Some answers are emerging regarding the Britt Reid incident from February 2021. More questions remain, however, even after Reid was sentenced to three years in prison for driving while intoxicated and causing serious bodily injury.
After months of silence on the question of whether the former Chiefs assistant coach, and the son of head coach Andy Reid, was drinking at the team facility before the crash that seriously injured a five-year-old girl, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt shared with reporters on Monday some of the conclusions reached by an internal investigation. The comments came in a midseason video conference with the team’s majority owner.
Via Vahe Gregorian of the Kansas City Star, Hunt said that the team’s investigation “showed there was no gathering of the employees, either at the practice facility or [Arrowhead Stadium] where alcohol was consumed. Beyond that, I really can’t say any more.”
Hunt also was asked about the NFL’s rule that prohibits teams from providing alcoholic beverages in any and all team settings. Hunt confirmed the existence of the rule, saying the Chiefs “were in compliance.” Hunt added that he does not believe the team will be disciplined by the NFL.
Whether the team provided alcohol to anyone represents only part of the analysis. Britt Reid, or others, may have brought alcohol into the facility on their own. If Britt Reid or someone else brought alcohol to work and if Britt Reid consumed it there (court papers clearly indicate he did), someone other than Britt possibly knew or should have known something that may have created an obligation by the Chiefs to take action.
Hunt said there was no “gathering” of employees. It’s fair to ask how he defines that term? Two or more, three or more, four or more?
Here are the basic questions that should be asked, but that apparently won’t be answered.
One, did Britt Reid drink alcohol on Chiefs property?
Two, where did the alcohol come from?
Three, did anyone know he was drinking at work, if he was?
Four, was he drinking alone or with anyone else?
Five, should anyone have known that Britt Reid was drinking at work? More specifically, was there any suspicion that Britt Reid seemed impaired or in any way “off,” that night or previously? Are there text messages or email or conversations among other employees regarding whether Reid had been drinking at work, that night or previously?
This incident happened in February 2021, at the height of the pandemic. The Chiefs were in Kansas City that Thursday night — three days before the Super Bowl — because of COVID protocols that restricted travel until the Friday before the game. Cameras had been installed throughout the facility in order to ensure compliance with the various rules. Important footage allowing certain questions to be answered may have been collected that way.
The Chiefs reached an agreement with the family of Ariel Young due to the crash caused by Britt Reid. The Chiefs are paying an undisclosed amount. They presumably did it not as an act of charity, but to settle any and all legal claims that could have been made against the team.
If the payment helps Ariel Young and her family, and if they preferred to resolve the matter without the worry, expense, and delay of litigation, that’s their absolute right. Without the filing of a formal legal claim, however, there’s no way for the public to ever know whether the Chiefs knew or should have known that Britt Reid was drinking alcohol on team property — and whether any employees of the organization failed to take reasonably prudent steps to ensure that Reid did not drive at a time when he was unfit to do so.