But for reporters on deadline, it’s easier to write about Perkins’s murder as if it were a freak occurrence rather than part of a systemic football (or national) problem, because systemic problems are not as sexy to readers and they require a lot of contextualization and research. But in cases like this, we need to (FoxNews.com points out that Belcher had a history of anger when women didn’t do as he liked). Shining light on domestic violence lets victims know they are not alone and points them toward help; it also sends a signal to abusers that assaulting the women in their lives is not socially acceptable. We should not glorify Belcher by painting him as the victim of circumstance here.

The Boston Globe’s Christopher L. Gasper said it best: “Belcher wasn’t befallen by a tragedy. He was the perpetrator of one.”


More in Minority Reports

Gay at the Times

Read More »

Jennifer Vanasco is a is a news editor at WNYC and the former editor in chief of MTV Network's LGBT news site 365gay.com. She writes about social minorities, national politics, and culture. Her award-winning newspaper column on gay and women's issues ran for 15 years.