At least seven NFL players have already surrendered their personal guns in response to the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chief’s linebacker Javon Belcher
and his girlfriend earlier this month, Sports Illustrated writer Peter King claimed during a weekend broadcast.
“I’ve been told that in the last seven days, at least seven players around the league have gone to their teams’ security officers to turn in the firearms that they possess from their homes,” King said on Sunday’s edition of “Football Night in America.”
“I’m also told that one of these players had multiple firearms, as Jovan Belcher did -- he had eight.” said King. “He told his security officer, ‘I don’t trust myself with these guns in the house. Please take them away.’”
King’s comments followed a USA Today report on Friday that an estimated 75 percent of NFL players own guns
, a much higher percentage than the general public. In comparison, 40 to 50 percent of U.S. households have a gun according to the National Rifle Association.
Belcher, 25, shot to death Kasandra Perkins, 22, the mother of his 3-month-old child, in his home on Dec. 1 before driving out to Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium and killing himself in front of Chiefs Coach Romeo Crennel and General Manager Scott Pioli.
The deaths were preceded by months of substance abuse, in the form of alcohol with prescription pain-relievers, which Belcher reportedly
took between games to cope with football-related traumas.
The murder-suicide evolved into a political story when sportscaster Bob Costas offered his opinion critical of gun control
as it related to the tragedy to a national audience during an “NBC Sunday Night Football” half-time show.
“I do not want to see the Second Amendment repealed. I don’t want to see a prohibition on people owning guns. People should be able to own guns for their own protection,” Costas later said while defending and clarifying his stance. “But there’s a proliferation of guns in this country. The access to guns is too easy in some cases.”
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