Jovan Belcher, a reserve linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, committed suicide this morning in the parking lot of Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs’ home facility.
Kansas City police spokesman said Belcher killed himself following an altercation at his girlfriend’s house that resulted in her being shot several times.
Before turning the gun on himself, the player thanked Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel for all they had done for him, Snapp said.
Authorities received a call Saturday morning from a woman who said her daughter had been shot multiple times at a residence about five miles away from the Arrowhead complex. Snapp said a call was then received from the Chiefs’ facility.
Upon arriving, Snapp said that police witnessed a black male in a car with a handgun to his head talking to two Chiefs officials. That’s when police heard a gunshot. Arrowhead Stadium has been lockdown since about 8 a.m.
“We can confirm that there was an incident at Arrowhead earlier this morning,” the Chiefs said in a statement. “We are cooperating with authorities in their investigation.”
Kansas City is scheduled to host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The league has informed the Panthers to travel as scheduled because the game is going on as scheduled.
Actually, the NFL is still debating whether to play the game or not:
The Chiefs (1-10) are scheduled to play at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday at noon CT, against the Carolina Panthers (3-8). One league source in the NFL office said officials were still trying to decide Saturday morning whether the game will be played on Sunday as scheduled. He said his guess was that the game would not be postponed or canceled, due to the complications of when to re-schedule the game in the remaining weeks of the season, or how a cancellation might affect the other 30 teams in the league in terms of competitive fairness.
“There is a ripple effect,” the source said. “It’s not simply two teams affected here. I’m not sure in recent history we’ve ever just canceled a game. But what’s under consideration are all the factors involved if they don’t play, when do they play? It’s a pretty tight schedule to try and make a game up at some later point. These things have to be thought through. Nobody wants to play a football game right now if you’re a Kansas City Chief, but what does that do to the other 30 teams? It gets a little complicated from a schedule standpoint and a competitive standpoint.
The league source said the NFL did not feel it was mandatory to make a decison in regards to the game before Carolina boarded its mid-day flight to Kansas City. “If the Panthers have to fly back from Kansas City without having played the game, it’s not that big of an issue to deal with,” the source said. “We’d rather take the time to think through all the ramifications.”
While all NFL players pride themselves on their professionalism, it is hard to imagine how Chiefs players will be able to make a competitive game of the contest tomorrow. But it is equally hard to see how the NFL could reschedule the game for later in the week, especially since the Chiefs have a game next Sunday as well and the competition would suffer if the team only had a couple of days preparation.
It seems probable that in the interest of the 30 other NFL teams, the show will go on at Arrowhead tomorrow.