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Sunday, December 2, 2012
Clark Hunt discusses tragedy

By Bill Williamson


The Kansas City Chiefs released a transcript of a media briefing with team owner Clark Hunt on Sunday as he discussed the murder-suicide involving starting linebacker Jovan Belcher and his 22-year-old girlfriend, Kasandra M. Perkins:

Opening statement: “It's been a rough 24 hours for our family and the entire organization. We have so many guys on the team and the coaching staff who are really, really hurting.”

On the state of mind of head coach Romeo Crennel, general manager Scott Pioli and linebackers coach Gary Gibbs: “I spent the evening last night at the team hotel with them. I wanted to be there with the team, with the coaches, to let them know that I love them and that I know what they are going through. Particularly for the guys in the parking lot when Jovan took his life -- I know this has to be incredibly difficult. We have a lot of players that are really struggling, people who have spent countless hours with Jovan for several years, the linebacking group in particular. I just know it is going to be a very difficult day. I told them all we can do in a situation like this is pull together as a family and support each other.”

Where were you yesterday when the incident occurred? Were you in town? “Scott called me from the parking lot shortly after the incident took place, and I was informed at that time. I flew up in the afternoon to be with the team last night.”

On this tragedy compared to other losses suffered by the organization: “I spent a fair amount of time reflecting on the other losses the organization has suffered and no two of them are the same. Yesterday there were two victims; we lost two members of the Chiefs family. Kasandra was part of our Chiefs Women’s Organization and had done things in the community with the CWO group. They have a daughter now, Zoey, who is an orphan, and I just imagine how difficult that is going to be.”

Did the team give any thought to not playing this game? Did you talk to the league about postponing? “I had a number of conversations yesterday with Commissioner [Roger] Goodell, and at the end of the day, I decided to leave it up to Coach Crennel and the team. I asked Romeo to call the captains and ask the captains whether or not they felt we should go through with the game. Of course, the captains had been in conversation with their teammates, and they unanimously believed that the right thing to do was to play the game. So, that's how the decision was made.”

How eerie is this day today? “It's just different. I think you mentioned earlier, there's really nothing you can do to prepare for this. It's tough and, again, I come back to the fact that the guys rally around each other to make it through the day.”

What do you expect from the team today? “Honestly, I don't know. There are not a lot of examples like this that you can point to. I know they'll be out there battling for each other, but beyond that, I really can't say.”