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Tyreek Hill 'growing as a person' after making Chiefs return

TyreekHill-Cropped
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill
Omnisport
NEWS
Modified 29 Jul 2019, 02:52 IST
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Tyreek Hill spoke for the first time about allegations of child abuse on Sunday, saying he is "growing as a person" after being cleared to play for the Kansas City Chiefs this season.

The NFL said in a statement last week it had conducted a "comprehensive investigation" into allegations Hill had abused his three-year-old son and found that, based on the evidence available, the Chiefs receiver had not violated the league's policy.

Hill was greeted with cheers from Chiefs fans upon his return to the practice field on Saturday before speaking to the media on Sunday.

The receiver apologised for the way he spoke to his ex-fiancee Crystal Espinal in a leaked recording, in which he said she should be "terrified" of him.

Hill said: "I don't want nobody talking to my little sister, my daughter that I have now, my mum like that. It's very disrespectful.

"I mean, my mum got onto me, like she thumped me in the ear, like, 'Come on, man, Reek. Come on, grow up, grow up out of it'. So, never again. Like I said: I'm growing as a human being, as a person. Never again."

Local authorities determined Hill would not face charges in connection with the accusations, which first surfaced in mid-March, but the Chiefs suspended Hill indefinitely in April following the release of audio that allegedly included the receiver and Espinal discussing how their child had hurt his arm. 

Hill's attorney wrote a lengthy letter to the NFL denying the child abuse claims.

Johnson County district attorney Steve Howe said in April that although his office believed a crime had occurred, "the evidence in this case does not conclusively establish who committed this crime".

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The NFL said it did not have access to law enforcement records, which have been sealed by the court, but left open the possibility the league could take "appropriate steps" against Hill "if further information becomes available".

Hill addressed a section of the recording in which he is accused of punching his son in the chest.

"Punching my son in [his] chest. That would probably refer to me teaching my son how to box," Hill said. "Because we do got boxing gloves at our house."

The two-time first-team All-Pro wide receiver expressed his excitement for the future and reiterated that he has grown from his experience.

"I can't wait for my new journey, man. I'm excited," he said. "I'm working every day to be a better father, better person, better citizen, a better son, too, to my parents. One thing stood out to me: my mum, as I was going through this long process, my mum told me, people don't need to change, they need to grow. When you think about it, a tree changes and a tree grows every day.

"My mum kept telling me, 'Reek, you need to grow. You need to add layers to yourself because if a tree grows, it doesn't go back'. So, I don't want to go back. I want to grow every day of my life."

Published 29 Jul 2019, 02:52 IST
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