By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
This weekend’s tragic events in Kansas City bring more problems with gun violence in sports. This has been a very big problem, as of late, not only just in the NFL.
Yet, it was Saturday morning’s events that brings guns back up as an issue that needs to be taken care of. As many of you already know, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher became a murderer.
One of his teammates has come out and said Belcher loved guns. He used one of those guns to gun down his 22-year-old girlfriend Kasandra Perkins in his home that he reportedly leased.
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Minutes later, he decided to go to Arrowhead Stadium, where he took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the parking lot.
“The impact that this inconceivable tragedy has had on our hearts is immeasurable. We are overwhelmed with both sadness and confusion,” said Belcher’s cousin, Yamiesse Lawrence, 31, in a statement. He shot himself after walking behind a car to shield his actions.
This was after thanking head coach Romeo Crennel, general manager Scott Pioli, and linebackers coach Gary Gibbs for all that they’ve done for him.
“I was trying to tell him life is not over. Let’s get this worked out,” Crennel said Monday. Belcher’s murder-suicide has shocked not only his teammates but the sports world, as a whole.
Yet, he is the 7th current or former NFL player to commit suicide through a gun since 2010. In July, Tennessee Titans’ O.J. Murdoch took his own life outside of his former high school in Tampa.
Then in May, the NFL was rocked when Junior Seau killed himself in his California home from a gunshot wound to the chest. This suicide attempt was his latest attempt to end his life.
In October 2010, he drove his car off a cliff in his first suicide attempt.
These are different circumstances, but both can’t speak for themselves after deciding to use a weapon. They decided that they didn’t value life anymore and had to end it all.
Unfortunately, Belcher and Seau have become another statistic. There are 10 murder-suicides per week in America and about 1,000-1,500 for the year.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there are more deaths from suicide than accidents, homicides, and war combined. Seau and Belcher will be two of the 34,000 people in the United States that will die from suicide this year.
They also join former NFL players to commit suicide in Jeff Alm, Larry Bethea, Lyle Bigbee, William Dennison Clark, Kurt Crain, Mike Current, Shane Dronett, Dave Duerson, Ray Easterling, Benny Friedman, Clarence Herschberger, Larry Kelley, Terry Long, Kenn McKinley, John Mohardt, Steve Stonebreaker, Jim Tyner, Andre Waters, and Mike Wise. Former NHLer Roman Lyashenko committed suicide in 2003 by hanging.
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Former boxer Arturo Gatti committed suicide in 2009 by gunshot. Former wrestler Chris Benoit committed murder-suicide in 2007 by hanging.
Former MLB pitcher Donnie Ray Moore committed suicide in 1989, Mike Flanagan committed suicide in 2011 by a gunshot to the head, and Hideki Irabu committed suicide by hanging in 2011.
Years ago, former NFL player Rae Lamar Wiggins, who is known as Rae Carruth, decided not to use a gun on himself. But decided to hire a hit man to gun down his girlfriend Cherica Adams, who he was casually dating and was pregnant with his baby.
Carruth hired Van Brett Watkins to kill her by shooting her four times. She would later pass away, but the baby was saved.
Carruth was convicted of conspiracy to commit 1st-degree murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle, and using an instrument to destroy an unborn child. Somehow, he is eligible to be released in October 2018 after the November 1999 shooting.
In January 2010, then Washington Wizards players Gilbert Arenas and Jaravis Crittenton pulled pistols on each other in the locker room on Christmas Eve 2009. The incident came after an argument over a gambling debt.
The team actually changed its name from the Bullets to the Wizards to get away from gun violence several years prior. Arenas reportedly drew his gun on Crittenton first, before he quickly brandished one on Arenas in a standoff at the Verizon Center.
The Wizards said at the time, “We take this situation and the ongoing investigation very seriously. We are continuing to cooperate fully with the proper authorities and the NBA and will have no further comment at this time.”
Both players were suspended for the incident. In August 2011, Crittenton was arrested after being a fugitive for several days after allegedly shooting a woman to death in Atlanta.
Crittenton was reportedly targeting an individual who robbed him in April of that year when he hit 22-year-old Jullian Jones. He has denied involvement in the death.
Unfortunately, teams have no control over the players when they are at home or in the off-season. But if teams can put clauses in contracts, where players can forfeit money over being injured in extracurricular activities, they should put a clause in contracts from here on out banning players from having guns.
This way, it eliminates these sad stories that come out of the sports world far too often. Sports are meant to be fun, and that’s the way it should be.
Not about hearing about who killed themselves, or athletes attempting to kill others.
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