Jovan Belcher: Death, Domestic Violence, and Sports

By
Updated: December 7, 2012
Jovan Belcher

“So please don’t judge me. And I won’t judge you. Cause it could get ugly. Before it gets beautiful. Please don’t judge me. And I won’t judge you. And if you love me. Then let it be beautiful.”-Chris Brown

NORTH CAROLINA, (BASN) According to statistics, every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.

Matter of fact, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women, which is more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.

Sadly, everyday in the US more than three women are murdered by their husband or boyfriends.

Unfortunately, the harsh reality of domestic violence revealed its ugly self again on Saturday, November 3, when the Kansas City Chief’s 25-year old linebacker Jovan Belcher, in a murder-suicide, murdered his girlfriend and mother of  his three-month old baby, 22-year old Kasandra Perkins by shooting her nine times, in which he proceed to shoot himself  in the parking lot of the Chiefs’ practice facility one day before playing the Carolina Panthers.

According to one of Belcher’s friend, he had a serious drinking problem, was on painkillers, and was trying to copy with severe head injuries sustained from playing professional football in the NFL, even though Chief chairman Clark Hunt claimed that he had no previous reports about Belcher’s head trauma.

Hopefully, the toxicology reporter will provide the needed evidence to solve this mystery into the mind of this murderer.

Concussion and brain damage

The issue of whether concussions, or brain damaged played a role in this tragic event will be pondered however, especially with the recent death of San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau lingering in the backs of our minds as well as the suicide death of former Chicago Bears safety David Duerson, who shot himself in the chest, but not before leaving behind a note requesting his brain be studied for evidence of a disease striking football players.

Why? Because, in Duerson’s case, his brain tissue showed “moderately advanced” evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a dementia-like brain disease afflicting athletes exposed to repeated brain trauma.

Whether this had anything to do with Belcher’s cowardly actions, time will tell.

Because, the details of this story are developing every day as more evidence is explored and revealed.

A deadly story still developing

According to the The Kansas Star, an unidentified friend of Perkinss claims that this tragic incident occurred after Perkins returned home late from a Trey Songz concert and was confronted by Belcher, which intensified into a heated argument that eventually led to her death.

Police investigators, on Monday, added new evidence in this case by saying they  had talked to witnesses who saw Belcher at several bars in the trendy downtown Power and Light District Friday night, and he appeared intoxicated hours before the shootings, according to Newsday.

Deadspin.com, however, is reporting a different version of the story based on the accounts of one Belcher’s friend, who offered these details via e-mail, which led Belcher to point a gun to his head in front of coach Romeo Crennel and kill himself in the parking lot of Arrowhead Stadium.

This was the result of a long term conflict. I’m referring to the rumors that this was solely related to an argument about her attending the Trey Songz concert… It wasn’t. Kasi had left and taken Zoe (their daughter) to a relatives house without his consent and refused to come home. In addition to that she made it clear that she was leaving and wild contact a lawyer to “get as much money as possible”. Her friends are speaking to the media so, I only feel write providing his perspective to this situation. It had little, if anything to do with one isolated argument..

When Belecher’s friend was asked by Deadspin about the rumors that the conflict between Perkins and Belecher involved potential child-support payments, he answered by writing:.

Exactly.[On the Thursday night after the Nov. 12 Chiefs-Steelers Monday Night Football game] he came home and Kasi had taken the baby (Zoe) to Jamaal Charles residence because she is cousins with Jamaals wife Whitney. They had been arguing for quite a few weeks prior which was nothing new. The majority of the arguments were due to Kasi failing college classes that Jovan was paying for and quitting her retail job where she worked two 4 hour shifts a week. From my perception, she was lazy and after learning she was introduced to him through her cousin who is married to Jamaal I can only assume she was after money. I’m in no way trying to defame her character, however; she is the catalyst to this incident. With friends/associates of hers speaking out to the media and saying that this incident stemmed from am argument about her staying out late for a concert, I have to disagree and provide the full spectrum. Jovan loved her and more importantly loved Zoe. After their argument and she left with the baby he convinced her to move back in for the sake of the baby. As far as what led to this tragic incident, I would say a combination of alcohol, concussions, and prescription drugs put him in a state that he would not otherwise be in.

