- (Photo: Reuters/Dave Kaup)
The Chiefs Panthers game status has been updated and has been confirmed on Saturday afternoon as on. The game was thrown into doubt after Kansas City Chiefs' Jovan Belcher allegedly killed his girlfriend before taking his own life in an apparently suicide outside the Chiefs' stadium. However, the NFL has now confirmed that the game between the Chiefs and the Panthers will go ahead as scheduled despite the tragedy.
The decision to go ahead with the game has immediately been criticized by numerous pundits and professionals.
Michael Silver from Yahoo News has said, "If the NFL wanted to do the right thing for the players, coaches and team employees reeling from this horrible occurrence — not to mention the loved ones of Belcher and, most of all, Kasandra Perkins, the woman he is believed to have murdered — the league should have postponed the game until Monday or canceled it."
It had earlier been reported that Belcher shot his girlfriend dead at a house near the team's Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday morning. Following the killing it is reported that Belcher drove to a part of the Chiefs' main campus before turning the gun on himself and taking his own life.
In one dramatic report, the Kansas City Star has claimed that members of the team's staff tried to stop Belcher from committing any other acts of violence before the player shot and killed himself.
In the aftermath of the killings, other players arrived at the team's facilities but were sent away, with police telling them one of their teammates had shot himself.
The Kansas City Chiefs' Arrowhead practice facility has since been evacuated and is currently been placed on lockdown by police officials.
In other reports, Albert Breer of the NFL Network, allegedly has said that the mother of Belcher's girlfriend called police reporting that her daughter had been shot by the NFL player.
It was reported that police rushed to the Kansas City Chiefs' training facility, finding Belcher in the parking lot with a gun pointed at his own head. As the officer got out of his vehicle the gun went off, and Belcher was pronounced dead soon after.
CBS Sports has reported that the Kansas City Chiefs' general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel were among the team employees in the area at the time of the incident.
Chiefs' players had been asked in the aftermath of the incident to gather at one of the team's facilities to be briefed on the incident and informed of the details of what happened, according to Fox Sports.
The Kansas City Chiefs were scheduled to play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon, but in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy some had touted that it would be called off. However, according to the Charlotte Observer, the NFL quickly asked the Carolina Panthers' team to continue with their plans and take their flight to Kansas City as planned to play the game. The Panthers' plane left at 1.15 p.m. ET today, and within hours later it was confirmed for sure that the game would go on as planned on Sunday afternoon.
The Chiefs have released a statement that read: "We can confirm that there was an incident at Arrowhead earlier this morning. We are cooperating with authorities in their investigation."