By now, almost the entire country (and probably a lot of the world) knows about the events concerning Jovan Belcher and his murder/suicide tirade on Saturday morning. His jersey was hung up at Arrowhead Stadium (where his team, the KC Chiefs went ahead and played their scheduled game), a moment of silence was observed for him, and he was remembered as a great teammate and person. A murderer playing in the NFL is nothing new, but it seems crazy to me how much attention this man is getting and what’s being left unsaid by the majority of commentators. Not many people are talking about the effects of performance enhancing drugs, constant blows to the head, and prescription drugs. Even less are talking about the victims. What about the coach and the two men that were with him who had to watch this man selfishly blow his head off? What about the three month old baby who not only has to grow up without parents, but reportedly was in the house when her father killed her mother? What about the hundreds of thousands of young boys who looked up to Belcher? Most importantly, what about the 22 year old murder victim, Kasandra Perkins?
Kasandra, or Kasi as her friends called her, grew up in Texas where she graduated high school and hoped to one day become a teacher. Her cousin was dating a player on the Kansas City Chiefs and invited her out to visit. While in Kansas City, she attended a holiday dinner for the Chiefs and their loved ones. She was introduced to Jovan Belcher and later on, when the group went to the movies, Belcher and Perkins sat next to each other. It wasn’t long before they were an item. Within months, the two were madly in love and Perkins moved to Kansas to be with Belcher.
Perkins quickly made friends with the wives and girlfriends of other Chiefs players, along with a woman who she met at community college, where she was going to eventually become a teacher. She and a number of other women would go out to lunches and movies and talk about their experiences. Perkins would talk about her future aspiration and how she longed for a child. These women describe the relationship between Perkins and Belcher as normal; they were in love, but sometimes they would have fights. Everyone knew Belcher had guns and liked to shoot, but since he didn’t seem to be a violent man no one thought twice.
Dealing with pregnancy and attending college, Perkins also spent time volunteering for Chiefs’ Women’s Organization, a community charity set up by the Chiefs. Days before the incident, Perkins told her best friend that despite a recent rough patch, things were going better than ever with Belcher. With a good relationship, great friends, a newborn baby, and an education in progress, Perkins was an independent happy woman.
She was also a busy woman, which is why she attended a concert on Friday night with a few of her friends. When she returned home at around one AM, it is reported that she and Belcher argued. Belcher, like many men do, was trying to control (what he considered) his woman. Despite the fact that Belcher got drunk almost every night, it was unacceptable to him that Perkins should stay out late when they had a baby at home. The argument led nowhere and they went to bed.
Hours later the three women in the house, Kasandra, Belcher’s mother, and the child, had their lives changed forever. Belcher shot Perkins numerous times, killing her, then drove to the Chiefs facility and killed himself.
Jovan Belcher may have been a great man. Had he never played football, maybe he would have been an amazing husband and father. It’s probable that alcohol, drugs, and head injuries played a part in him snapping. None of this means Kasandra Perkins’ life and tragic death should fall by the wayside. Every single day dozens of women are beaten, raped, and/or killed by the hands of loved ones. Very rarely do any of those get attention. The only reason why this case is getting attention is because of the fame of Jovan Belcher. This should be used as an opportunity to talk about the victim, to talk about all victims. Or, how about starting a conversation about the other murderers or rapists or domestic abusers currently playing in the NFL.
I don’t even know what to say about this.