Pregnancy, murder and child support

The topic of  football players, pregnancy, murder and child support brings up horrible images of former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Ray Caruth, who 13 years ago, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder by hiring two hit-men to shoot and kill his former girlfriend Cherica Adams, who was 8- months pregnant with Carruth’s baby at the time.

For those who are unfamiliar with this story, the baby did survive this cruel action of his father and is permanently disable and was featured in a story written by Thomas Lake entitled The Boy They Couldn’t Kill in the Sports Illustrated’s September17 edition.

Adams like Perkins, unfortunately, lost her life due to the violent actions of a NFL player, who couldn’t control his anger and rage.

Another sad love song

Sadly, this is just another sad love song, which seems to have become a part of the nightly news and a part of the NFL’s violent culture.

Let’s not forget, the tragic event that took former NFL quarterback Steve McNair’s life in July of 2009, when he was shot four times and killed by his girlfriend Sahel Kazemi in a believed murder-suicide in Nashville, Tennessee.

And despite R&B singer Chris Brown being made the face of domestic violence due to his 2009 incident involving Rihanna, and the recent incident of a Ohio bus driver uppercutting a young woman going viral on the web, we can’t overlook the recent incident involving ex-Miami Dolphins WR Chad Ocho Cinco, who was arrested for  head-butting his wife Evelyn Lozada, which became a topic of discussion during the filming of this season’s HBO reality series the Hard Knocks, that led  him to being cut from the team.

Plus, there was also the recent suspicion of a fourth-degree assault by former Seattle Seahawks Jerramy Stevens, who was arrested after getting into a physical altercation with Olympic soccer star Hope Solo before that got married.

Along with Stevens’s arrest, there was the incarceration of former NFL player Larry Johnson, who was charged with one count of felony domestic battery which carries a max of 5 years in prison and a $15,000 fine for violently attacking a young lady and choking her to the point of  unconsciousness and the arrest of former San Diego Charger David Boston, who is also looking at a three year jail sentence after being found guilty of punching a woman in the face during a bar altercation in 2011.

And of course, there is the notorious O.J.Simpson double murder trial of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson in 1991.

While mentioning all of these cases involving violence against women, we can’t avoid bringing up Pittsburgh Steelers QB Brett Roethlisberger sexually assaulted accusation of a 20-year-old college student in the restroom of a Milledgeville, Georgia nightclub in 2010 as well as the case involving a former VIP concierge at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino, who claimed that he raped her in July 2008 while he was at Lake Tahoe playing in the tournament.

Head trauma and post traumatic stress disorder

These two cases against Roethlisberger are important because he experienced several severe concussions prior to these incidents.

Therefore, some intellectuals are theorizing that some football players due to the constant collisions and violence associated with playing football in the NFL,  might have developed mental health problems like military soldiers, who have been diagnosed or undiagnosed with a case of post-traumatic stress order, which  they try to self-medicate themselves with alcohol, prescription drugs, marijuana, or other pain numbing drug.

This, of course, is only a theory. There is no evidence that there is an actual link between the two.

No particular face to domestic violence

Besides, domestic violence has reached epidemic proportions through out the country and the world, regardless of race,class, religion, sexual orientation, social status, marriage, or profession.

Just consider the fact that, before Belecher’s  murder-suicide, there had been an average of one fetal domestic violence incident per month in the Kansas City area.

