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?