Found December 02, 2012 on
Football is embarrassingly tone deaf.
Jovan Belcher, a starting linebacker for the Chiefs, murdered the mother of his child shortly before 8 a.m. Saturday. He hopped in his car, drove to the Kansas City Chiefs practice facility, thanked Romeo Crennel and Scott Pioli -- and shot himself in the head in front of his coach and general manager around 8:10 a.m.
Within two hours, the NFL instructed the Carolina Panthers to travel to Kansas City as scheduled in preparation for Sunday's noon kickoff. By 3 p.m., the Chiefs announced that Crennel and team captains had decided to play Sunday's game as planned.
Short of terrorist attack and weather disaster, nothing slows the NFL.
A 25-year-old kid gunned down his 22-year-old girlfriend in front of his mother and three-month-old child, and all he could think to do in the immediate aftermath is rush to thank his football coach and football employer. Belcher's last moments on this earth weren't spent thanking the mother who raised him or apologizing to the child he would orphan. His final words of gratitude and perhaps remorse were reserved for his football gods.
It should come as no surprise that Crennel, Chiefs players, Pioli, owner Clark Hunt and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell quickly agreed not to delay Sunday's football congregation at Arrowhead Stadium.
Football is our God. Its exaggerated value in our society has never been more evident than Saturday morning in my adopted hometown. There's just no way this game should be played.
Twenty-eight hours after witnessing one of his starting linebackers take his life, Crennel will stand on the sideline as young men play a violent game. Twenty-eight hours after one of their best friends killed the mother of his child and himself, Chiefs players will take the field and play a violent game.
Football is a game of emotion. Football is a game in which the coaches and players preach about treating each other as family.
How can they play Sunday? Why should they?
Belcher and his girlfriend didn't die in a car accident 30 minutes away from Arrowhead Stadium. This isn't some tragedy Crennel and Pioli heard about. Belcher crashed his car through the gates of the Chiefs practice facility. He pointed a gun to his head in front of Crennel and Pioli. He killed himself within a quarter of a mile of Arrowhead Stadium, where the players and coaches work.
I just don't get it. And I'm not trying to vilify the Chiefs for choosing to play Sunday's game. It shouldn't be their decision. Roger Goodell should've made this call. Crennel, Pioli and Kansas City players are justifiably still in a state of shock.
You may argue that we all grieve differently. You may argue that playing the game is the best way to move on and heal. You may argue that canceling or delaying the game would serve no purpose and would be unfair to the fans who traveled to Kansas City to see Cam Newton and the Panthers play the Chiefs.
I would argue that your rationalizations speak to how numb we are in this society to gun violence and murder. We've come to accept our insanity. We'd prefer to avoid seriously reflecting upon the absurdity of the prevailing notion that the second amendment somehow enhances our liberty rather than threatens it.
How many young people have to die senselessly? How many lives have to be ruined before we realize the right to bear arms doesn't protect us from a government equipped with stealth bombers, predator drones, tanks and nuclear weapons?
Our current gun culture simply ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead.
In the coming days, Belcher's actions will be analyzed through the lens of concussions and head injuries. Who knows? Maybe brain damage triggered his violent overreaction to a fight with his girlfriend. What I believe is, if he didn't possess/own a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.
That is the message I wish Chiefs players, professional athletes and all of us would focus on Sunday and moving forward. Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it.
But we won't. We'll watch Sunday's game and comfort ourselves with the false belief we're incapable of the wickedness that exploded inside Jovan Belcher Saturday morning.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
FAREWELL TO ARMS
In the wake of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher's Saturday morning murder-suicide -- sportscasters (and sportswriters) have decided to put their own thoughts on gun control front and... Full story at Bob's Blitz ~ http://www.bobsblitz.com
Via Kansas City Star
KCTV is reporting a Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher and killed his girlfriend then drove to the Chiefs practice facility where he committed suicide. Reports from the scene by 610 KCSP said Belcher was confronted by Chiefs coaches in the parking lot as he arrived to the stadium facilities where he turned the gun on himself as the police arrived while...
The families of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher and of the girlfriend he shot and killed before killing himself spoke out Monday, two days after the tragic incidents.
Belcher's family says it is having difficulty dealing with the "inconceivable tragedy." Police say Belcher shot and killed Kasandra Perkins on Saturday at their Kansas City home before driving...
Former Kansas City Chiefs fullback Tony Richardson said he was "shocked" when he found out that linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend to death and then drove to the team's facility and killed himself. He was one of several who reacted to Saturday's tragedy in Kansas City. "People think, how can a young man with the world in front of him, making good...
Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend briefly lived apart before he killed her and then committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager, a friend of the woman said Sunday.
But Brianne York, 21, said that Belcher and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins, had gotten back together by Thanksgiving.
When she learned Saturday that Belcher had fatally...
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On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Panthers 27-21. As we all know by now, the game was played under unthinkable circumstances following the horrifying murder/suicide by Chiefs LB Jovan Belcher just one day earlier. As details continue to emerge about the incident, and Belcher’s state of mind leading up to Saturday’s events, our hearts go out to the families of...
Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reports that Kansas City Chiefs four-year veteran linebacker Jovan Belcher (25) was the unidentified player who shot his girlfriend around 8AM CT then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide. Chief LB Jovian Belcher was involved in a shooting involving at least one other person outside the team’s facility today, [...]
Jovan Belcher's arrival at Arrowhead Stadium shortly after the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker allegedly killed his girlfriend Saturday morning was predictable, a sports psychologist said. The troubled player was retreating to a familiar haven before taking his own life.
How the Chiefs organization will now cope with this horrific murder-suicide won't be so easy to analyze...
by John Viril—
I know I write a Kansas City Royals blog, but Jovan Belcher’s tragic suicide today at Arrowhead Stadium cuts beyond any topic limits. I cannot help but think about the place of sports in our society and what role, if any, that his profession might have had in the terrible events that occurred this morning.
I’d like to think that sports had nothing to do with...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. At some point, they had to return to football. They had to think about football.
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The nightmarish events of the previous 24 hours when teammate Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend, then took his own life had to be stored away, and the focus had to return.
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A moment of silence for victims of domestic violence was held at Sunday's game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Carolina Panthers.
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It appears Sunday's game between Kansas City and Carolina will be played as scheduled even in the aftermath of the murder/suicide involving Chiefs middle linebacker Jovan Belcher.
FOXSports.com NFL Insider Jay Glazer reported that the league has "full plans" of playing the game at 1 p.m. ET Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. The Charlotte Observer reported that the Panthers...