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Bob Costas Takes Heat For Gun Control Opinions On 'Sunday Night Football'

Bob Costas' halftime commentary supporting gun control on 'Sunday Night Football' is resulting in criticism from Herman Cain and calls from Fox News to fire the longtime NBC broadcaster.

The NBC sportscaster, who frequently delivers commentary at halftime of the weekly game, devoted his segment to the murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher.

Belcher killed his girlfriend, and mother of his 3-month-old daughter, before driving to the parking lot of the team's practice facility and shooting himself on Saturday.

Costas said that the shooting invoked the "mindless sports cliche" that "something like this really puts it all in perspective."

"Please," he said. "Those who need tragedies to continually recalibrate their sense of proportion about sports would seem to have little hope of ever truly achieving perspective."

"In the coming days, Jovan Belcher's actions and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Our current gun culture," Costas said, now reading from a column by Fox sports writer Jason Whitlock, "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."

"Who knows?," he said. "But here is what I believe: If Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today."

Costas' comments sparked reactions from Fox News to once GOP presidential contender Herman Cain and even Keith Olbermann.

"I just don't know if it's appropriate enough on a Sunday night, less than 24 hours after the guy took his own life and killed his girlfriend and the mother of his baby, to make that stance," said the network's Brian Kilmeade, before a debate on whether Costas should be fired for his remarks. "I don't really think we needed to hear that last night."

"You tune in for a football game and end up listening to Bob Costas spewing sanctimonious dreck," said Cain on Twitter.

"Hey Bob Costas we all know that obesity is a direct result of the proliferation of spoons and forks," said rock star Ted Nugent. "Get a clue."

Keith Olbermann, however, came to Costas' defense and said: "Amazing that all those ripping my friend Bob Costas would, had he taken opposing view, be defending him for using the first."

December 4, 2012 |

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