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COSTAS CAUGHT IN VERBAL GUNFIRE FOLLOWING SNF COMMENTS

December 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Bob Costas

NBC Sports commentator Bob Costas was under fire from gun owners and second-amendment backers on Monday for his comments on gun control following the murder of Kasandra Perkins by her lover, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, who later committed suicide in front of the team’s coach and general manager. The reason for his commentary on Sunday Night Football, Costas told the New York Times on Monday, was that “it was likely that these two people would not be dead” if Belcher hadn’t had easy access to a gun. Many of his critics had argued that it was improper to use the platform of a Sunday Night Football game to present his gun-control argument, but Costas told the Times that he had routinely made comments on a number of football-related subjects, including the growing violence displayed by players. He said that numerous players are also gun owners and added: “I defy anyone to give me one example when an athlete having a gun averted trouble, defused a situation, protected someone from harm. But we can think of countless situations where an athlete having a gun led to tragedy.” But Fox Business commentator Lou Dobbs immediately tweeted, “The Media Left at Halftime: Bob Costas pushing gun control, quoting … who else? … a sports writer on ridding the country of the second amendment.” On his radio talk show, Mike Huckabee commented, “If you want to watch football, watch football. If you want to get a political lecture by the rantings on the left, I suggest that Bob Costas go to work for MSNBC.” But Costas found an unlikely supporter in conservative Fox commentator Bernard Goldberg, who noted on Bill O’Reilly’s program Monday night that Costas was not arguing in favor of overturning the Second Amendment but criticizing this country’s “gun culture.” He added, “People on the right should be … agreeing with him on this attitude. This attitude, as he said, deadens empathy in some people and has more bad things happening with guns than good things.”

UPDATE: In an interview on Dan Patrick’s radio talk show, Costas said that he regretted bringing the issue up during his 90-second commentary on Sunday Night Football. He told Patrick that he had violated one of his own personal rules. “I’ve always said, if you’re going to get into touchy topics, nuanced topics, make sure that you have enough time to flesh them out — or save them for forums where you do. In this particular situation, the timeliness of it was, if you’re going to comment on it at all, it had to be this Sunday.”