Cancelled Athlete Finds Vindication

( – Former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza will be returning to the NFL to play for the Kansas City Chiefs now that he is no longer facing an allegation of rape, the Washington Post reported.

Araiza was drafted by Buffalo in 2022 but was released just months later after he was named in a lawsuit accusing him and several others of gang-raping a 17-year-old girl when he was a student at San Diego State. Araiza countersued for defamation. However, after he was dropped from the lawsuit in December, Araiza agreed to drop the countersuit.

In a February 22 statement from Araiza’s agent JL Sports, the punter said he was “proud and honored” to be joining the Super Bowl champion Chiefs and “thrilled” to return to his NFL career.

Out of the NFL since the Bills dropped him, Araiza reportedly tried out with the New York Jets last year.

JL Sports admitted that the last 18 months had been hell for Araiza and said throughout it, he “handled himself with grace and humility that is truly inspiring” and could finally “move forward knowing this ordeal is behind him.”

The 23-year-old Araiza’s powerful kicks at San Diego State earned him the title “Punt God.” In 2021, Araiza won the Ray Guy Award as the best punter in the country. As a kicker at San Diego State, Araiza made over 73% of his field goal attempts and accumulated 141 touchbacks.

Two of his teammates at San Diego State were also named in the 2022 lawsuit. The plaintiff accused Araiza of meeting her outside of an off-campus party on October 15, 2021. She alleged that he took her inside the house and lured her into a room where she was raped by several men.

Araiza denied the allegations.

San Diego prosecutors later determined that Araiza could not have been the one who allegedly lured the girl into the room since he had left the party before the alleged incident took place. As a result, prosecutors declined to press charges against him.

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