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Hunt: Coach, captains decided in unison to play Sunday

The SportsXchange

The decision to play Sunday's game a day after the murder-suicide involving Kansas City linebacker Jovan Belcher was placed in the hands of coach Romeo Crennel and the team captains.

Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt said in an interview with NFL Network at Arrowhead Stadium that the vote was unanimous to let the game go on as planned against the Carolina Panthers.

"I decided to leave it up to the team," Hunt said. "I called coach Crennel and asked him to call the captains and see what they thought the right decision was. So he called the six captains who heard from their teammates and they unanimously believed the right decision was to go forward with the game. So that's how we made the decision. It was really a team and coaching staff decision."

Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, on Saturday and then drove to the team facility, where he spoke with Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli before shooting himself.

"We do have a lot of guys who are really hurting," Hunt said. "There are a lot of players and coaches that were close to Jovan and Kasandra, who was the victim. They're suffering right now. I told them, 'There's not a lot I can say to you other than we're family and we got to pull together right now and support each other.'"

Hunt acknowledged his appreciation for the fan support in Kansas City. The Kansas City Star reported that the scene was similar to a typical game day with fans tailgating in the parking lot.

"Our fans, and really the entire NFL community, have been incredibly supportive," Hunt said. "The outpouring of support from folks across the league has been tremendous. I think our fans will be supportive as well. They understand what a difficult situation this is for our coaching staff as well as the team."
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