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Bob Costas: Lack Of Time Made Gun Control Commentary A 'Mistake'

NBC Sports anchor Bob Costas says it was a "mistake" to bring up gun control in discussing the murder-suicide by Kansas City Chiefs' Jovan Belcher on 'Sunday Night Football' because he didn't have enough time to get his point across.

In his commentary, Costas referenced a column by Fox Sports' Jason Whitlock and concluded that "if Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins (his girlfriend) would both be alive today."

"My mistake is I left it open for too much miscommunication," Costas said in a lengthy interview on 'The Dan Patrick Show' about the 90-second weekly spot.

"For a long time, I've been wanting to get off my chest my disgust with this idea that every time something tragic happens, no matter what it may be, that in any way touches sports, there's a chorus of people saying, 'you know, this really puts it in perspective.'"

"Which is a bunch of nonsense, because if that was true, we wouldn't have to have that perspective adjusted every time the next tragedy occurs. It's a bunch of nonsense," Costas said.

"And what I was trying to say was, that if you want some perspective on this, there are a number of issues related to this that we could begin to talk about and think about. The problem was that I didn't have enough time to get to many of them. And that, I think, was my mistake, to be quite honest, Dan."

"A friend of mine in broadcasting pointed this out to me yesterday, and I agree with him. He said, 'you violated your own rule.' Because we have had this discussion before: 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."

"Here's where I stand: I do not want to see the Second Amendment repealed," Costas explained. "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 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."

As for calls from some for him to be fired over the commentary, Costas says it's "absurd."

"There are reasonable disagreements, and I respect that. But then there are things that come from every angle, where you just have to say to yourself 'sometimes the quality of the thinking of those who oppose you speaks for itself.' I was told I didn't see it that someone compared this as a fire-able offense to situations in which people have made blatantly racist comments, or comments that had no place whatsoever."

"This is simply a case of: some people don't agree with it, or they don't agree with what they think I was saying, and therefore, it would be okay if I was booted off the air... 'let's fire everybody we don't agree with.' It's just absurd."

December 6, 2012 |

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