Report: Kansas City Chiefs Player Involved in Murder-Suicide
According to KCTV-5 and the KCPD, Jovan Belcher, age 25, allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend early this morning. He then drove to the Chiefs’ facility where he died of an apparent suicide, which was witnessed by Chiefs’ personnel, per a source who has first-hand knowledge of the situation.
To be clear, I’m not willing to make the logical leap that this murder-suicide had anything to do with brain damage caused by repetitive head trauma in football. The tragic reality is, though, that three former NFL players and two current players have committed suicide within the last year.
O.J. Murdock, also 25, committed suicide on July 30, 2012. Junior Seau, Ray Easterling and Mike Current committed suicide in 2012. However, none of those suicides involved the taking of another innocent life.
Again, it is impossible to prove that brain damage contributed to their deaths.
To be sure, the NFL is faced with yet another speculative stain that football and repetitive head trauma may have played a role in these tragic suicides. Prior to tomorrow’s game, the NFL is discussing: How do we honor an alleged murderer? Do we tacitly admit this had something to do with brain damage?
More importantly, the NFL and teams must be vigilant and ensure that the player’s mental health is checked on a weekly basis.
The NFL is not the only organization dealing with suicides. Numerous veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, who suffered traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder, are committing suicide at alarming rates.
Prayers go out to the families, teammates and friends who lost a life today.
The NFL lifeline is an invaluable resource that must be utilized before it is too late.
My friend, who worked in a legal capacity at a domestic violence center, provided this commentary:
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