KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – The Chiefs held a news conference Friday to introduce their new defensive end Frank Clark, but the elephant in the room that no one wanted to talk about didn’t have to do with Clark directly.
It had to do with Tyreek Hill, a recently reopened criminal investigation, and domestic violence.
That did bring some questions to people’s minds, though, because Clark has his own past. Five years ago, he was charged with domestic violence and assault.
Clark was dismissed from his college team in Michigan after being accused. He later pleaded down to a disorderly conduct charge and had to complete counseling.
So, KCTV5 News asked him in a one-on-one interview about his history and his thoughts on Hill’s investigation.
“It’s really the top subject that’s going on right now, and I feel very confident talking about it, because you go through things in life for a reason… the reason is for you to grow,” he told KCTV5's Emily Sinovic.
“If you don’t grow from the things in life, you’re not doing nothing in life," Clark said. "I feel like that’s the one thing during these past five years have given me is time to grow. Everyone sees the plays I’ve made and the tackles. No one sees the growth. I feel like once the fans get to know me and know the kind of person I am and how my heart works -- because, right now, they don’t really know how my heart works. They just know what they think, what they read. And that’s fine, because at the end of the day, we’re humans. But at the end of the day, I have to show to them and prove to them the type of guy I am and I look forward to it."
Clark did not want to speak specifically about Hill’s criminal investigation.
"I’d be wrong to speak on the subject when it doesn’t involve me, but at the end of the day, but no one wants to go through the things they’re going through right now," he said. "And, no one wishes things like that upon someone. At the end of the day, I can only control what I can control and that’s me today being here and being a Chief."
Player character has been top of mind for many Chiefs fans this week, so the Chiefs addressed that issue during the press conference. However, they also wouldn't say much about Hill.
Head coach Andy Reid acknowledged that the criminal case against Hill and his fiancée has been reopened, but also made it clear the Chiefs would not discuss it, Hill’s character, or his future with the team.
They said they were going to stick to the statement they made on Thursday night and shifted focus to Clark.
"Today is Frank's day," Reid said.
“He's a great player with a big heart that's going to do big things for the Chiefs on and off the field,” General Manager Brett Veach said about Clark.
Veach brought up Clark's upbringing and mentioned he had been homeless at times as a child in Los Angeles.
The coaches said they were impressed with Clark's personal growth, as well as his work with Seattle's homeless community. While there, he established a foundation to help people in poverty.
"I don't think there's been a lot of people who have been down the road that Frank has; on the street, being homeless," Veach said. "It would have been easy for him to quit and he's been through a lot."
The coaches mentioned that they expect Clark to be active in the KC community.
“A player coming in with this type of contract has a platform now,” Veach said.