I try for the most part to stay out of debates such as this, but after this weekend I cannot sit idly by and be ok with how the Jovan Belcher situation was perceived in Kansas City. Obviously this story does not apply to the ENTIRE Chiefs fan base, but for the ones who sat at Arrowhead Stadium tailgating Sunday morning with giant R.I.P #59 signs, those who say he was simply misunderstood, and those who consider him anything more than simply a murderer; you are the ones who should be ashamed.
First it should be noted that the word tragedy is probably the correct term. What happened was the very definition of a tragedy- a dramatic event dealing with a somber theme. The problem is that this tragedy is being used to describe Belcher. Yes he obviously had some mental issues, but just as everyone else in a similar situation as this one, he ended his life as a murderer.
After listening to some of the audio from the Chiefs game this past weekend I couldn’t help but wonder what goes through some (not all) peoples’ minds. Multiple people wearing #59 jerseys speaking of the events and saying how they would always remember and cherish Belcher. For what exactly? For executing his wife and subsequently himself, surrounded by people who could’ve easily gone the rest of their lives without ever seeing such an event.
NFL.com has since taken it down, but for several days proudly displayed a slideshow of Jovan Belcher pictures to remember him by. Probably not a good idea to include your organization into a domestic violence situation regardless of whom he was.
Was it not just a few weeks ago that these big hearted, grieving fans (again, some not all) decided it would be acceptable to cheer when Matt Cassel was injured during a game ( Here are the fans applauding Cassel being injured) . The fans gave a standing ovation for a player who could not get up off the field after being hit, but one of their players commits a murder-suicide and we should forever immortalize him? I just do not understand it.
Aside from what we assume is fairly accurate speculation from friends and family of Belcher we will never truly know why he did what he did. People who have mental issues of any sort have the potential to be unpredictable, and it truly was a sad event that transpired.
Sad for Kasandra Perkins, Cheryl Shepherd, and especially Zoey (Belcher/Perkins) who will never have the chance to know either of her parents growing up. At 3 months old she certainly will have no recollection of what occurred that morning, but she will have to go through life with the stigma of what took place.
What can be said throughout everything that already has, is that Brady Quinn may have come out of this wiser than any of us. His post game press conference was brilliant. Every word he spoke should hit home for everyone. Do we ever truly know how someone is just by asking in passing?
It should also be noted that on Monday, December 3rd a retired BART officer shot and killed his wife and then himself in North Carolina in the presence of their 2 year old daughter. This particular murder-suicide was the end of accusations of infidelity by the officer’s wife.
Basically the same situation twice in less than 72 hours. One has come out as a tragedy garnering national attention, with one of the assailants being forever immortalized while the other is barely news, and if it were I’m sure he would be condemned as a monster.
Both are horrendous from top to bottom as is all domestic violence. We can only hope for the best for victims and families of victims who have to endure such horrible events. Here is a map of what I can find on Murder-Suicide cases in the U.S in 2011. It is horrifying to see this many cases from only last year.