Costas calls for gun control on ‘Sunday Night Football’

NBC’s Bob Costas used his halftime commentary on “Sunday Night Football” to call for stricter gun control in the wake of the murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher.

In a 90-second statement, Costas quoted Fox Sports writer Jason Whitlock:

In the aftermath of the nearly unfathomable events in KC, that most mindless of sports cliches was heard yet again: Something like this really puts it all in perspective … You want some actual perspective on this? Well a bit of it comes from the Kansas City-based writer Jason Whitlock, with whom I do not always agree, but who today said it so well that we may as well just quote or paraphrase from the end of his article. “Our current gun culture,” Whitlock wrote, “ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead. Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. … If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would still be alive today.”

Costas surely knew his remarks would be inflammatory, and they were. Online reaction was swift, with many expressing outrage that he used a nationally televised football game to express his personal views. Others praised Costas for taking a stand. What do you think?

265 comments Add your comment

Flowery Branch

December 3rd, 2012
8:11 am

Obviously Mr. Costas has never been in a position wherein he needed a gun to defend himself or his family.

Max Sizemore

December 3rd, 2012
8:15 am

Costas and Whitlock are correct, to say nothing of courageous.

ReaderRick

December 3rd, 2012
8:17 am

Costas is so clueless. It may be the culture, but the not the gun culture. The vast majority of gun owners are responsible.

BubbaMac

December 3rd, 2012
8:17 am

Costas is a sniveling idiot. Washington DC finally allows its citizens to have guns and the murder rate plummets. What does that tell you.

Constitutional Freedom!

December 3rd, 2012
8:17 am

Another liberal media member using his position to interject his biased opinions…gotta love the media in this country!

David

December 3rd, 2012
8:18 am

Sportscasters, like actors/actresses, should keep their comments related to what they do for a living and not inflict their biased personal views on others. If they want a bully pulpit to spread their opinions, run for public office.

DAWG POUND

December 3rd, 2012
8:18 am

Bob used this tragedy to make himself relevant once again. He is a football commentator and nothing more. I would argue that since he reads a prepared statement from a teleprompter each Sunday that he really isn’t very good at commentating. You or I could easily do the samething and cash his checks.

Bob, you are a “has been” in your profession. Time to hang it up, bud!!!

JT

December 3rd, 2012
8:20 am

Oh Yeah, we really need the comments of the “Munchkin” to tell us that we should not have guns, and the hell with the 2nd amendment! This little twerp should not only leave the football broadcasting, but go to broadcasting something he knows about, like maybe ice skating, or dancing. He would be afraid if we were armed with toothpicks. Do we really think we should listen to this squirt about anything he says? Just another ploy from NBC to impose their thinking on Americans. Man I really get sick of people like Costas, Just shut up and go away!!!!!!
” From my Cold Dead Hands”"

Constitutional Freedom!

December 3rd, 2012
8:21 am

LESS government, not more!

I’m sure Costas never had to defend himself in his gated community…

JT

December 3rd, 2012
8:22 am

If he had killed her with a knife, would he ban Knives, probably would call for us to eat with our fingers and ban knives. What an “idiot”

saddened

December 3rd, 2012
8:22 am

I happen to disagree with Mr. Costas and Mr. Whitlock. It is true that they have the right to have and express their opinions. However, in Mr. Costas’s case, he chose the wrong venue. In fact he has a show on the NBC Sports Channel that would have been the proper place to deliver his own personal commentary. One wonders if he was encouraged to use the availability of the larger audience that an NFL game broadcast provides by his bosses at NBC to deliver a message that they endorse as opposed to the small audience the more appropriate cable show would have reached.

Voice of Reason

December 3rd, 2012
8:23 am

Whitlock and Costas are both idiots! What about the kid in the last few days who shot his dad with a compound bow after stabbing his dad’s girlfriend? Want to band bows? Ban knives? Civility can not be legislated. Banning guns will insure that only those who do not follow the laws (criminals) and the government will have guns, which will make the rest of us defenseless to those two groups. Saying that guns cause violence is like saying that spoons cause obesity.

Brooks Carr

December 3rd, 2012
8:24 am

If not a gun then a knife, if not a knife then a brick, not a brick then his own hands. I’m thankful he didn’t use the hated SUV.

Trixie

December 3rd, 2012
8:24 am

If someone wants to do harm to another person or to themselves it will happen. The gun is a vessel not the human is the one who pulls the trigger. If you stop and think if people want guns they will get a gun just like they get drugs. This player had mental problems no one spotted, that’s a shame .Remember family violence is a sickness too.I have had someone commit suicide with a gun try and take the gun and you would have died too. I think we need to trry and find what happens in ones head to do this sort of thing.
You can try and get rid of the guns but this will not be any more effective than trying to control drugs.

SW

December 3rd, 2012
8:26 am

Classless act by Mr. Costas. Don’t use a tragic murder suicide to shove your political views down out throats!

