A week ago today, football fans were shocked by the news that Chiefs linebacker killed his girlfriend and mother of his 3 month old daughter, Kassandra Perkins, and then went to the Chiefs facility and committed suicide. As fans, we feel an affinity to players, and our initial reactions are the shock, denial, wonder, and regret we would feel if this tragedy happened in our own circle of friends or family. Then the excuses start to come in from all angles. It’s the Gun Culture. It’s the CONCUSSIONS. It’s PEDs. The Jovan known to his friends, coaches, and team mates couldn’t have done this so it must be due to something else. It is none of these, it is very simply a case of domestic violence and there were signs of trouble so slight that they are only truly visible with the aid of hindsight.
Let’s eliminate the excuses to start with… NFL players are the most drug tested employees anywhere and Jovan has never had any substance issues. Neither has Jovan had any concussion related injuries in his four years with the Chiefs. Rest assured the gun didn’t kill Kassandra although the NINE bullets certainly caused her death. Jovan was a big strong linebacker and could have chosen any number of weapons or manner of death as many wife murderers do. The argument that if he didn’t have the gun handy she would be alive just doesn’t make any sense. He could have strangled her with his bare hands, stabbed her with any number of kitchen implements, or bashed her head in with any available object. This wan’t impersonal or distant this was the murder of the mother of his baby, and he shot her NINE times, with his own mother as a witness.
Will the real Jovan please stand up.
According to a law enforcement official close to the investigation — and contrary to published reports — Belcher spent Friday night “partying” with another woman at the Power and Light District, a bar area in downtown K.C. He returned home between 6:30 and 7 a.m., at which point he and Perkins argued. Then, with his own mother in the house, Belcher used a handgun to shoot the mother of his baby girl nine times. He then drove to the Chiefs’ practice facility in a Bentley so new it had temporary plates.
Read More: David Epstein’s poignent article in SI
It turns out Jovan had another life that most people closest to him didn’t see. See the clues “partying with another woman” got home at 6:30 or 7 and then argued with Perkins. Do you imagine that was a first? Does this sound familiar?
My favorite Colorado girl in the big time @byLindsayHJones has reported extensively on this tragedy for USA Today.