Kansas City Mayor Sly James was at the Chiefs facility today, and spoke to reporters about the tragedy of Chiefs LB Jovan Belcher killing his girlfriend, then himself.
The Mayor spoke about Chiefs GM Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel, who both were a few feet away from Belcher when he pulled the trigger.
“He’s trying to do his job under probably more adverse circumstances than he’s ever seen in his life,” James said of Pioli via the KC Star. “He knows all the players. He knows that particular player, he’s very emotional.”
James said that it’s a “worst nightmare” situation when someone you know and have had a relationship with in their young career kills themselves.
“You have absolutely no idea of what it’s like to see somebody kill themselves. If you can take your worst nightmare and put somebody you know and love into that situation, and give them a gun and stand three feet away from them and watch them kill themselves, that’s what it is like. It’s unfathomable. Think about your worst nightmare and multiply it by five.”
James says that while Belcher’s situation is tragic, there’s also a chance to learn from it, and try to make things better because of it.
“At some point, we have to get a handle on some of this stuff, and we’re not doing a good job of it. Jovan Belcher’s profile elevates the subject, but there are hundreds of young people who have lost their lives, they’re all tragic, they’re all regrettable. They’re all things that hopefully could be avoided. This one was particularly bad because of the circumstances,” James said.
The game Sunday between the Panthers and Chiefs will go on as planned.
“After discussions between the league office, Head Coach Romeo Crennel and Chiefs team captains, the Chiefs advised the NFL that it will play tomorrow’s game vs. the Carolina Panthers at its originally scheduled time,” read a statement on the Panthers’ official website.