Friends of Kansas City Chief Jovan Belcher say his mental state may have been deteriorated due to a history of head injuries, pain killers, and alcohol abuse.
A person claiming to be close to Jovan Belcher has revealed in a series of e-mails that these issues as well as long-term domestic problems between himself and his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins may have led Belcher to the murder-suicide he committed Saturday morning.
Jovan Belcher killed 22-year-old girlfriend and mother of his child Kasandra Perkins before driving to Arrowhead stadium and turning the gun on himself.
In a series of e-mails to Deadspin, the friend describes: “They have been arguing for quite sometime and had separated 2 weeks ago,” the anonymous friend wrote.
“He had brought her and the baby back home however, they were both arguing on a regular basis. Both of them are/were very young and immature and that combined with other factors led to this tragedy.”
Jovan Belcher’s friend adds that many of their recent arguments focused on Kasandra Perkins failing college classes Belcher paid for and quitting her retail job, as well as telling Belcher that she was leaving him and would find a lawyer to “get as much money as possible” from the football player.
Jovan Belcher may have reacted to all this differently if he wasn’t messed up from booze, meds, and taking shots to the head on the field.
“When it comes to prescription medication it is unclear from my perspective whether it was diagnosed and authorized by the team or not,” the friend wrote.
“However, I know he was under the influence of narcotics for pain and I’m sure the toxicology report will reflect this. However, Jovan drank ALOT. On a nightly basis. This is not a mystery as he did so in public and private.
“When it comes to his concussions; if you review the footage of the Cincinnati game he took a few hits to the head directly [...] he was dazed and was suffering from short term memory loss. 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.”
Jovan Belcher, 25, was also a member of a group which campaigns against violence towards women.
Jovan Belcher – who was raised by his own mother – was part of Male Athletes Against Violence and had pledged to develop deep-held beliefs against attacking females.
Among the promises he would have made is one to “look honestly at my actions in regard to violence and make changes if necessary”.
Belcher would also have taken part in the White Ribbon campaign – those taking part vow to “never to commit, condone nor remain silent about violence against women”.
The 25-year-old linebacker was a member of MAAV whilst studying at the University of Maine where he played football for three years until he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009.
On Saturday his past as an anti-violence campaigner apparently meant little when he shot Kasandra Perkins dead in a row when she came home from an R&B concert the night before.
His mother discovered the body as she was living in the house too and called 911.
Jovan Belcher then drove to his team’s stadium and shot himself dead in front of his coach and general manager.
He and Kasandra Perkins lived together and three months ago had a baby girl but are said to have rowed frequently.
The horrific murder suicide came one day before a Kansas home game against the Carolina Panthers which went ahead as scheduled.
Just a day after the deaths, the Chiefs would take the field against the Carolina Panthers eventually winning their second game of the season 27-21.