December 01, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of the exterior of the Kansas City Chiefs practice facility and Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE
Tragedy struck the Kansas City Chiefs Saturday morning as their starting linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and later himself.
August 18, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher (59) looks on in the second half against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams won 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
Details are still emerging but it appears there was an early morning argument between Belcher and 22-year old girlfriend Kasandra Perkins. He allegedly killed his girlfriend and drove to the Chiefs practice facility near Arrowhead Stadium. There he was confronted by Chiefs coaches and front office personnel including head coach Romeo Crennel and GM Scott Pioli. They tried to talk him down, but he turned his weapon on himself.
Here’s the Chiefs statement:
"“The entire Chiefs family is deeply saddened by today’s events, and our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy, thoughts and prayers for the families and friends affected by this unthinkable tragedy. We sincerely appreciate the expressions of sympathy and support we have received from so many in the Kansas City and NFL communities, and ask for continued prayers for the loved ones of those impacted.”“We will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities and work to ensure that the appropriate counseling resources are available to all members of the organization.”"
And here’s one from the NFL:
"“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Chiefs and the families and friends of those who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy. We have connected the Chiefs with our national team of professional counselors to support both the team and the families of those affected. We will continue to provide assistance in any way that we can.”"
Numerous reports indicate the game between the Chiefs and visiting Carolina Panthers is still set for Sunday. I think it’s a mistake to get these teams back on the field just over 24 hours after such a tragedy. Can you imaging what’s going through the coaches minds who witnessed the suicide? Let them play them game on Monday night, broadcast only in the local markets and let them grieve this tragedy.
What do you think? Should they be playing on Sunday?
Deepest sympathies to the Chiefs and the families of those involved. This type of thing puts football into perspective.