“I’m working every day to be a better father, a better person, a better citizen, a better teammate and a better son, too, to my parents,” Hill told reporters Sunday. “I am evolving every day.”
On Sunday, Hill discussed an audio recording that emerged in April and centered on a discussion he had with his fiancee, about their 3-year-old son’s broken arm and an investigation into the injury. During his media session, Hill was asked about a portion of the audio, in which his fiancee accused Hill of punching their son in the chest.
“Punching my son in [the] chest, that would probably refer to me teaching my son how to box,” Hill said. “We do have boxing gloves at our house.”
“Our son is like Iron Man,” Hill continued. “He loves Iron Man, Aquaman. He’s like, ‘Daddy, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon,’ all of the time. That’s what it is, man. Sometimes, things get thrown out of context when feelings get involved and emotions. I’m not going to get into all of that right now.”
In a May letter to NFL investigators, Hill’s lawyer, N. Trey Pettlon had stated that his client “categorically denies he has ever ‘punched’ his son in the chest or anywhere on his body.”
“The only thing Tyreek does with his son that is close to what she is describing as ‘punching’ is when they are playing,” Pettlon said in the letter. “Tyreek’s son loves to play as if he and Tyreek are marvel comic heroes. His son frequently dresses up in his Iron Man costume or his Spider-Man costume Tyreek bought him, and they will ‘play fight.’ There is nothing rough about this crime-fighting role playing. In fact, his son would be laughing uncontrollably as Tyreek would avoid his son’s ‘attack’ and tag him (not ‘punch’) in his chest or his legs.”
Hill told reporters Sunday that he was going to “man up” to the “bad language” on the audio recording that surfaced.
“I don’t want anybody talking to my little sister, my daughter that I have now or my mom like that. That is very disrespectful,” he said. “My mom got onto me. She thumped me on the ear like, ‘C’mon, 'Reek, grow up out of that.’ Never again. Like I said, I am growing as a human being, as a person. Never again.”
The NFL announced month that it would not suspend the fourth-year player, a decision that surprised many observers. In its announcement, the league said it understood that Hill’s son was safe and officials were monitoring his care.
“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. “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.”
On Sunday, Hill referenced something he said his mother had told him: “‘People don’t need to change, they need to grow.”
“I want to grow. I don’t want to change, I’m trying to grow each and every day of my life,” he said.
Hill also spoke of the connection he has with other Chiefs players and the team’s staff.
“I really don’t call them my teammates or my coaches, I call them my family because that’s who they are,” he said. “They brought me in as a family. They trusted me, in this organization, and that’s what I’m so appreciative of.”
Hill arrived in the NFL as a fifth-round pick in the 2016 draft. In college, he was arrested for an assault on his fiancee, who was then pregnant with their son, in which he allegedly kicked and choked her. He was dismissed from Oklahoma State’s football team and transferred to a Division II program.
“Thank you, guys, I love you. Cheetah’s back,” Hill said at the end of his media session Sunday, referring to his nickname. “Thank you for the support, Chiefs Kingdom, I love you. Like I said, I’m growing as a person each and every day.”