Skip to main content

Strong reactions on football player's murder-suicide

December 4, 2012 -- Updated 1542 GMT (2342 HKT)
Jovan Belcher had advanced from an undrafted free agent linebacker to NFL starter for the Kansas City Chiefs and played in every game since 2009. On Saturday, December 1, 2012, the 25-year-old star allegedly killed his girlfriend, then drove to the Chiefs' practice facility and took his own life. After the tragedy, teammate Tony Moeaki tweeted, "One of everyone's favorite teammates including one of mine." Here's a look at his career with the Chiefs and tragic end: Jovan Belcher had advanced from an undrafted free agent linebacker to NFL starter for the Kansas City Chiefs and played in every game since 2009. On Saturday, December 1, 2012, the 25-year-old star allegedly killed his girlfriend, then drove to the Chiefs' practice facility and took his own life. After the tragedy, teammate Tony Moeaki tweeted, "One of everyone's favorite teammates including one of mine." Here's a look at his career with the Chiefs and tragic end:
HIDE CAPTION
'One of everyone's favorite teammates'
'One of everyone's favorite teammates'
'One of everyone's favorite teammates'
'One of everyone's favorite teammates'
'One of everyone's favorite teammates'
'One of everyone's favorite teammates'
'One of everyone's favorite teammates'
'One of everyone's favorite teammates'
'One of everyone's favorite teammates'
'One of everyone's favorite teammates'
'One of everyone's favorite teammates'
'One of everyone's favorite teammates'
'One of everyone's favorite teammates'
'One of everyone's favorite teammates'
'One of everyone's favorite teammates'
'One of everyone's favorite teammates'
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A CNN.com op-ed by Kevin Powell about Jovan Belcher generated a lot of reactions
  • On Tuesday, Powell will do a live chat on Twitter from 12:30 to 1 p.m. ET on @CNNOpinion
  • Powell addresses some of the reader reactions about violence, manhood and depression
  • What do you think of Belcher's murder and suicide? Join @CNNOpinion for live chat

(CNN) -- Readers reacted strongly to a Monday op-ed on CNN.com about Jovan Belcher, the Kansas City Chiefs football player who murdered his girlfriend and then committed suicide. The piece was written by Kevin Powell, an activist, public speaker, and writer, and discussed how the tragedy related to depression and what Powell called "very warped definitions of manhood." It stirred a lot of conversation, including over 1,500 comments and numerous tweets.

On Tuesday, Powell will host a live Twitter chat on @CNNOpinion from 12:30 to1 p.m. ET to discuss issues such as domestic violence, depression, gun violence, and the definition of manhood. Please ask questions in advance and join him for the chat by using the hashtag #JovanBelcher and mentioning @CNNOpinion.

Here, Powell addresses some of the readers' reactions that he has already received.

As men, we must begin to think about manhood in a very different kind of way. I've gotten two distinct responses to my article so far. The first batch is from men who agree that we've got to go in a different direction -- it's unhealthy to squash our true feelings about issues and to never talk. Some men actually admitted to me in very personal and private e-mails that they are hurting right this very minute.

Kevin Powell
Kevin Powell

Then there were the angry messages from very angry men, accusing me of being anti-men, of male-bashing, of being on the side of women, of not being willing to let a man be a man. Well, my personal definition of manhood is that it should be rooted in self-love and respect for all people, including women. We should view women and girls as the equals of men and boys. And the foundation of manhood needs to be about peace and nonviolence and communication, not anger, hatred, violence and ugliness.

chippy1 comments: If he was just a blue collar worker with access to a gun, killed his girlfriend then himself, this story would be back with the comics. Since he was a "great" football player the whole planet goes into a tailspin, just making his victim a footnote. This demonstrates the American attitude towards its "idols," and the American persona, the more violent and bloody and scandal prone, the better.

Kasandra Perkins is the victim's name. Let us always say the names of women who are the victims of violence. I would also add it does not matter whether the man is famous, a professional athlete, or someone nobody has ever heard of. Violence against women is unacceptable. However, when it involves a high-profile individual like Belcher, perhaps the tragedy can be a teachable moment so that more people will pay attention to domestic violence. Otherwise Kasandra Perkins' death will truly be in vain.

