Tyreek Hill understands fans upset, says he's trying to 'be a better man'

ByAdam Teicher ESPN logo
Sunday, May 8, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Rookie wide receiver Tyreek Hill said he understands the negative reaction of some Chiefs fans after he was drafted in the fifth round.

"Those guys, those fans, they have every right to be mad at me,'' said Hill, who is on probation in Oklahoma after pleading guilty last year to choking and punching his pregnant girlfriend in a 2014 incident.

"I did something wrong. I just let my emotions get the best of me and I shouldn't have [done] it. They have every right to be mad. But guess what? I [plan] to come back and be a better man and be a better citizen and everything will take care of itself.''

Hill practiced for the first time on Saturday as the Chiefs began a three-day rookie camp. He accepted blame for the incident and indicated he was wrong to say on the day he was drafted that the lesson he learned was that he needed to better pick his friends.

"It's a very wrong way to look at it,'' he said. "I don't blame [anybody] but myself. It's my fault. It's my mistake.

"Going forward, I just want people to know that I'm a hard-working kid, dedicated to what he does and really a good citizen, a good teammate and like I said, a good, hard worker who's trying to help the team out.''

Hill's selection by the Chiefs angered some of their fans. As a way of expressing its objection to the pick, one Kansas City radio station conducted a fundraiser to benefit an area shelter for abused women and children.

Hill said he was unaware of the controversy in Kansas City that surrounds him and that he hadn't considered the consequences if he's involved in a similar incident again.

"I try not to think about that,'' Hill said. "The only thing I'm thinking of is just doing my counseling and playing football. I try not to worry about all the social media talk. I've deleted all that.''

Coach Andy Reid said Hill's counseling for anger management is one reason the Chiefs considered drafting him.

"The young man is trying to do the right things, whether it's with counseling, whatever it is,'' Reid said. "He's trying to do the right things to better himself. A lot of guys don't try to right the wrong. I give the kid credit for doing that. He's really working hard at that. The counseling was a big part of it. That step is huge, to actually admit you are wrong. A lot of people won't do that. They just won't go there.'

"I'm not much on the crystal ball [and] looking into the future. We do enough homework where we feel he's headed in the right direction and deserves a second chance.''