It’s a tragedy that has unfortunately become a trend in football. Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend last weekend shortly before driving to the Arrowhead Complex to commit suicide in front of his head coach. Belcher’s girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, was also the mother of his three-month old daughter, Zoey, who will now be raised in Long Island with Belcher’s mother. Of course, after a tragedy like this, the first question on everyone’s mind is, “How could something like this happen?” Belcher’s story, though devastating, is not too uncommon
in football. He’s actually the sixth NFL player to commit suicide in the last two years alone. Aside from that, the suicide rate for NFL players is six times more than the suicide rate for the nation. It’s been said for quite some time that the head injuries that come with football may be the cause for this. Though Belcher’s injury report is not long, he did suffer a head injury in 2009, and a source did say he suffered short -term memory loss. It’s not farfetched to say that his head injuries could have suppressed the action going on in his brain, causing him to go off the deep end. The problem is football will always have those kinds of violent collisions that make people cringe sometime. It’s a part of the sport, and injury just comes with the territory. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a solution. The NFL needs to seriously look at preventing these kinds of things from happening, and they can start by offering better services to all their players, as well as partly covering medical services to those retired. They also should have an outlet for those players who are feeling depressed, like counseling and suicide prevention, which would be very effective if implemented correctly. The suicide rate is too high in football, and it can’t possibly go ignored any longer. If the NFL doesn’t do anything to try and curb it, the consequences could be dire.