Tyreek Hill will be playing for the Kansas City Chiefs this season despite recordings of him threatening his fiancee and accusations of child abuse that have gone conspicuously undenied. That means that fantasy football drafters around the country are currently facing the decision to either spend the 2019 season cheering for a bad person or let someone walk away with a potential high-end WR1 for great value. If that sounds like a tough decision, let me remind you that Tyreek Hill has been quoted by his partner as saying “You need to be terrified of me too, bitch” and stands accused of punching a toddler. (He says he was teaching the kid to box, which is baffling.) Ultimately, this is like the Adrian Peterson situation, but even less complicated.
Don’t draft Tyreek Hill. Even if it’s great value, it’s bad values.
Let’s take a moment to address Hill’s alleged, and documented awfulness: In April, an 11-minute tape leaked of Hill arguing with his fiancee Crystal Espinal about how their three-year-old son’s broken his arm. Espinal alleges in the recording that when she asked her son about the injury he replied: “Daddy did it.” She is also heard mentioning that Hill punches his son in the chest and once used a belt on him, prompting her to tell him that his son is terrified of him. At that point in the recording, Hill becomes verbally abusive and threatening.
The recording led to the child temporarily being removed from Hill’s home and to a criminal child abuse investigation that was subsequently closed for lack of evidence. For his part, Hill admitted to punching his three-year-old child in the chest for “boxing lessons” and owned up to the fact that his language was threatening and extreme. Let’s be clear: Honest (or something adjacent to honesty) is great, but it doesn’t make punching a kid in the chest any better and it doesn’t excuse his threatening language. While Hill might be out of hot water legally and with the NFL, which remains the ethically dubious organization to end all ethically dubious organizations, he really shouldn’t be in your fantasy football league. Just cut him out.
Fundamentally, fantasy football is a numbers game. But numbers are a product of players and people who draft Hill will wind up rooting for him. That’s pretty ugly. So just cut him from the league or, you know, let your shitty friend draft the guy.
And there’s plenty of reason to draft him. Hill is a strong player with upside in a productive offense. He is aggressive and quick. But before you make a bid or sacrifice a pick, consider what Hill’s power must look like to a 3-year-old kid.
If Hill is crucial to your fantasy team and you cheer for him, you need to be honest with yourself: You’re looking the other way instead of confronting child abuse — or at least acknowledging it. If you’re okay with that, you’re an asshole.
(Pro Tip: Julio Jones is set for a big year and he spends his spare time investing in and supporting mixed-use development in Atlanta.)