NFL Nightmare: Pills-Pain-Murder-Suicide
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher was allegedly battling football-related head injuries along with booze, painkiller and domestic problems when he snapped and murdered his girlfriend before killing himself in front of two team coaches Saturday.
Deadspin.com reports that Kasandra Perkins, the mother of Belcher’s 3-month-old daughter, had threatened to leave Belcher for good based on their volatile relationship. The couple had only recently reconciled after Perkins left their rented Kansas City house with the baby, but friends said the relationship was still rocky.
Police revealed that Belcher and Perkins argued after she returned late from a concert and that he shot his girlfriend nine (yes, NINE) times. His mother, Cheryl Belcher, who was visiting to help with the new baby, witnessed the slaying. According to relatives, she will now take custody of the couple’s infant daughter and return to the family’s West Babylon home where her troubled son grew up
Following the murder, Belcher drove his Bentley the few miles to Arrowhead Stadium, where, in a parking lot outside the team’s practice facility, he fatally shot himself as Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, coach Romeo Crennel and other team personnel tried to stop him.
A condolence sign for the Kansas City Chiefs prior to the team's game on Sunday, December 2, 2012. The murder/suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher took place one day prior to the game. (Credit Image: © David Eulitt/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com)
During the Sunday Night Football half-time coverage, announcer Bob Costas blamed the deaths on a culture that permits possession of guns. Whether or not 2nd amendment issues factored into the tragedy, the message should have been that domestic violence crosses into every race and culture.
As an active player on the KC roster, it's hard to believe no one on the team staff noticed Belcher's problem with alcohol or painkiller use/overuse? Or that after all of the recent research on head injuries related to football that no one spotted behavioral issues. Friends say that Belcher suffered from short-term memory loss, a side-effect of concussions.
Whatever the underlying reason - pills, booze, head injuries or something else that hasn't come to light yet like steroids or growth hormones or some other untraceable compound - the deaths were both senseless. And while any of the above may have been to blame, it's also possible that Belcher was just a thug angered by his girlfriend's attempts to disengage. Whatever the reason, prayers for his mother, his daughter and the girlfriend's family.