At least seven NFL players have turned their guns into their respective team’s security following the murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher earlier this month, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King reported on NBC’s “Football Night in America” on Sunday.
According to the report, at least one player handed over multiple firearms, telling his team’s personnel that he didn’t trust himself with the guns.
Belcher, 25, shot his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins, at their Kansas City home on Dec. 1, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium, where he shot himself in the head in front of Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel, police said.
Belcher and Perkins had a 3-month-old daughter, Zoey.
Kansas City police Sgt. Marisa Barnes said last Monday that firearms found at the couple’s home were legally registered to Belcher. It is unknown how many guns were found.
“The majority of people own them, you know, especially in the places that they’re legal,” Chiefs linebacker Brandon Siler said last week. “People don’t go out and shoot other people. Most of the time they’re for self-defense or sport. Yeah, people own guns, but did you ever hear him say anything about harming someone with a gun? No.”
Chiefs defensive tackle Shaun Smith bristled when asked about a “gun culture” in professional sports, and said players that carry them usually do so for protection.
“Just because we’re in the NFL, that doesn’t make us no different,” he said last week. “You never know when someone would try to rob you or whatever. … I’ve worked hard to get where I am. I’ll be damned if I’d let someone just take it away from me, period.”