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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Costas advocates for gun control





Updated Dec 3, 2012 6:53 PM ET


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)

NBC broadcaster Bob Costas used his halftime segment on ''Sunday Night Football'' to advocate for gun control following this weekend's murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, causing an immediate debate on social media.

In a segment about 90 seconds long, Costas paraphrased and quoted extensively from a piece by Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock.

After praising the column, Costas said: ''In the coming days, Jovan Belcher's actions and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows? 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.''

Belcher shot and killed Perkins, the mother of his 3-month daughter, on Saturday morning, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in the parking lot of the team's practice facility.

The online reaction to Costas' segment was swift, with many people criticizing the broadcaster for expressing his personal views on a program meant for entertainment.




Bob Costas Talks Gun Control Reflecting on Kansas City Tragedy


Bob Costas, the longtime sportscaster for NBC, had some choice words for the gun culture in America at tonight's halftime of the Eagles-Cowboys game. Costas' remarks will infuriate conservatives and gun nuts. He cited this piece (In KC, it's no time for a game) by Fox Sports' Jason Whitlock, who expressed contempt for the NFL's decision to have Kansas City play on Sunday after the murder-suicide..

BOB COSTAS: Well, you knew it was coming. In the aftermath of the nearly unfathomable events in Kansas City, that most mindless of sports clich├ęs was heard yet again: something like this really puts it all in perspective. Well, if so, that sort of perspective has a very short shelf-life since we will inevitably hear about the perspective we have supposedly again regained the next time ugly reality intrudes upon our games.

Please, those who need tragedies to continually recalibrate their sense of proportion about sports would seem to have little hope of ever truly achieving 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. In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions, and their possible connection to football, will be analyzed. Who knows?"

“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.”

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