Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins because there was a question about their three-month-old child’s paternity, The New York Post is reporting.
Belcher’s mother Cheryl Sheperd was in the couple’s home on December 1 when Belcher shot Perkins nine times, before driving to a stadium and killing himself. The Post claims his mother told police the couple had been fighting about whether he was the child’s biological father before the murder-suicide.
The Post reported that the young couple’s relationship was “rocky”and that the Chiefs had been providing them with “counseling for relationship and financial issues.” My question now is whether their relationship had any violence before and, if so, what, if any, guidance the counseling provided if so. You can’t “counsel” a person not to physically abuse you.
It has been extremely frustrating in the wake of Perkins’ death to hear some in the media make excuses for Belcher’s behavior. A person does not just snap and shoot their girlfriend nine times and then kill himself after an argument; there is a larger narrative here and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a pattern of violence in their relationship as well. We know Belcher had a past history of violence — he punched a window and got a gash in his arm when he was “upset with a girl” as a student at the University of Maine.
There were suggestions he’d sustained too much head trauma as a football player or perhaps he had a substance abuse problem. Others wondered if he had been angry because Perkins had stayed out late at a Trey Songz concert the night before. I hope the narrative does not now become “he snapped because he didn’t think he was the father,” as if that’s a viable excuse. As feminist writer Jessica Valenti wrote in The Nation, a police officier even had the gall to suggest Belcher committed suicide after her murdered his girlfriend because “he cared about her … I don’t think he could live with himself.” That’s the most fucked up definition of “caring for someone” that I’ve ever heard.
Billions of men across the world love a woman; untold numbers of those men might not believe they are the father. All of these men do not kill the child’s mother. It’s a murderer and an abuser who does that.
Contact the author of this post at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter.