During the half-time portion of last night’s Sunday Night Football game between the Eagles and the Cowboys (sorry, Philly; it’s been a rough year), Bob Costas took a moment to reflect on the tragedy that took place on Saturday when a Kansas City Chiefs player, Jovan Belcher, murdered his wife, drove to Arrowhead stadium, and then shot himself mere feet from his coach, Romeo Crennel, and general manager, Scott Pioli.
Nevertheless, the Chiefs played their Sunday game (and won for only the second time this season), which is a strange call to make given the tragedy that took place the day before IN THE STADIUM and IN FRONT OF THE COACH. The Chiefs organization, and the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodel, caught a lot of flack for playing the game as scheduled, as they should have.
It was Bob Costas, however, who was daring enough to used the occasion to condemn gun culture, a brave move to do in front of an audience likely rife with gun nuts.
“You knew it was coming,” said Costas. “In the aftermath of the nearly unfathomable events in Kansas City, that most mindless of sports clichés 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.”
Well said, Costas, who went on to quote from a Kansas City sports writer Jason Whitlock about handgun violence. “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.”
Naturally, Costas is already facing criticism for not only advocating gun control, but using an NFL telecast as his platform to do so.