Posted December 16, 2013

Report: Jovan Belcher’s body exhumed for brain examination

NFL
Jovan Belcher (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Jovan Belcher’s friends said he’d suffered multiple concussions. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The body of Jovan Belcher, who killed the mother of his child and then took his own life on Dec. 1, 2012, was exhumed at his family’s request from a Bay Shore, N.Y., cemetery on Long Island (where Belcher was from), Dirk Vandever, an attorney working with the Belcher family, told Sam Mellinger of The Kansas City Star.

This is believed to be the first exhumation of a former NFL player.

Belcher shot longtime girlfriend Kasandra Perkins nine times at the home they shared in Kansas City before he shot himself in the head at the Chiefs’ practice facility.

“If his brain had been examined [when he died], we’d have a better understanding of why he did what he did,” said Bennet Omalu, who is credited with discovering the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and was featured in the “League of Denial” documentary. “We would have a better understanding about concussions and playing football, and we would advance the understanding of the science of all of this.”

Read an except from the book League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions, and the Battle for Truth

CTE, a degenerative disease caused by repeated blows to the head, has been linked to depression, dementia, confusion, memory loss, aggression and sometimes suicide.

Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy has found the disease in 45 of the 46 former NFL players it has studied.

Belcher played four seasons for the Chiefs and didn’t have any documented history of concussions. But his friends told Bleacher Report last month that Belcher had suffered multiple concussions and had become unpredictable and irritable in the months leading up to the murder-suicide.

Omalu, who discovered CTE in an autopsy of former Steelers and Chiefs center Mike Webster and is the chief medical examiner of San Joaquin County in California, said he “would bet one month’s salary that [Belcher] had CTE,” and that the local medical examiner should have performed a test for it.


11 comments
AcrossfromRock
AcrossfromRock

I assume that if he shot the woman who loved him 9 times, they won't find a brain to analyze.

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

So they have to use the concussion justification excuse instead of some guy going off and killing? WHY can't we examine the brains of the kids who shot their teachers and classmates? maybe they are concussed too

Yeah I Said It So What?
Yeah I Said It So What?

The lack of quality of not only spelling and syntax but overall content has dropped off the map since CNNSI downgraded to the hacks from Bleacher Report.  Since the swap out/merger/coup d'etat' or whatever happened to the old CNNSI guard, the quality of storylines has gone south. 


Writers with authentic journalism skills have vaporized.  Research the credentials of the vast majority of string writers and you'll see for yourself.  Many, many "journalists" are a mixture of part-time Clark Kent wannabes grabbing a work-at-home buck or two via PayPal without investing any real effort, thought, or pride into what they place their name and reputation onto.    


"Belcher shot longtime girlfriend Kasandra Perkins nine times at the home they shared in Kansas City before he killed himself in the head at the Chiefs’ practice facility."

"Killed himself in the head..."  "Killed himself...IN THE HEAD?   Authored for a national publication? 

What happened to proofing or editorial review before going final?  As ESPN would say "C'Mon Man!"

  

The only answers that can be given will be excuses instead of reasons.  No matter.  Looking at the number of whacked out articles since "The Merger" there obviously is no accountability for pumping out consistently poor penmanship.  As one can easily read, being articulate is not a requirement here.


Whether negligent, flat out lazy, or simply stupid, the bad writing that goes on now is a d#amned pathetic shame.  It's pitiful.  Only the fake deaf interpreter from Africa is worse.  But at least he confessed to being schizophrenic. These bums barf out this garbage and still claim to be literate.

DEJ1948
DEJ1948

Don't worry too much about writers being unable to write.  It's endemic.  If you could invent a spell check equivalent for grammar, you could make millions, especially if you charged by the error.  I don't worry as much about the writers as aI do the editors who are either too lazy to do their jobs or don't have the first clue how to write either.


With respect to the story itself, if they do find evidence of CTE in Belcher's brain and he has no documented history of concussions, the NFL's problems have just increased about tenfold.

TiredOfCliches
TiredOfCliches

I didn't know he "killed himself in the head"...

PWINGS
PWINGS

"....Belcher played four seasons for the Chiefs and didn’t have any documented history of concussions."

If anyone thinks that the NFL or major colleges for that matter is keeping an objective, documented history of concussions, I have three words to say to you: 

"Pull my finger!"

nyhoukcdal
nyhoukcdal

@DEJ1948 You should worry about the writers.  Who do you think eventually become editors?

PWINGS
PWINGS

@DEJ1948    "....With respect to the story itself, if they do find evidence of CTE in Belcher's brain and he has no documented history of concussions, the NFL's problems have just increased about tenfold."

You're right. The problem here is that the teams' physicians are team employees just as the trainers and coaches are. So why would they keep such documented injury records? So those records could be subpoenaed in a criminal liability case? That would be like thieves keeping records of all the property they'd stolen. Sooner or later, the feds are going to step in and OSHA is going to treat these injuries as workplace related accidents. Then watch the fun!

NoQNoSuperBowl
NoQNoSuperBowl

@TiredOfCliches I had to read it three times before I could believe someone actually wrote such a thing. Sixth graders must be on the weekend crew at SI.

kdme1
kdme1

@NoQNoSuperBowl @TiredOfCliches It's not just this article, almost every story posted by SI these days has grammatical errors that make you shake your head.  We're not reading The Economist here but how hard can it be to get someone to proof read?