Thoughts on the Jovan Belcher Tragedy

The Daily Sports Obsession

The sports world was shook early Saturday morning with the news that Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his 22 year-old girlfriend Kasandra Perkins and then drove to the Chiefs practice facility and committed suicide in the parking lot with coach Romeo Crennel and General Manager Scott Pioli present. This was a very difficult thing to stomach for many, and it is hard to put into words and analyze. As sportswriters we are forced to attempt, to tackle what is not a sports story but a news story, the story of a murder-suicide.

Murder-suicides are unfortunately common in the United States. Medical studies estimate that there are 1,000-1,500 deaths because of them every year, with the majority involving spouses or intimate partners just like Belcher and Perkins. Also like this case, over 90% of the murder-suicides involved a firearm. The only prior incident involving an NFL player was a victim of murder-suicide, the late…

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