Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt Answers Questions on Key NFL Issues

Hunt answered questions from the media prior to the game against the Jaguars

Opening Statement:"Good morning everybody. I'm glad to be here today. Looking forward to taking on the Jacksonville Jaguars here at noon. We're looking forward to honor our military through Salute to Service today. We have a lot of events throughout the game where all branches of the military will be honored, and let me say, I'm just very pleased with where we are as we approach the middle of the season. I think Andy Reid and John Dorsey have done a tremendous job in getting the 2016 Chiefs to this point."* *

Andy Reid mentioned the other day that you were consulted in the decision not to play Alex Smith today – what was your involvement and what was your recommendation there?"Well, I didn't have a recommendation. I did talk to Andy [Reid] about it. I told him that he and the doctors should use their judgment. It's not something where I needed to voice my opinion. I really wanted the people who were close to it and who were qualified to make the decision."

So, if Andy Reid said he wasn't playing, that was good for you?"Yeah. That's what he told me. He told me that he believed the right decision was for him not to play."

You're satisfied that things were done the proper way the first time?"Very much so."

Andy Reid's first game was against the Jaguars about three years ago and you gave him a game ball and two weeks ago you gave him the game ball for his 300th win – is there something about the Jaguars that brings this full circle for you?"Well, really I think for the team and for the coaching staff it's just another opportunity for us to advance our goals in 2016. It's easy to put too much emphasis into any game, but as Coach [Andy Reid] says, 'They all count the same at the end of the season.' We're just working to try and add another win to the victory column."

What were your thoughts on Marcus Peters' gesture during the National Anthem?"Well, I won't address Marcus [Peters] specifically, but let me say, I do think the right thing is for all players, coaches and everybody on the sidelines to stand for the National Anthem and pay the respects that our flag and the people that have given their lives deserve. At the same time, I understand that we have players that are concerned about racial relations in this country, which is a very important subject. I just don't believe that the National Anthem is really the right place to voice your displeasure with that."

Have you passed down any directive requiring your players to show respect during the National Anthem by not doing a gesture, kneeling or anything?"No, I haven't, but for a couple of years now, Coach [Andy] Reid and the rest of the leadership of the team have spoked to the coaches and the team about the importance of standing during the National Anthem. It's not something that's new this year, it's something we've been focusing on for a couple of years."

There was a letter circulating that said that you demanded that – I'm sure you've heard that and here's an opportunity to address that?"Yeah, I have heard about it. It was an internet hoax."

If a player did do something again, what would be your message to them, or would you speak to them or how would you handle it?"No, it's not something where I've spoken specifically to the players or any specific player about it. The entire team knows that our desire is for them to stand during the National Anthem."

Are you satisfied with everything that's been taken care of with regards to parking?"I don't know if it's something that you ever completely solve. When you try to put 70,000-plus people into a parking lot in a short period of time, there are always going to be challenges with it. There have been challenges that go into it for decades. The first week in the game against San Diego, it was particularly acute, maybe it had something to do with it being the first week of the season. I have noticed that it has improved each week. I thought coming in today it was the best it's been all regular season. I think we're making progress on the issue but it's something we'll have to stay on top of."

The team hasn't lost at home in over a year. What has led to that type of home-field advantage?"We have great fans -- let's start with that. And Arrowhead Stadium is a special place. Anytime an opposing player talks about coming here, they talk about their past experience and struggling to play here, or they talk about hearing from teammates about how hard it is to play here. Obviously, that's a credit to our fans. Coach [Andy] Reid and the team have a lot to do with it as well. They've really developed a home-field advantage here at Arrowhead and have done a great job. I've mentioned before, over time, Coach Reid's record on the road and at home are about equal but I believe he's edged ahead here over the last couple games by winning all the games at Arrowhead."

Are you supportive of potentially having a division rival relocated to Las Vegas? "It is an issue that the league will be addressing here over the next several months. I would expect that Oakland will ask for permission to move to Las Vegas. It's something that probably five years ago I would have been skeptical that it could happen. I personally have an open mind about it. The league is doing a lot of research on the move and what kind of fan support they'll have and what sort of issues there might be for the league. I'll reserve judgement until I hear that report."What kind of outreach has been done between local law enforcement officers and the players?"The team has facilitated the conversations between law enforcement and the team. I think some of the players have taken another step and done some things on their own."Is that something that was productive? Is it ongoing?"I can't speak to the productivity. But it is something that is ongoing. It's not something that will just be a 2016 issue for the Chiefs. It's something we'll continue to carry forward."

How concerned are you with Alex and the concussion issues. How concerned are you with the NFL's protocol and there still being holes in it?"That's a question that's really better answered from someone in the medical community. My experience with it, with the Chiefs, just beyond Alex [Smith], is it seems to have done a very good job of getting guys who need to be out of the game out of the game. And guys who are okay are able to get back into the game. Obviously because we had the incident with Alex last week where he went through the protocol twice. Which I don't really remember that happening -- I'm sure it's happened somewhere in the league. There's an opportunity to raise questions and say, 'Did they miss something on the first test?' Our doctors and trainers don't believe that. He also passed the return to play protocol that he had to go through this week with two more doctors involved in the process. I think the protocol is the best that we have at this point but I think your question could be better answered by someone in the medical community."

With the issues with Alex [Smith], Spencer [Ware] with other issues around the league, Cam Newton, when it comes up in the off season, would you be supportive of further measures as far as when it comes to head injuries and concussions? "It's an issue that's addressed every offseason by the league. It starts with the competition committee, they look at plays throughout the league and statistics and I think pretty much every year for the last 10 or so there has been a new rule designed to protect the players. Not all the rules are designed specifically for head injuries but many of them are and I would expect that as a league we'll continue to find ways to try to protect the players and particularly the quarterbacks."

You had your preseason game on the radio in St. Louis and your regular season games are on the radio, any feedback on how that's going so far? "I think it's been well received. I know that we have a lot of fans in St. Louis just going back generations and certainly not having a home team to cheer for. I think some of those fans have become Chiefs fans. As I said during the preseason, really the best thing we can do is terms of building our fan base whether it's St. Louis or elsewhere is to continue to put a winning product on the field."

When you signed Andy Reid and John Dorsey, in the three plus years they've been here, is this the kind of success that you envisioned?"It certainly is the type of success that I've aspired to the last 10 years and Andy Reid's history just looking at it in Philadelphia was one of being pretty consistent, typically a consistent winner. His last year or two didn't work out that way there but he's somebody that has a pedigree. There are very few coaches like him in the National Football League and I think the job that John [Dorsey] has done in support of him, and probably this week is as good of an example as we've had in the four years that they've been here that the two are a great team together and we're very fortunate to have them."

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