The NFL will not suspend Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill, the league announced Friday, after concluding its investigation into allegations Hill abused his 3-year-old son.
“Local law enforcement authorities have publicly advised that the available evidence does not permit them to determine who caused the child’s injuries,” the NFL said in a statement. “Similarly, based on the evidence presently available, the NFL cannot conclude that Mr. Hill violated the Personal Conduct Policy. . . . If further information becomes available through law enforcement, the pending court proceeding, or other sources, we will promptly consider it and take all appropriate steps at that time.”
Hill, 25, and his fiancee, Crystal Espinal, were the subject of an investigation this year in Kansas over injuries suffered by their son in March. Authorities closed the investigation with no criminal charges filed, but a local district attorney publicly expressed concern for the child’s safety and said he believed Hill or Espinal had harmed the boy.
“We believe that a crime has occurred. However, the evidence in this case does not conclusively establish who committed this crime," Steve Howe, district attorney in Johnson County, Kans., said at a news conference in April. “It bothers us when we see something like this happen to a child … and there’s nothing we can do about it."
The day after that news conference, a Kansas television station aired a recording of an argument in which Hill and Espinal accused each other of physically abusing their son. In the recording, Espinal accused Hill of punching the boy in the chest and lashing him with a belt, while Hill accused Espinal of striking the boy with a belt.
The Chiefs suspended Hill as a result of the recording. In Friday's statement, the NFL said Hill can return to team activities, including upcoming training camp.
While it ultimately won’t result in any punishment, the child abuse investigation further damages Hill’s reputation. In college at Oklahoma State, he was arrested and charged with to domestic assault and battery over allegations he kicked and choked Espinal while she was pregnant, and he later pleaded guilty to domestic abuse. He received a sentence that included three years’ probation. He had avoided any publicly troubling incidents since, however, and was poised to sign a lucrative contract extension before news of the child abuse investigation emerged.
In a statement he released via Twitter on Friday, Hill said any allegations of child abuse against him were false.
“The last few months have been very difficult for me, especially as a father,” Hill wrote. He then thanked the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell, the Chiefs’ ownership and Coach Andy Reid.
“To my children, my beautiful children: I love you all dearly and I promise you all that I will continue to strive to be the best father, the best friend, the best role model, and the best mentor that I can be,” Hill concluded. “I love you all.”