Donna unahalekhaka

December 3rd, 2012
8:27 am

Thank you Bob Costas! As a former E.R. Nurse we have seen to many of these tragedies .

ReaderRick

December 3rd, 2012
8:27 am

Are these sports writers and announcers ready to eliminate or reduce the freedom of speech as Hank Johnson has suggested? Once we start losing one of the rights in the Bill of Rights, the rest will not be far behind.

Dawg GOP

December 3rd, 2012
8:28 am

A Typical NBC response. I am sick and tired of getting a political opinion on a sports show. Costas is looking to blame something for this tragic event. The bottom line is this. If the football player really wanted to kill he could have used multiple other weapons found in any house. Costas needs to hear this tired old cliche again. Guns don’t kill people People kill people.

dick whiskey

December 3rd, 2012
8:31 am

people don’t kill people,GUNS kill people,i applaud bob costas for telling it the way it is and the NRA is nothing but a bunch of old dinasaurs pushing it’s agenda, all handguns should bee collected melted down and used for something useful like a boat anchor

Bob IsaDouche

December 3rd, 2012
8:33 am

Costa’s is a Douche. This is what happens when you watch State Run Media.
As in Stalin’s Times you get the State’s opinion about how they want to run you life
and take away your rights.

dragon

December 3rd, 2012
8:33 am

It is hilarious to read the gun nuts get their panties in a wad over something a silly sportscaster says. It’s sports, not congress. Anyone with a brain is not watching football, they are out doing something themselves in nature instead of living vicariously through these overhyped steroid Gods our nation worships every Sunday.

These men are privileged jocks living inside their gated community of sexualized violence. And our country worships this crap and the advertising that drives us to be marketing zombies.

Krebsforlife

December 3rd, 2012
8:33 am

Whitlock and Costas are wrong. The intent to kill was there and would have been carried out . Possibly in a more brutal fashion. Was it right? Of course not! Gun control will not stop the crime only a change of heart!
Less government! When the government tries to limit guns or confiscate guns then you will see hell fire and damnation unleashed!

Krebsforlife

December 3rd, 2012
8:33 am

Whitlock and Costas are wrong. The intent to kill was there and would have been carried out . Possibly in a more brutal fashion. Was it right? Of course not! Gun control will not stop the crime only a change of heart!
Less government! When the government tries to limit guns or confiscate guns then you will see hell fire and damnation unleashed!

GT-Falcons Fan

December 3rd, 2012
8:34 am

God these people are stupid. If someone wants a gun bad enough they’ll get a gun controlled or not. To take the right to defend yourself away from responsible citizens is not only stupid but you give criminals free mind to do whatever they want knowing the person they assault likely doesn’t have a means to defend theirself.

To Tell the Truth

December 3rd, 2012
8:34 am

A typical DUMB Liberal opinion! I bet he voted for Obama too!!! What a LOSER!!!

Constitutional Freedom!

December 3rd, 2012
8:35 am

Costas says more gun control (more government, etc.)…I say less freedom of the press!

Little Man Costas is the Man

December 3rd, 2012
8:36 am

Thanks Mr. Costas:
With you gun talk, I decide now was the time to purchase a gun…not later. Your the Man! Thanks for waking me up Mr. Costas.

Tired of Rednecks

December 3rd, 2012
8:38 am

Get tired of hearing “Guns Don’t Kill People” or “Forks (or SUVs or Bricks) Kill People” Stupid comparison. A gun is designed to kill something while a fork or an SUV or a brick were designed for some other purpose.

Kevin

December 3rd, 2012
8:38 am

Old Bob would change his mind if someone was breaking into his house to rape his wife and children. Dick whiskey..you’re an idiot!

Sad Day

December 3rd, 2012
8:38 am

First … Sometimes only time will heal.
Second … The next goal will be Knife Control … And yes … People do kill people with or without a gun

It’s a great option when controlling leaders from the british during the American Revolution come with guns that we can defend ourselves.

It’s not the guns fault!

George P Burdell

December 3rd, 2012
8:39 am

The usual “avoid the real problem” response… the NFL player according to all reports was both an alcoholic and a drug user. He supposedly had head injuries and based on what he did, I would say he was insane. Blame the gun..really?? He would used a knife, club, bat, his own hands, pills and booze…get real people!!! HE was the problem…not the gun

Chipper Doodle

December 3rd, 2012
8:39 am

Mark

December 3rd, 2012
8:40 am

I am a gun enthusiast, and I have many of all types, but I agree that the glorification of gun as the best response to threats or conflict breads violence. Just as we eliminated tobacco advertising in movies we should prohibit such wanton glorification of guns on TV and movies. Furthermore, The all or nothing approach of the NRA is not helpful. It’s not that stricter laws will change much, but we do need to change the culture.

Thogwummpy

December 3rd, 2012
8:42 am

Don’t hold Costas accountable for what he said. Blame the microphone.