  • Jan.5 Barry Beaver shot his wife in Overland Park  before turning the gun on himself.
  • Feb. 13 in Kansas City: victim Eric Nevins. His wife, Charleatha Nevins, was charged with murder.
  • March 9 in Kansas City: victim Gwendolyn Pahmeyer. Her boyfriend, Roger Chandler, was charged with murder.
  • March 13 in Kansas City: victim Alyshia Alexander. Her husband, Jedidiah Alexander, committed suicide.
  • March 14 in Lenexa: victim Leslie Camacho. Her husband, Dominic Camacho, was charged with murder.
  • April 5 in Kansas City: victim Robert Batchler. His girlfriend, Deangela Alexander, was charged with murder.
  • May 25 in Blue Springs: victims Lindsey Money, Jazmine Money and Shenayah Money-Wilson. Lindsey Money’s boyfriend, Jessy Letellier, committed suicide.
  • May 30 in Kansas City, Kan.: victim Sharon Nero. Her boyfriend, Timothy Webb, was charged with murder.
  • Aug. 1 in Kansas City: victim Laquita Long. Her boyfriend, Lamont Kemp, was charged with murder.
  • Nov. 4 in Kansas City: victim Anthony Medellin. His girlfriend, Tyree Patterson-Terrill, was charged with murder.
  • Nov. 29 in Harrisonville: victim Eldon Campbell Jr. His wife, Billie Campbell, was charged with murder.

Trying to make sense out of the senseless

With all of these cases of love gone-wrong, it’s safe to say that young love can be very emotional, intense, and sometimes deadly, especially when money is involved as well as a new born baby and the  possible raging hormones of a young mother, who still might want to party, who isn’t officially married to a big-time professional athlete.

Along with that, add a possible controlling or cheating boyfriend,  who has a drinking problem, anger issues, who might desire his  girlfriend to be home instead  of  hanging out when she has a three-month baby into the mix, and you have the creation of something even more deadly.

We have all been there, fighting the demons of jealousy, anger, rage, sadness, stress and  fear of being rejected with a person we love and care for.

And even though, we might not ever know what really happened.

There is always a cause and an effect in all situations.

No accidents

Despite all of this, according to the experts, abuse is not an accident.

It does not happen because someone was stressed-out, drinking, or using drugs. Abuse is an intentional act that one person uses in a relationship to control the other. Abusers have learned to abuse so that they can get what they want. The abuse may be physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological.

Abusers often have low self-esteem. They do not take responsibility for their actions. They may even blame the victim for causing the violence. In most cases, men abuse female victims. It is important, however, to remember that women can also be abusers and men can be victims, whether physically or emotionally.

By knowing this, clearly, there is obvious a double standard,especially when you have television shows like Snapped, which almost subconsciously celebrate the rage and violence of women against cheating husbands and boyfriends.

Female Violence

I have addressed this issue in an article previous published on BASN called You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too, which took a seriously looked at the violence displayed on shows like Basketball Wives and Bad Girls Clubs that seemed to be applauded by mostly women.

With that said, recently on November 16, Chamique Holdclaw, a six-time WNBA All-Star and Olympic gold medalist, who spent 11 seasons the WNBA, was charged with aggravated assault, criminal damage to property ,reckless conduct, and  attempted murder, after an altercation with ex-girlfriend Tulsa Shock forward Jennifer Lacy in which she fired a 9mm gun into Lacy’s car.

Holdsclaw, who in her  2012 biography, Breaking Through: Beating the Odds Shot after Shot,  revealed her battle with depression during her WNBA career and disclosed that she had attempted suicide while playing for the Los Angeles Sparks in 2006.

After evaluating all of this important information, we hope and pray for both families, who have lost love ones in this horrific incident. Plus, we hope that all of us will learn something from this tragedy as well.

Words to ponder

Shockingly, Kansas City Chiefs QB Brady Quinn may have provided us all with the most insightful outlook surrounding this sad story.

“The one thing people can hopefully try to take away, I guess, is the relationships they have with people. I know when it happened, I was sitting and, in my head, thinking what I could have done differently. When you ask someone how you are doing, do they really mean it? When you answer someone back how you are doing, are you really telling the truth?”

Quinn continued, “We live in a society of social networks, with Twitter pages and Facebook, and that’s fine, but we have contact with our work associates, our family, our friends, and it seems like half the time we are more preoccupied with our phone and other things going on instead of the actual relationships that we have right in front of us. Hopefully, people can learn from this and try to actually help if someone is battling something deeper on the inside than what they are revealing on a day-to-day basis.”


Note: As more information is released, this article could change.

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