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The nation and the world of sports was stopped frozen after the murder-suicide of Jovan Belcher of the Kansas City Chiefs. Belcher shot his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins in their home before going to the Kansas City Chiefs facility and shooting himself in front of coaches and the police.
It is being reported that Belcher argued with Kasandra after she came home late after a Trey Songz concert on Friday night. The couple lived together and had a newborn baby, born on September 11. Friends say that they fought regularly, even before the tragic night in question.
But there are others who say that, even though the couple fought, they were deeply in love with one another.
“Jovan and Kasandra always seemed to be in love. In fact, when Kasandra got pregnant, she and Jovan were ecstatic. Ever since the baby was born in September, the two couldn’t have seemed happier together,” said a member of the Perkins family.
Those who saw the couple fight never felt that the relationship would ever get violent. Belcher was tough on the field, but no one seemed to think that he would consider making his daughter into an orphan before her first birthday.
Belcher’s agent Joe Linta told ESPN’s Adam Schefter: “I’m in shock. So out of character. He was the last person in the world you would expect to do this.”
The agent continued:
“He came to my youth clinics in the offseason and worked with kids. He was a gracious, unselfish, hard-working, dedicated kid — very, very caring of some of the underprivileged kids who came to the clinics. I saw him in a real positive way. I never take on anyone as a client I wouldn’t be proud to take home and spend time with my wife and kids. Jovan was one of those type of people.”
Belcher was just 25-years old out of West Babylon, New York. He played at the University of Maine. His 2012 salary was $1.9 million, a 400% raise from what he earned the year before. Before killing himself, he thanked the Chiefs organization for all that they’d done for him.
This is only the most recent suicide by an NFL player. Last year, Chicago Bears great Dave Duerson shot himself to death and Junior Seau of the San Diego Chargers did the same. The deaths of players in the NFL leads to public questioning of the impact of brain injuries and whether or not they play a role in some of these events. Before killing himself, Duerson noted that he wanted his brain to be donated to science to see if he was suffering long-term effects of head trauma on the football field. While there is no established connection between such trauma and the death of Belcher, some may be asking why a man who just signed the biggest financial deal of his life would make such an irrational decision.