“I can’t wait for my new journey,” Hill said Sunday at Chiefs training camp as he answered questions publicly for the first time since being investigated for child abuse. “I’m excited. 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. I’m evolving every day. Something stood out to me as I was going through this long process. My mom told me, ‘People don’t need to change. They need to grow.’ … I want to grow. I don’t want to change.”
Hill wouldn’t get into many details of his situation, which began in the offseason with the investigation by the Johnson County (Kansas) District Attorney’s office. Prosecutors eventually said Hill would not be charged, but audio surfaced of Hill and his fiancée discussing injuries to their son.
The Chiefs then suspended Hill from offseason practice. The NFL recently said Hill would not be disciplined and cleared him to report to training camp.
Hill did try to explain a reference to him punching his son in the chest on the audio. “Punching my son in [his] chest probably referred to me teaching my son how to box,” Hill said. “We do [have] boxing gloves at our house. Our son, he’s like Iron Man. He loves Iron Man, Aquaman. He’s like, ‘Daddy, come on, come on, come on,’ all the time. That’s what it is. Sometimes things get thrown out of context when feelings get involved and emotions.”
Hill also indicated some regret for some of the comments on the audio. He at one point referred to his fiancée as a “b—-.”
“I wish I could get into all [the details of the case], but I can’t,” Hill said. “I’m just here to man up to what I did, on the audio my bad language. I going to man up to that. I don’t want nobody talking to my little sister, my daughter that I have now, my mom like that. It’s very disrespectful. My mom got into me, she like thumped me on the ear like, ‘Come on, grow up out of that.’ Never again.”
Hill also wouldn’t disclose the conditions the Chiefs set for him to remain with the team in a recent meeting with chairman Clark Hunt.
“All I’m going to say is I’ve just got to work on my life skills,” Hill said.
In the news conference that lasted about eight minutes, Hill thanked his teammates, Hunt, coach Andy Reid and general manager Brett Veach for their support. The Chiefs drafted Hill in 2016 after he had pleaded guilty in Oklahoma to punching and choking his then-pregnant girlfriend.
“They trusted me in this organization and that’s what I’m so appreciative of,” Hill said. “They gave me a chance at life so I could change my family life, my kids’ lives and everyone around me. I came from nothing.”
The support for Hill from Chiefs fans at camp has been strong. They have chanted his name before and during practice and cheered for him after routine plays.
“The love feels good,” he said. “To come back out here and hear the chants, it’s crazy. I’m back. The Cheetah is back. The fans here are amazing. They do a good job as well of making me feel like I’m family.”