The tragedy involving the Kansas City Chiefs and linebacker Jovan Belcher stirred up a number of emotions and thoughts for me. Would you allow me to editorialize a bit longer than usual in this blog?
We know that after the shooting and killing of his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, Belcher drove to a location near the team’s main campus and took his own life. I felt a profound sadness for the team and others close to Belcher, like his mother and daughter; now left without parents. Then I had concerned for how the story will be told in the media. Let me explain.
One portrait of Belcher emerging in the aftermath of his murder/suicide was as a 25-year-old man who had a history of making adult choices like joining a campus group called Male Athletes Against Violence. Even beyond that, Belcher majored in child development and family relations at the University of Maine.
But, according to one report, the couple had argued over relationship and financial issues for months before the tragic events unfolded. On that Saturday, his mother heard her son say something along the lines of “You can’t talk to me like that” before pulling the trigger.
Here’s my concern about the story.
There is no question Belcher had good behavioral things that could be said about him. The media, society and pundits out there are going to want to emphasize that. They’re going to want to find what it was that made him snap and go from a good man to a common run of the mill criminal thinker who shot his girlfriend and then himself.
Some will want to emphasize that as a pro-athlete, he struggled with entitlement. In so doing, they’re going to miss that being a pro athlete didn’t cause this. Some will want to blame the Chiefs or Pro football being more interested in his production as a football player than they were about him as a person. If they do, they’ll miss that it had nothing to do with his crime. To the NFL’s credit, they will support Belcher’s and Kasandra Perkins’ daughter through college. Then, there are some who will want to play the “concussion card” and look for an outside source as the cause behind his criminal behavior.
This crime didn’t happen suddenly or overnight! Don’t hear me say Belcher planned on murdering Kasandra Perkins and then himself as if he was a murderer his whole life. Also, don’t hear me say this was a moment where he was beside himself and just lost it.
May I say that overtime, Belcher’s criminal act – among other things I haven’t the space to write about in this blog – was more about hiding the way he thought about being superior to others; something we already saw before he killed Kasandra Perkins when he told her, “You can’t talk to me like that.”
I deeply believe the focus shouldn’t be on good behaviors or that some outside source was responsible for his horrific criminal act. What was wrong was really on the inside of Belcher, which obviously, he kept from others. Why does the society we live in never seem to want to go there for the reason behind any criminal or irresponsible behavior?
I think one reason is because we are extremely uncomfortable to think we can’t control what’s going to happen. So if we talk about a man’s good stuff or that there’s some “outside of the man” cause for what happens, then some people think they’ll be alright. That’s sort of like living in a perpetual state of denial while bombs are dropping on us from everywhere.
Here’s a biblical thought about this. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. As one who reckons, he says to you, eat and drink, yet his heart is not with you [but is grudging the cost].” Amplified Bible Proverbs 23:7
That verse shows a modus operandi that’s committed to duplicity and double standards. Double standards promote paranoia because instead of doing unto others as we would have them do unto us, we do unto them before we think they’ll do it to us. That’s one story I see in this tragedy. How sad! Will we (society) ever realize Duplicity and Double Standards = Devastation?