Brooks Carr

December 3rd, 2012
8:42 am

I’d like to add that the ladies best chance to survive that situation was for to have her own gun for defense. I know I haven’t had a heated discussion with my wife since she earned her CWP.

Chipper Doodle

December 3rd, 2012
8:42 am

To tell the truth: Obama won. Those who voted against him are technically losers.

Easy answer

December 3rd, 2012
8:43 am

1) Commit a crime with a handgun, any crime outside of defending yourself in your home; and
2) you die.

Any questions?

Watch the crime rate plummet as recidivist criminals disappear.

EJ

December 3rd, 2012
8:45 am

I really enjoyed Mr. Costas’ stand but I must say that “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

Chris

December 3rd, 2012
8:46 am

People who want to commit crimes with guns are going to find ways to get them. Stricter gun control laws mean law-abiding citizens won’t be able to get them. Just look at the city of Kennesaw (for a more local city than DC). That will tell you the entire story. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

Foothills

December 3rd, 2012
8:48 am

Dragon,
“Anyone with a brain is not watching football, they are out doing something themselves in nature instead of living vicariously through these overhyped steroid Gods our nation worships every Sunday”.
Just curious….why would anyone with a brain be reading a football-related article?

Brooks Carr

December 3rd, 2012
8:49 am

Don’t blame the microphone. Blame his tongue. His tongue was loaded and aimed directly at you the viewer.

rightwingextreme

December 3rd, 2012
8:49 am

If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would still be alive today.”

respectfully disagree with Costas on this. If this guy was intent on doing what he did he would have found another way.

rightwingextreme

December 3rd, 2012
8:52 am

Mark……Just as we eliminated tobacco advertising in movies

you been to the movies or watched cable lately? sure there aren’t specific advertisements, but there’s a whole lot of smoking going on.

jimbob

December 3rd, 2012
8:54 am

why does the pro gun-control crowd always think that the criminals and murderers will gladly abide by their restriction/confiscation schemes?

D.Scott

December 3rd, 2012
8:56 am

I like to hear personal views in the public sphere. I am glad Costa aired his. Mine tend to be opposite.
To apply the horribly tragic lessons of one situation to all of society is weak logic. It leads to bad policy.
I am currently displaced from my home due to risk of “overspray” from domestic gunfire (illegal hand gun) at a neighbor’s home. I still disagree with the statement “‘hand guns do not make us safer”.
I think Costa was right on when he said something like – those who need tragic events to recalibrate their priorities regarding sports will never maintain a balanced view of athletics.

Bubba Bean

December 3rd, 2012
8:56 am

Wow “dragon”. You managed to insult law abiding gun owners, sports fans and professional football players with one deranged comment. It sounds like you have some major issues. Were you bullied by an athlete in school or something? I suggest you lay off the video games, leave your mom’s basement and get some counseling quick! The rage displayed in your comment suggests you may be just the type of person we all worry about.

Gumbo

December 3rd, 2012
8:57 am

Another mouthpiece for the Ruling Elite. Once they take away the people’s right to own guns, who will be the only “armed force” in the country? You got it. The State. This ain’t new, folks……ever heard of the Brown Shirts? Like actors and other media personalities, Whitlock and Costas are unwitting (I hope) mouthpieces for the ever-growing fascist movement in this country.

Da Mick

December 3rd, 2012
8:57 am

It’s hard to hear someone petition against something — anything — that you like or enjoy, and it’s well known how people feel about their guns, especially in this part of the country.

But this story, and Whitlock’s subsequent commentary (which Costas just paraphrased in his commentary) isn’t about “responsible gun ownership.” It’s about the prevalence of guns, all around us, as an immediate response to any emotional event or interaction, often by young people who aren’t always capable of thinking things through, before they do something that can’t be undone. Unfortunately, just as often, this kind of rash and fatal decision is made just as often by adults who never became emotionally mature or secure. What’s really frightening is how many of them are walking around, carrying a weapon, and just looking for a rationalization to use it.

I don’t personally like it myself, but the fact is that we’ve become so populated that there are just too many people out there for everyone to be able to just do what they want, without stomping on the rights of somebody else. I’d love for all you responsible gun owners to be able to have your guns, and enjoy whatever hobby goes with that, and hopefully your gun ownership is not just about fear. But it’s come to the point where our right to own guns (I own a gun) isn’t more important than the world we live in turning into the wild west all over again. If gun ownership is primarily about fear, security and protection, let’s get the handguns out of everyone’s hands, especially all of those who don’t have the ability or inclination to deal with people in any other way.

you can't fix stupid or Democrats

December 3rd, 2012
8:59 am

Was he smoking dope again? You just can’t fix stupid!

Brooks Carr

December 3rd, 2012
9:01 am

“Tired of Rednecks” just made my case. Guns are designed to kill people and knives are made for eating. Bricks are made for building. But in the hands of a crazed man a brick that was meant to build an orphanage can kill a kid. So is it the brick or the person who possesses the brickThe gun, the brick, the whatever is Amoral. It carries out the wishes of the “Person” using it.