Editor's note: Kevin Powell is an activist, public speaker and author or editor of 11 books, including "Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and the Ghost of Dr. King: Blogs and Essays." E-mail him at email@example.com, or follow him on twitter @kevin_powell
By Kevin Powell, Special to CNN
(CNN) - My cousin Aaron abruptly typed me the news while we were texting back and forth about other matters: a Kansas City Chiefs football player killed his girlfriend, then went to the team's practice facility and committed suicide in front of his head coach and general manager. Left behind was the couple's 3-month-old daughter, who was in another room when her mother was shot multiple times. Like so many Americans, we were stunned.
We would learn later that player was Jovan Belcher, 25-year-old starting linebacker for the Chiefs, a man and an athlete spoken of in the highest regard by everyone from his high school teammates and coaches to his fellow professional football players. They, too, were stunned.
Indeed, what would lead a man who, by all accounts, loved family, friends and football and had overcome great odds to make the National Football League as an undrafted pick out of the University of Maine to take such shocking actions? A man raised by a single mother, he had achieved so much in such a short period that he had widely been considered a great role model for what could be done through hard work, grit and determination.
If it is soooo difficult to be a man, then don't be a man. Just be yourself. I wouldn't care what other people think.
He was nothing but a violent african; drugs; alcohol; overpaid football player; and shot that young lady 9 times; these african males are of a violent nature; just look a the prisons. Gangs; violence; drugs; alcohol; nothing but animals.
Blaming this on his skin color is ridiculous. Also, the fact that you refer to him as "African" shows that you are just a racist. He was an American, whether you acknowledge or like it.
How sad. :-(
This situation is so vast and wide spread although it is because he was a NFL football player that it is front page news. In many areas of the nations whether suburb or urban. Physical and verbal abuse is rampant and is commonplace in many relationships. What depressing is that in an age of so many media outlets, we arent teaching this generation how to reach out when they are involved in abusive relationships or just how to ask for help when they have relationship problems. We teach and accept violence on every aspect of daily life. Its unfortunate for this lost but will it wake up the a society of superficial and vain false imagery of everything is ok; and wake us up and look deeper in the mindsets that society has posted as normal behavior.
Manhood, football & suicide. The fact that in so many places in the U.S. these three things would be tied together at all is, in light of life's big picture, something bizarre and tragically comical in an insular, Obsessive-Compulsive disorder sort of way. How pitiful.
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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