Become a fan of CNNOpinion
Stay up to date on the latest opinion, analysis and conversations through social media. Join us at Facebook/CNNOpinion and follow us @CNNOpinion on Twitter. We welcome your ideas and comments.



Mattias Von Bismark comments: I thank you for this comment. It's a hard thing to say. It subjects you to this slander that you are, somehow, supporting the murder of that poor woman. It takes true courage and strength of character to stand up and say, "Yes, what this man did was awful, but there was something at the root of this tragedy which was unaddressed. If this man had received help, his life and the life of the poor woman would have been saved." Those who have never dealt with mental illness need to keep silent on this subject. As we have seen above, they have nothing helpful to add, and denigrate the serious discussion we should all be having.

Mattias, I agree with you. Sadly, many of us do not want to deal with contexts for behaviors or situations. We are quick to name-call and judge and write someone off. The fact is that violence is normal in our country. One-fourth of American women have experienced some form of violence at the hands of men.

I always challenge men to talk with their mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunties, female cousins, or their wives or girlfriends, and they would be surprised to find out how many women have been assaulted in some way at some point in their lives. Just read your local papers, the crime reports, and note the number of attacks on women. Dissing Jovan Belcher may make you feel good in the short term. But it does nothing to stop this kind of violence.

Dana, I understand completely your feelings. Do I condemn violence? Absolutely. But am I in position to determine who is going to heaven or hell? No. I am Christian. I just think we've got to be careful of passing judgment on anyone at any given time.

Kyle Jarvis Chan Wu comments: I get the idea that you are actually sticking up for someone who murdered his wife. He shot her. That is a fact. I don't need to stand in the shoes of someone who would act violently against a woman. There is a difference between someone who takes their own life to depression and someone who goes on a killing spree ending with their own life. One person needs help, the other person doesn't deserve a marker on their grave.

Kyle, that is absolutely untrue. I do not condone violence, and I hope for peace and love toward all. But as someone who has overcome personal challenges in grappling with violence and anger, I know that there are some serious issues around manhood and mental illness that we are not fully addressing as a nation. We need to start talking about how to help those in need.

Desiree, that is why we must not forget Kasandra Perkins, Jovan Belcher's girlfriend. I'm not a woman but I can certainly empathize with what women and girls deal with every single day of their lives. I can only imagine. Sexism is alive and well, and the fact that Ms. Parker's name is barely mentioned in most media outlets means that there's a lot of work we need to do to change this situation.

AB comments: the entire story is horribly sad, BUT why was there a moment of silence for him? he murdered his child's mother, and then, killed himself, leaving a baby with no mother or father. ... He murdered someone and you are giving him a moment of silence? If that was my daughter, it would make me more than angry if you gave her murderer this.. everyone is saying he was a great guy, well this great guy, did a horrendous crime.

That is incorrect. There was actually a moment of silence by the Kansas City Chiefs for victims of domestic violence, as it should have been. My hope is that the National Football League, as well as other sports leagues, will take the same kind of very visible stance on domestic violence as it has on breast cancer.

