Jovan Belcher murder/suicide report revives debate over concussions and mental illness

The alleged murder/suicide involving Kansas City Chief Jovan Belcher earlier today has reignited the debate over traumatic head injuries and their possible link to suicides and violent behavior.

Though details are few at this point, Belcher’s story has echoes of that of professional wrestler Chris Benoit, who killed his wife and son in 2007 before taking his own life. Many have also suggested a link between the suicides of the NFL’s Andre Waters and Terry Long and unreported concussions sustained on the field.

While some are nearly certain head injuries had some contribution to the incident, others call foul on the theory.

Kansas City Star sports columnist Sam Mellinger observes that murder/suicides are a much more common occurrence than this high-profile case would lead one to suspect.

Whatever the long-term impact on football, word is that tomorrow’s scheduled game between the Chiefs and Panthers will go on.

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