NBC Sports veteran Bob Costas has sparked a controversy following comments he made during the “Sunday Night Football” halftime show in the wake of Saturday’s disturbing murder-suicide committed by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher.
Speaking in his regular 90-second commentary slot, Costas quoted and paraphrased a column by Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock, closing with this line: “But here, wrote Jason Whitlock, is what I believe. If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”
Apparently, that made some people upset.
Both because Costas said it during a football game (the nerve!) and he implied that if you don’t own or have access to a gun, it’s a lot more difficult to shoot other people or yourself (what twisted logic!).
Great thinkers of our time like Herman Cain and Ted Nugent took to Twitter to voice their objections:
While commentators on Fox News called for Costas to be fired.
As Keith Olbermann pointed out on Twitter:
NBC spokesman Greg Hughes tells USA Today that Costas “feels an unfortunate leap was taken that he was advocating taking away Second Amendment rights. He was not.”
Costas himself was a guest on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Tuesday (Dec. 4) and addressed the controversy: “Sometimes the quality of those who oppose you speaks for itself,”
Costas tells Patrick. “I was told — I didn’t see it — that someone compared
(the halftime segment) to blatantly racist comments. This is simply a
case of people who don’t agree with this or they don’t agree with what
people think I was saying.
“Leave me out of it. Can you imagine that being said about anyone? Let’s fire everyone we disagree with. It’s absurd.”
Costas tells Patrick he believes he didn’t have enough time to properly address the topic in 90 seconds and that it was a “mistake” to try because what he said “left it open for too much miscommunication.”
Costas explains his personal stance on gun control this way: “Here’s where I stand: I do not want to see the second amendment
repealed. … People should be allowed to own guns for their own
protection. Obviously, those who are hunters. … Access to guns is too
easy in some cases. I don’t see any reason a citizen should be able to
arm himself in some states in ways only police or military should — to
have a virtual militia [bought by] mail order or gun shows. Why do you
need a semi automatic weapon? What possible use is there? … Whitlock
wrote about a gun culture. That’s what I was focusing on.”
Did Costas make a “mistake”? Watch his commentary below and decide for yourself: