Yesterday morning, (12/1/2012) the NFL Football world woke up to some very shocking and very tragic news coming out from from Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend — the mother of his 3-month old daughter, multiple times Saturday morning, drove about five miles from their home to the team’s practice facility near Arrowhead Stadium and killed himself in front of Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli, as stated from the Kansas City Police. The Kansas City Star reports that Belcher was in an argument with his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, who is a student at a local community college, early in the morning and shot her shortly after some time around 8am cst. The truly sad element in all of this is their daughter, who was just born on Sept 11th this year, is now without her parents.
However, this event really does hit close to home when it comes to fans of the WWE. In the late spring/early summer of 2007, the wrestling world was shocked when we were presented with the news of the death of former World Heavyweight Champion, Chris Benoit, his wife Nancy and son Daniel. Monday Night Raw held a tribute show for Benoit regarding the tragedy and WWE even cancelled Raw that night for fans to grieve. However, the next day, as more information became public, we learned that it was actually Benoit who murdered Nancy and Daniel and shortly after took his own life. Once this information was known, Chris Benoit was never mentioned by the WWE ever again.
As a fan of not only pro wrestling, but also Benoit, the way how this was handled by the WWE was a bit uncomfortable. To just turn a blind eye to a situation that was blatantly in our faces on a day to day basis is not something that you should expect all of your fan base to follow suit with. There were still many unanswered questions that we needed closure with and a full understanding, but this was something that we were not getting. I understand that the WWE wanted to make sure that they did not have their hands in such a situation, but you cannot isolate yourself from a tragedy that had you directly involved as you are his employer. Thank goodness wrestling fans were able to come together during this and be able to discuss among themselves of what happened and how they really feel.
The NFL however is handling this situation in a very mature and very responsible manner as they are not afraid to talk about about tackle this issue. In watching NFL Sunday Countdown, there were many segments of the show where they were talking about Jovan and the effects that this has on not only the families and organization, but the fans as well. This forum is what is needed for the fans, so we can understand the overall picture and most importantly gain a step closer in the right direction for closure.
Kudos to the NFL for handling this in a responsible manner. I just wish as a professional wrestling fan, I can say the same thing about the WWE and the Benoit tragedy.
Maurice D. Proffit is a Writer for Rant Sports