Shocking news came out of Kansas City earlier today when it was announced that Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher was involved in a tragic murder-suicide. Belcher reportedly fatally shot his girlfriend early Saturday morning, got in his car and drove to Arrowhead Stadium, thanked his coach and GM for all they had done for him, then shot himself in the head. Belcher was only 25 years old, his girlfriend only 22. They had a three month old daughter. No motive has been released, although the couple reportedly had a fight shortly before the shooting. This begs the question, why would a young, rich football player that had never really had legal issues and had a seemingly stable home life commit such an atrocity? He could have actually simply been a nutcase, an angry soul who finally had enough with the world. He could have been on steroids and had a moment of “roid rage” just like the eerily similar Chris Benoit incident from a few years back. But this is all just speculation. What I think is the most likely cause is an undiagnosed mental issue and possible concussion issues.
Concussions are obviously a big deal in today’s sports world, with athletes in all major sports suffering the consequences of debilitating brain injuries. Not to long ago, NFL legend Junior Seau committed suicide. Seau never had an official diagnosis for a concussion during his long NFL career. However, his wife is adamant that he had multiple concussions throughout his playing days. Doctors suspect that Seau suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which is a disease that stems from multiple concussions and is a prime cause of depression. As of right now, we do not know if Jovan Belcher was depressed or even suffered from brain injuries, but it is definitely worth looking in to. Concussions and mental illness can bring out the worst in people and it’s not necessarily that persons fault. If anything, the league and medical professionals should at least take that in to consideration.
Mental illness is not just depression though, another possible explanation would be an undiagnosed mental condition such as bipolar disorder or paranoid schizophrenia. Schizophrenics are unstable and if undiagnosed and untreated could definitely commit an atrocity like the Belcher case. Again, this is pure speculation and I do not know what the deal was with Jovan Belcher, but it’s some material to keep in mind. Mental illness is nothing to joke about and is a bigger deal in society than most people realize. Regardless, I feel bad for Belcher and wish him peace and happiness wherever he is now. Until the truth comes out I will consider him innocent until proven guilty and wholeheartedly believe that someone known to be a family man and gentle soul would not do such a thing under clear mind and conscience. Rest in peace Jovan Belcher and Kasandra Perkins, I sincerely hope you are both in a better place. My deepest condolences to those affected by the tragedy and hopefully one day the world will figure out a way to stop something like this from ever happening again.