During halftime of NBC’s coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles versus the Dallas Cowboys, NBC Sports analyst Bob Costas made a plea for gun control during his weekly commentary on “Sunday Night Football.”
Responding to the weekend murder-suicide by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, Costas relied on a column by writer Jason Whitlock, formerly of the Kansas City Star, to make a gun-control argument.
“Well, you knew it was coming. 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 game,” Costas said.
“Please, those who need tragedies to continually re-calibrate their sense of proportion about sports will seem to have little hope about achieving perspective,” he continued. “You want some actual perspective on this? Well, a bit of it comes from a Kansas City-based writer — Jason Whitlock — with whom I don’t always agree, but who today said it so well that we may as well just quote or paraphrase from the end of his article.”
Costas quoted Whitlock’s suggestion that a gun ban would have prevented the tragedy.
“‘Our current gun culture,’ Whitlock wrote, ‘ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy. And 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 Cassandra Perkins would both be alive today.’”