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If police finds Tyreek Hill broke 3-year-old's arm, NFL must consider ban

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Former Oklahoma State receiver and current Kansas City superstar Tyreek Hill is under investigation again for battery. This time, the police are looking into an incident involving his 3-year-old son. [AP PHOTO]
Former Oklahoma State receiver and current Kansas City superstar Tyreek Hill is under investigation again for battery. This time, the police are looking into an incident involving his 3-year-old son. [AP PHOTO]

His name is Zev.

He is 3 years old.

That means he’s probably learning his ABCs and playing make believe and getting potty trained. He’s running and jumping and maybe even riding a tricycle.

But now, he’s also trying to figure out how to do all that little-kid stuff with a broken arm.

And authorities are trying to figure out if his daddy did something to cause that injury.

Late Friday evening came the saddening, maddening news that former Oklahoma State receiver and current Kansas City superstar Tyreek Hill is again under investigation for battery. Five years ago, the victim was his pregnant girlfriend; Cowboy coach Mike Gundy quickly dismissed Hill. Now, the alleged victim is Hill’s son.

The Kansas City Star reports the incident left the boy with a broken arm.

His name is Zev.

He is 3 years old.

Clearly, these are the early stages in the investigation. No charges have been filed, and Hill isn’t even the sole focus of the investigation. Zev’s mother and Hill’s fiancée, Crystal Espinal, is listed on the police report under “others involved.”

The police don’t know all the details about what happened, so the public can’t possibly know them.

But here’s what I know — having a 3-year-old with a broken bone is horrible.

One evening when my daughter was 3, she was climbing onto the couch but got distracted by something, probably the TV, before she’d gotten settled. Her balance got knocked off, and she tumbled back off the couch and crashed onto the hardwood floor.

The result was a “greenstick fracture” of her collarbone.

That means the bone didn’t break completely. When kids are young and their bones are still soft, greenstick breaks happen, much like a soft, wet twig might fracture but not bust apart when bent.

Even our doctor couldn’t verify the bone was broken. We had to get an x-ray to know for sure.

Even though the break was small and the incident was an accident, I felt terrible. My daughter was still a toddler. I was supposed to protect her from harm.

I had failed.

I can’t imagine, then, doing something to inflict such harm on her, something that would’ve broken a bone.

If that’s what authorities determine Tyreek Hill did to his son, the Chiefs must release him and the NFL must look seriously at banning him from ever playing in the league again. If he broke his son’s arm as is alleged, he will be a repeat offender of extreme violence.

What happened five years ago when he was at OSU was horrific. Espinal, then his girlfriend, told police that Hill pinned her to the wall, then threw her to the floor like a “rag doll.” Picked her up by her hair. Put her in a headlock. Sat on her while he punched her in the stomach.

She was pregnant at the time with Zev.

In August 2015, Hill pleaded guilty to domestic assault and battery by strangulation.

His punishment: three years probation.

In April 2016, the Chiefs picked Hill in the fifth round of the NFL Draft, and until news of this most recent investigation surfaced, all signs pointed to him being a model citizen and player. He completed anger management classes. Went to every team meeting. Fulfilled every franchise commitment.

Hill and Espinal even got engaged. She is pregnant again, this time with twins.

Last summer, Hill’s probation expired. His conviction was dismissed, his record cleared.

Last fall, he became a key cog in the NFL’s most explosive offense, and the Chiefs were planning to reward him with a big deal, bigger than any other receiver in the NFL.

Now?

If Hill did what is being alleged, how could any team sign a 5-foot-10, 185-pound grown man who broke his toddler son’s arm?

His name is Zev.

He is 3 years old.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 405-475-4125 or jcarlson@oklahoman.com. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.

Jenni Carlson

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football... Read more ›

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