Reaction to deaths of Chiefs’ Belcher, girlfriend

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher committed suicide after murdering his girlfriend in Kansas City on Saturday, police said.

Following are reactions to the deaths:

* Kansas City Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt:

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“The entire Chiefs family is deeply saddened by today’s events, and our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy, thoughts and prayers for the families and friends affected by this unthinkable tragedy.

“We sincerely appreciate the expressions of sympathy and support we have received from so many in the Kansas City and NFL communities, and ask for continued prayers for the loved ones of those impacted.”

* NFL Players Association assistant executive George Atallah on Twitter:

“There is nothing profound or comforting to say that can help us understand or explain a situation like this.”

* NFL spokesman Greg Aiello:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Chiefs and the families and friends of those who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy.”

* Kansas City Mayor Sly James:

“We’re talking about kids that are 25, 26, 24 years old, playing in circumstances that most of us never dream of and living lives in fish bowls and sometimes that becomes unbearable but beyond all that there are a lot of people that (are)hurting.”

* Chiefs tight end Tony Moeaki on Twitter:

“Devastated. One of everyone’s favorite team mates including one of mine. Great great great team mate. We will miss him forever.”

*Statement by Carolina Panthers, the Chiefs’ opponent on Sunday:

“The Carolina Panthers are very saddened by the tragic events that have transpired today and send their thoughts and prayers to the entire Kansas City Chiefs organization and to the family of the victim at this most difficult time.”

*Chiefs defensive back Kendrick Lewis on Twitter:

“Forever in our heart! Love you bro ... May God be with both families!”

*New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck on Twitter:

“Man, prayers go out to the KC Chiefs community and families after this morning’s tragic incident.”

(Compiled by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)