Kansas City is in shock over the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chief’s player Jovan Belcher and Kasandra Perkins. Belcher shot Perkins multiple times and killed her before driving to Arrowhead Stadium and shooting himself earlier today. Perkins was 22 years-old and mother to a 3 month-old daughter with Belcher.
I worked as a hospital advocate with domestic violence victims earlier in my career. Being a hospital advocate is tough. It is the time when the wounds were fresh and the arguments just happened. Here is what I know about abusers and domestic violence:
- Rich guy and poor guys beat their wives and girlfriends.
- Really smart guys and stupid guys beat their wives and girlfriends.
- Obnoxious jerks and quiet, introverts beat their wives and girlfriends.
- Jocks and geeks beat their wives and girlfriends.
- Drunk guys and sober guys beat their wives and girlfriends.
- Babies can change the dynamics in a domestic violence relationship and it is almost NEVER for the better.
- Women stay for all sorts of reasons and if you aren’t these women you will NEVER get it.
I don’t know anything about Jovan and Kasandra. I’m speculating like everyone else in Kansas City. Why would a professional athlete take the life of his beautiful girlfriend and mother to his adorable daughter?
One too many blows to the head is one thing I’ve heard. Maybe, but I haven’t heard anything about bizarre behavior before this incident.
Too much pressure in his professional life. This one has me thinking. The Chiefs have been really struggling this season. Kansas City fans have not been quiet about it. Did this add to the pressure and push him over the edge? Are we all a little guilty in pushing a little too far in our displeasure over the Chief’s poor performance? Have we become bullies to our hometown athletes?
On the one hand its professional football players jobs. They know what they are getting into. Perform well as an individual and as a team and you walk on water. Perform bad and everyone is going to let you know about it. Shouting obscenities and insults has become our own professional sport here in KC. Whether we are at Arrowhead or just entertaining ourselves on Twitter, making fun of the Chiefs has become our new Sunday afternoon tradition. I think it comes from frustration, anger, disappointment and sometimes just out of boredom with our team.
In a culture where the hitting is hard on the field and the fans think it’s ok to emotional abuse the players, is it any surprise that this stuff can spill over into a player’s home life? I don’t, but I do think it’s incredibly tragic and it should all make us pause for a moment.
I am interested in what others think about this. I know when I write my blog and I hit publish, there is always a part of me that freaks out over the thoughts of putting my work out there for people to read. Who isn’t afraid of criticism? I can’t imagine playing on a football field in front of thousands of people, playing poorly and having to hear all the booing every Sunday. Do you think professional athlete’s become immune to it?
If there is anything at all positive that can come of this, hopefully the NFL will take this opportunity to send a message and support Domestic Violence groups. The sport and the fans are not to blame for what happened to Kasandra, but the NFL can stand up and send a strong message against domestic violence.
R.I.P. Kasandra. Such a sad day for Kansas City.