Domestic Violence And The NFL Murder-Suicide

A murder-suicide in the NFL – Kansas City Chiefs – puts a high-profile spotlight on domestic violence.  What do we see there?

Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, shown here with their daughter, Zoey. (Instagram)

Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, shown here with their daughter, Zoey. (Instagram)

Last Saturday morning Kansas City Chiefs NFL linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his 22-year old girlfriend, the mother of his child, then drove to a Chiefs’ parking lot, apologized to team management, got down on his knees, and shot himself.  Murder-suicide.  And the next day, the game went on.  Chiefs versus Carolina Panthers.

A moment of silence, then back to business.  But those gunshots are still echoing.  Into gun control debates and concussion worries and, above all, into domestic violence fears.

This hour, On Point:  a murder suicide in the NFL, and the echoes beyond.

-Tom Ashbrook


Kevin Blackistone, sports journalist and professor, as well as a frequent panelist for ESPN’s Around the Horn.

Jeff Benedict, contributor for Sports Illustrated and a writer for He’s the author of Public Heroes, Private Felons: Athletes and Crimes Against Women and Out of Bounds: Inside the NBA’s Culture of Rape, Violence, and Crime.

Rita Smith, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

From Tom’s Reading List

ESPN “By hanging Belcher’s jersey, the Chiefs created a memorial for a man who murdered the 22-year-old mother of his infant daughter on Saturday morning, then drove to the team’s practice facility and fired a single shot into his head in front of coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli.”

Washington Times “Today, critics say the NFL has a serious domestic violence problem. As a family law attorney who sees the results of domestic violence on a regular basis, I’m here to tell you domestic violence is not just an NFL problem. It is a problem in every single facet of our society”

Fox Sports “A 25-year-old kid gunned down his 22-year-old girlfriend in front of his mother and three-month-old child, and all he could think to do in the immediate aftermath is rush to thank his football coach and football employer. Belcher’s last moments on this earth weren’t spent thanking the mother who raised him or apologizing to the child he would orphan. His final words of gratitude and perhaps remorse were reserved for his football gods”

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