JAY DAVIS: The man showed have been seen as the monster he was
There was human tragedy in Kansas City early Saturday morning when Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then himself.
While we don’t know what goes on in the hearts and heads of men, we do know this; life is a precious commodity and lives should not be ended by butchery.
What bothers me about the whole incident is the way it was covered by the sporting press. What happened, essentially, is a man took a gun and murdered his girlfriend and then did the cowardly act of killing himself. He ruined the lives of two families. He left a three-month-old daughter an orphan.
It seemed like the world was making Belcher a victim in early reporting. I was watching sports news and the sports reporters were giving accounts based on what they knew. And what they knew was a football player. Everything I heard was about Belcher. Very little was said about Kasandra Perkins or their child.
The sports news accounts were consistent in reporting on Belcher. They talked about what a good guy he was. They talked about him being a hard worker and a good teammate. There were even highlights of his play on the field. There was more than one story about this kid who grew up poor, went to a small college and fought his way to the NFL before this tragedy struck.
This tragedy did not strike Belcher. He was the cause of the tragedy.
Some of the tame reporting can be blamed on the sports society itself. The reported had to be done and it had to be done in time for NFL Sunday. It had to be dissected and it had to be talked about.
There will be more stories written as police learn more about what happened. Let’s hope these stories come out treating the man as a monster. There is a 22-year-old woman dead. There is a baby who will have to grow up without parents. There are two families grieving. And there are bosses who have to live with the vision of watching a young man die right in front of them. From co-workers to employers to family, there are people having to reevaluate everything they thought they knew about a man, and about themselves.
There is heartache in every direction. Belcher was not a victim in any of this. He was the monster who created it all.