here. Guilty until proven innocent per the Star I guess? Trial by media, again? No judge or jury, guilty because the newspaper said so.

lawrence stacy

I have heard the recordings from his own mouth and I promise you if it was your child or grandchild that is all it would take for you to believe. But since it is not and you want your team to win you do not care about protecting a child.

Silas B. Hayes

You don’t really care because its starting to look like her and her dad will go to great lengths to hurt her and her child to get that money. You want three kids to be in the hands of the real greedy abusers and you are calling everybody else out? The people you support are the bad guys. Stop putting three kids in harm way.


Are you that dumb or can you just not read? They proved day one of the investigation that the broken arm was the result of a accident, does that even matter to you obviously not. Yeah he took a plea deal in college and we really don’t know what happens that night. The child was removed because she was passed out drunk pregnant and hill called police he was at a hotel. The child is with tyreek parents and he has visitation and she is in a mental hospital. If my wife was accusing me of something like breaking my kids arm knowing damn well I didn’t I would have said a lot worse. Her and her family have been trying to extort him for a long time. All this info is available if you choose to look for it but it doesn’t fit your established opinion. Its people like you that avoid the facts and report what you want is the problem not hill! You should go work for CNN or NBC you will fit right in. #FAKENEWS

lawrence stacy

Another BS comment based on fandom and not facts. I have followed ALL DETAILS OF THIS CASE. INVESTIGATED AND LISTENED TO ALL TAPES MULTIPLE TIMES. You people just shoot off at the mouth acting like you know what you are talking about when you do not. Hope you pray for forgiveness tonight.


Apparently you need to pray for the ability to read! You apparently went into this assuming hill was guilty and will accept nothing less with all the info that has came out if you still be live he broke his kids arm nothing will change your mind. As for me needing to pray for forgiveness maybe when you learn to read you need to go and read into what the bible says about judging people and then take your own advice!

Real Fan

Thank you Derek.. You know your facts.

Silas B. Hayes

Yeah, no, you’re an idiot.


An accusation is not a fact until
proven to be true.

Silas B. Hayes

This did not age well. She admitted to framing him for 2014 and the arm was an accident. Looks like Hill was fighting getting used by his fiance and her family for their debt, after all. Sucks to suck, haters. But go ahead, keep supporting her and her evil dad.

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