The Kansas City Chiefs game today included a moment of silence for all victims of domestic violence after linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend before turning a gun on himself Saturday.
The Chiefs-Carolina Panthers game at Arrowhead Stadium, where Belcher died just after 8 a.m. yesterday as team staff attempted to intervene, went ahead on time.
The Chiefs won 27-21 for their second victory in 12 games.
The tribute to victims of domestic violence did not include names, a sensitive move given that Belcher was a murderer as much as he was a football player.
"The entire Chiefs family is deeply saddened by today's events, and our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy, thoughts and prayers for the families and friends affected by this unthinkable tragedy," a statement issued Saturday from Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt read.
Belcher, 25, killed his 22-year-old girlfriend Kasandra Perkins before committing suicide.
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The couple argued frequently, and Saturday's tragedy unfolded after Perkins stayed out late with friends after a Trey Songz concert.
In emails to Deadspin, a friend said Belcher was dazed and suffering from short-term memory loss after the last Chiefs game, and used alcohol and prescription drugs heavily.
"He could not remember the events that had taken place prior to that game or what he had said to get Kasi to return home," the friend wrote.
Perkins had given birth to the couple's first child, a girl, three months earlier, the Kansas City Star reported.
Family members are now caring for the girl, who was unhurt in the violence.
“She was a very good person; she was fun to be around and very loving,” friend Brianne York,told the Star. “I don’t know why he’d want to hurt her like that."
The Chiefs gathered on Saturday at Arrowhead, as they normally do during the season.
Running back Jamal Charles said he "crumbled inside when I first heard the news," ESPN reported.
Fellow defensive player Tamba Hali said he was "devastated" by the shooting.
Quarterback Brady Quinn said players are asking themselves what more the could have done to prevent the event.
They also had to come to grips with the fact Belcher killed himself as head coach Romeo Crennel and GM Scott Pioli watched.
They, along with linebackers coach Gary Gibbs, met Belcher in the parking lot at Arrowhead hoping to prevent further violence.
Belcher thanked them for giving him a chance, then turned and killed himself.
“It was obviously tough for coach to have to tell us that,” Quinn told the Star. “He really wasn’t able to finish talking to us. We got together and prayed and then we moved on.”
In a bizarre twist, a member of the Cleveland Browns groundskeeping staff also committed suicide at that team's stadium on Saturday, The Associated Press reported.
The Browns are in California to play the Oakland Raiders.
"This is a terrible tragedy," a statement from the Browns said. "He will be missed by everyone in the Cleveland Browns organization."
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