You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.


Kansas City Chiefs’ moment of silence should lead to awareness about domestic violence

The Kansas City Chiefs took an important first step in an impossible situation Sunday by holding a moment of silence at a game the day after the murder-suicide committed by linebacker Jovan Belcher. The silence at Arrowhead Stadium wasn’t to memorialize Belcher, but to remember all victims of domestic violence. On Saturday, Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, then shot himself at the Chiefs practice facility in the presence of coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli. The incident was a stark illustration of the toll of domestic violence; Belcher’s act also orphaned the 3-month-old daughter he had with Perkins.

The Chiefs’ — and the NFL’s — recognition of the problem shouldn’t end with Sunday’s moment of silence.

Continue reading below

The next step should be a domestic violence public service campaign by the National Football League. There is an obvious precedent; the league’s October breast cancer awareness campaign, marked by its pink apparel for players, coaches, and fans, focused attention on a disease with which one-eighth of women will be diagnosed at some point in their lifetimes. Yet 1 in 3 women will experience physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes, according to federal data. The NFL could be a potent messenger on their behalf.

The league could also make it dramatically clear to players that domestic abuse will cost them much more on the field. The Dallas Morning News reported this year that Commissioner Roger Goodell has issued 10 one-game suspensions for players in connection with domestic violence since 2006. Perhaps the four-game suspensions currently meted out for performance-enhancing drugs would be a more serious wake-up call. The Chiefs’ moment of silence should result in a loud cry for awareness from the NFL itself.

Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of