Interested in talking with the author, Kevin Powell? Join him for a live chat about his column on Twitter from 12:30 to 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday @CNNOpinion. Tweet your questions or comments by using the hashtag #JovanBelcher and mentioning @CNNOpinion.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Kevin Powell.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
Rick McGahey says Rep. Paul Ryan is signaling his presidential ambitions by appealing to hard core Republican values
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1539 GMT (2339 HKT)
Paul Saffo says current Google Glasses are doomed to become eBay collectibles, but they are only the leading edge of a surge in wearable tech that will change our lives
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1849 GMT (0249 HKT)
Kathleen Blee says the KKK and white power or neo-Nazi groups give haters the purpose and urgency to use violence.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. Henry Waxman say read deep, and you'll see the federal Keystone pipeline report spells out the pipeline is bad news
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1153 GMT (1953 HKT)
Frida Ghitis says President Obama needs to stop making empty threats against Russia and consider other options
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 2129 GMT (0529 HKT)
Peter Bergen and David Sterman say the Kansas Jewish Center killings are part of a string of lethal violence in the U.S. that outstrips al Qaeda-influenced attacks. Why don't we pay more attention?
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1641 GMT (0041 HKT)
Danny Cevallos says families of the passengers on Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 need legal counsel
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
David Frum says Russia is on a rampage of mischief while Western leaders and Western alliances charged with keeping the peace hem and haw
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
Most adults make the mistakes of hitting the snooze button and of checking emails first thing in the morning, writes Mel Robbins
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 1754 GMT (0154 HKT)
David Wheeler says as middle-class careers continue to disappear, we need a monthly cash payment to everyone
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 1155 GMT (1955 HKT)
Democrats need to show more political spine when it comes to the issue of taxes.
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Donna Brazile recalls the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act as four presidents honored the heroes of the movement and Lyndon Johnson, who signed the law
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT)
Elmer Smith remembers Chuck Stone, the legendary journalist from Philadelphia who was known as a thorn in the side of police and an advocate for the little guy
April 13, 2014 -- Updated 1856 GMT (0256 HKT)
Al Franken says Comcast, the nation's largest cable provider, wants to acquire Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable provider. Should we be concerned?
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1522 GMT (2322 HKT)
Philip Cook and Kristin Goss says the Pennsylvania stabbing attack, which caused grave injury -- but not death, carries a lesson on guns for policymakers
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1906 GMT (0306 HKT)
Wikipedia lists 105 football movies, but all too many of them are forgettable, writes Mike Downey
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1432 GMT (2232 HKT)
John Sutter and hundreds of iReporters set out to run marathons after the bombings -- and learned a lot about the culture of running
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
Timothy Stanley says it was cowardly to withdraw the offer of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The university should have done its homework on her narrow views and not made the offer
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1416 GMT (2216 HKT)
Al Awlaki
Almost three years after his death in a 2011 CIA drone strike in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki continues to inspire violent jihadist extremists in the U.S, writes Peter Bergen
April 12, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
David Bianculli says Colbert is a smart, funny interviewer, but ditching his blowhard persona to take over the mainstream late-night role may cost him fans
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1731 GMT (0131 HKT)
Rep. Paul Ryan says the Republican budget places its trust in the people, not in Washington
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 2128 GMT (0528 HKT)
Aaron David Miller says Obama isn't to blame for Kerry's lack of progress in resolving Mideast talks
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 1522 GMT (2322 HKT)
David Weinberger says beyond focusing on the horrors of the attack a year ago, it's worth remembering the lessons it taught about strength, the dangers of idle speculation and Boston's solidarity
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1632 GMT (0032 HKT)
Katherine Newman says the motive for the school stabbing attack in Pennsylvania is not yet known, but research on such rampages turns up similarities in suspects and circumstances
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
Simon Tisdall: Has John Kerry's recent track record left Russia's wily leader ever more convinced of U.S. weakness?
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1640 GMT (0040 HKT)
Mel Robbins says Nate Scimio deserves credit for acting bravely in a frightening attack and shouldn't be criticized for posting a selfie afterward
April 9, 2014 -- Updated 1839 GMT (0239 HKT)
Wendy Townsend says the Rattlesnake Roundup -- where thousands of pounds of snakes are killed and tormented -- is barbaric
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1345 GMT (2145 HKT)
Dr. Mary Mulcahy says doctors who tell their patients the truth risk getting bad ratings from them
April 9, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
Peggy Drexler says the married Rep. McAllister, caught on video making out with a staffer, won't get a pass from voters who elected him as a Christian conservative with family values
April 9, 2014 -- Updated 1143 GMT (1943 HKT)
David Frum says the president has failed to react strongly to crises in Iran, Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela, encouraging others to act out
April 9, 2014 -- Updated 2057 GMT (0457 HKT)
Eric Liu says Paul Ryan gets it very wrong: The U.S.'s problem is not a culture of poverty, it is a culture of wealth that is destroying the American value linking work and reward
April 9, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Frida Ghitis writes: "We are still seeing the world mostly through men's eyes. We are still hearing it explained to us mostly by men."
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1408 GMT (2208 HKT)
Chester Wisniewski says the Heartbleed bug shows how we're all tangled together, relying on each other for Internet security
April 9, 2014 -- Updated 1926 GMT (0326 HKT)
Danny Cevallos says an Ohio school that suspended a little kid for pointing his finger at another kid and pretending to shoot shows the growth in "zero tolerance" policies at school run amok
ADVERTISEMENT