As every football fan and most everybody else knows, a tragedy occurred in Kansas City on Saturday morning. At approximately 8:00am, Jovan Belcher murdered his live-in girlfriend, the mother of his 3-month-old daughter. He brutally killed Kasandra Perkins as his own mother looked on. What happened after he murdered the woman he had impregnated but was too selfish and self-centered to marry is, in my opinion, much less of a tragedy. Belcher drove over to Arrowhead, thanked his coaches, and used the same gun to end his miserable, wasted life. I applaud Belcher for saving the taxpayers of Missouri the expense of a pointless trial and a long incarceration. I only hope that he saved his money and had a good insurance policy without a suicide exemption to support his orphaned, bastard daughter.
The little girl is, of course, innocent, but she is technically a bastard. Those are the harsh realities of life. Her mother made a poor choice in hooking up with a professional athlete for the money and status. I pray that her daughter makes better choices in life.
So, we have all that and what does the NFL do? For one thing, the Chiefs went on with their scheduled Sunday game against the Carolina Panthers and notched only their second win of the season. It was, according the NFL, inspirational.
I was less than inspired. The game should have been cancelled. If Belcher had died in an accident or from some previously unsuspected condition like the late Darryl Kile or trying to save a child from drowning then it would have been inspirational for the Chiefs to go out and win one for the Gipper. In this case it was tawdry, sad, and sick. Belcher was not a hero. He was a reasonably skilled defensive linebacker making nearly two million dollars a year who also happened to be a narcissistic, arrogant thug unable think beyond the end of his johnson.
To top that, in his commentary, Bob Costas suggested that if Belcher had not had easy access to a gun, both he and Ms. Perkins would still be alive. No, Mr. Costas, if Jovan Belcher had a shred of common decency and self-restraint, he and Ms. Perkins would be alive. How many guns did O.J. Simpson use in the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman? I know, Simpson was a running back, so maybe that’s different.
Until I was around 35 years old, the idea of having a firearm with me for self-defense rarely crossed my mind. I did, once, going into a very touchy situation, stick a pistol down the back of pants, but most of the time I didn’t carry anything in the way of a weapon, except a traditional, non-tactical folder. The reason was that, in my youth, I thought I could whip any three men that I met. Looking back, I am equally sure today that I was wrong in that assessment, but confidence and no neck will evidently get you through a lot.
Jovan Belcher was an athlete, an American football player at one of the toughest positions there is – defensive linebacker. He was 6’2” and weighed around 230 pounds, all of it muscle. He spent every Sunday in football season knocking down other big, muscular men, getting pancake-blocked by 350-pound offensive linemen, tackling quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends and wide receivers. Belcher could have broken his girlfriend’s neck in an instant. He did not shoot Kasandra Perkins because he was afraid of her or because he could not physically dominate her, he did it because he was a rage-fueled, mush-brained, emotionally undisciplined, man-child with too much money and too little humility.
But what did Bob Costas focus on? Not the ridiculous spectacle of professional athletics in America today, not the rampant, pervasive immorality among professional athletes, not exaltation of thug life-styles and the glorification of violence, degradation, permissiveness, and promiscuity. No. Costas focused on guns because it is so much better to place the blame for domestic violence, death, and destroyed lives on a will-less, inanimate object than on the real cause of Kasandra Perkin’s death. That would be Jovan Belcher.