Issue 6- December 14, 2012
People who appear to have the perfect life can lose everything in an instant. Feeling empty can change a person, making them into someone that the ones closest to them don’t even recognize.
On Dec. 1, Chiefs’ linebacker Jovan Belcher left his child in her grandmother’s care by taking his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins’, life as well as his own. The NFL will financially support his three-month-old daughter, Zoey.
Belcher’s agent, Joe Linta, could never have imagined the scene that played out on Saturday.
“Jovan was a happy, proud father, with pictures of his baby on his Facebook page. This is shocking. Something went crazy wrong, and we’ll probably never know what it is. … Never until four hours ago did I think Jovan was anything but a model citizen. He came to my youth clinics in the off-season and worked with kids. He was a gracious, unselfish, hardworking, dedicated kid,” Linta said. “I never take on anyone as a client I wouldn’t be proud to take home and spend time with my wife and kids. Jovan was one of those type of people. There’s no word for this other than shocking. That’s all I can think of.”
This tragedy is something that can make everyone think about how they can reach out to others.
“It’s hard mostly because I keep thinking about what I could have done to stop this. And then, we’re all thinking about his daughter, three or four months old and without a parent,” Chiefs’ quarterback Brady Quinn said.
During the game following this traumatic day, the stadium respected the family during a moment of silence, and opposing teammates knelt side-by-side to pray for all those involved.
The Perkins family appreciates prayer and privacy during this trial.
“Our hearts are truly broken, for Kasi was a beloved daughter, granddaughter, sister, mother, cousin and friend,” the Perkins family said. “Our wish is for Kasi to be remembered for the love she shared with us all. Kasi will be truly missed.”
Fellow athletes showed support through Twitter and Facebook, promising prayers for peace.
“Wow, unbelievable tragedy. My prayers go out to the entire Chiefs’ organization and their families. … John 16:33- ‘I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world.’ I pray that the families affected by the tragedy in Kansas City can find peace during this difficult time,” Jets’ quarterback Tim Tebow said. “Keeping the child and the girlfriend’s family in my prayers as well. So sad.”
This tragedy has not destroyed the Chiefs, or the NFL; it has strengthened them. Maybe this trial can teach us, too. Truly care about each other. You never know what someone is going through, or if they could break in an instant.
“As players and teammates, we need to do a better job of reaching out to people and trying to be more involved and more invested in their lives. You never really know what’s going on in someone’s life, what they’re struggling with or what they’re battling through,” Quinn said.