Tyreek Hill is one of the most explosive players in the NFL, an electric wide receiver. He is one of the top receivers in the league currently and is searching to build on his elite performance this past season.
Unfortunately, Hill has to clear up some recent off the field issues that have come to the forefront the past few weeks.
This past week there was an audio recording of a conversation between Hill and his fiancée, Crystal Espinal, in a Dubai airport.
The conversation centered around their parental styles in terms of discipline, their personal relationship, and the well-being of their three-year-old son who had just recently broken his arm in the midst of him being disciplined by Hill.
If heard out of context without any background knowledge of the situation, you could describe Hill as an abuser and negligent of his family’s well-being.
On closer examination, the situation is more nuanced.
I was not able to hear the full 11-minute clip, but I heard the majority of it, posted online by KCTV5 News out of Kansas City.
You can hear Espinal say that their son is scared of Hill and that he says his dad hits him in the online clip.
Hill’s rebuttal is that his son respects him and when they are out and about they have great chemistry but when they are home his son knows that the dynamic is different.
There was also a verbal dispute captured by the recording on how their son broke his arm and how they both discipline him.
The national media has failed to realize that this whole situation is revolved around differences in culture.
Most parents revert to their own childhood when trying to parent and discipline their own children.
I truly believe that the same thing has happened here.
Hill is from a town called Lauderhill, a small city in Florida rated one of the top 100 dangerous cities in the country.
Growing up in that hostile environment, he was disciplined like a traditional black family would, with tough love that most of the time included corporal punishment.
Within the black culture, it is normal to receive punishment by a jab to the chest or a whipping on the butt by a belt.
In our culture, there is an understanding that there are consequences for your actions and sometimes those actions cause pain.
There is a fine line between healthy discipline and child abuse but from what I heard I don’t think that that’s the case here.
From Hill’s perspective, he is just trying to prepare his child for an unforgiving world.
It is not easy to raise a child in this environment due to social media, video games, cell phones, and other distractions and barriers that could derail the success of young people.
I do not exempt Hill from all of the comments he made in the voice recording, but I do not believe he intentionally hurt his son.
I think we all can agree that no parent has handled every situation they encountered the correct way but they do what they believe is best for their child at the moment just like Hill did with his son.
Email Billy at: