This morning, Kasandra Perkins, a 22 year-old mother of a three month-old baby girl, was shot and killed by her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher. She was murdered at the Chief’s practice facility in front of her mother. He then apparently went to Arrowhead Stadium, spoke with the Chiefs’ head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli thanked them for their support then shot himself in the head.
Don’t worry though, the 1pm game tomorrow against the Carolina Panthers will be played as scheduled. After all, it’s only a little domestic violence that resulted in a murder. The Chiefs did put out a statement from the organization’s Chairman & CEO Clark Hunt:
“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.”
Then the NFL also released a statement:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Chiefs and the families and friends of those who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy. We have connected the Chiefs with our national team of professional counselors to support both the team and the families of those affected. We will continue to provide assistance in any way that we can.”
Notice that neither the Chiefs nor the NFL use the word “murder,” instead, it’s a “terrible tragedy.”
What if the murder was between two players. Would that be enough to cancel the game? Is it different because domestic violence is considered a private matter?
Back in October, which is designated as National Domestic Violence Month, women from around the country urged the NFL to wear purple as a way to acknowledge the scourge of domestic violence in our nation. Proponents had a good point. That same month is also designated Breast Cancer Awareness month and the NFL participated in building awareness through their NFL PINK campaign:
“Throughout October, NFL games will feature players, coaches and referees wearing pink game apparel, on-field pink ribbon stencils, special game balls and pink coins – all to help raise awareness for this important campaign.”
I’ve said it before, domestic violence is ugly and no one wants to own it. It is committed by people we know, often people we love. Breast cancer is the result of a non-human affliction, an easier enemy to fight a public war against. In truth, domestic violence affects more women than breast cancer:
- 1 in 8 U.S. women (just under 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime (source: breastcancer.org)
- 1 in 4 (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime (source: Centers for Disease Control)
When are we going to recognize the epidemic of domestic violence? Why not now? Putting pressure on NFL advertisers would make a statement to the Chiefs and the NFL that the murder of a young woman on their property is not acceptable and playing a scheduled game instead of postponing it out of respect is the real tragedy.
Being organized will be the key to making a statement fast and quick (the game is tomorrow). One of the NFL’s biggest sponsors is Tide. Tide has been a supporter of women and we believe they could more effectively talk to the executives in charge at the NFL. It’s time for tweets and Facebook posts to begin and to continue. Let’s get #nflmurder to trend on twitter.
Here’s a suggested tweet/post:
@Tide A woman was murdered on Chiefs’ property. The game will be played on Sun as scheduled. Pull your support of the NFL & stand with women
Here’s other contact info: @Tide, @ProcterGamble, Facebook.com/Tide, Facebook.com/Proctergamble
GIRLFRIENDS, let’s make a difference. Let’s do it for Kasandra Perkins, her mother who witnessed her murder and all the mothers that lose daughters to an affliction that people want to ignore. Every 9 seconds in the U.S. a woman is assaulted. Time to make the pain stop.