On Tuesday, the NFL handed down their punishment for Kansas City Chief’s linebacker Willie Gay who was charged with a misdemeanor count of criminal property damage in January.
The punishment, a four-game suspension for violation of the league’s personal conduct policy, is effective immediately with Gay being forbidden from entering the Chiefs’ practice facility. Additionally, Gay is unable to have any contact with team officials for two weeks. After the first two weeks, Gay can enter the team facility and attend team meetings but he won’t be eligible to return to play until after Week 6.
#Chiefs LB Willie Gay Jr. has been suspended four games following his arrest last January. The suspension begins immediately. https://t.co/JVilpGp5IU— Chiefs Wire (@TheChiefsWire) September 19, 2022
Gay will miss games against the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Las Vegas Raiders, and Buffalo Bills.
The league’s disciplinary action against Gay comes because his January arrest in Overland Park, Kansas, a Class B non-person misdemeanor—“constitutes a domestic violence offense,” according to the court records.
Gay’s agents, Maxx Lepsettler and Ryan Rubin, released a statement back in January that stated Gay was visiting his son when he got into an argument with the child’s mother. The argument escalated and the child’s mother called police.
A police report estimated the total property damage to be $225 for a vacuum cleaner, cellphone screen protector, humidifier and damage to a wall and door frame. However, there were no reports of physical harm to either Gay’s child or the child’s mother.
Gay settled the criminal case in July 2021, by agreeing to a diversion program that included the linebacker receiving mental health counsling.
During the 2021 season, Gay spoke about his struggles with mental health, saying that he was “going through some things,’’ but that he wanted to be an example for other NFL players by being open and honest about his issues.
While waiting for the league’s decision on his suspension, Gay started in both of Kansas City’s games against the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Chargers and is now tied for second on the team with 16 total tackles and shares the team lead in tackles for a loss and passes defended, with two of each.
Despite rumors to the contrary, there will be no appeal of the suspension by Willie Gay, with the NFL announcing that the decision is the final resolution to the violation of the league’s code of conduct policy.
The Chiefs drafted linebacker Leo Chenal in the third round of the 2022 NFL draft. It’s likely that Chenal, who has played 32 of Kansas City’s 137 defensive snaps this season, will join Nick Bolton as the starting linebackers for the next month. Other linebackers on the team are veterans Darius Harris and Elijah Lee and undrafted free-agent rookie Jack Cochrane.