Bob Costas Cites Florida Teen's Murder Over Loud Music, Advocates Gun Control

Categories: News
via YouTube
Most sportscasters treat off-field tragedies the way Dolphins punter Brandon Fields treated the football on Sunday: like a live hand grenade. But rather than dance around the NFL's latest gruesome death -- Kansas City Chiefs LB Jovan Belcher murdering his girlfriend then killing himself this weekend -- Bob Costas took the opposite tact on Sunday Night Football.

In a speech that's set the Internet aflame, Costas argued for stricter gun control laws -- and specifically cited the shooting death of an unarmed Florida teen last week.

See also:
-- Florida Man Kills Teenager at Gas Station Over Loud Music

Costas references a column by Kansas City-based columnist Jason Whitlock, who cites the killing last week of 17-year-old Jordan Davis at a Jacksonville gas station by Michael Dunn, a 45-year-old who apparently became enraged over loud music coming from Davis' car.

"'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," Costas said.

The broadcaster's speech has sparked a vicious argument online, mostly focused on whether a national NFL broadcast is really the venue for political discourse.

Deadspin calls Costas' outburst a "sanctimonious, horseshit editorial," while Fox News called it a "rant."

But Costas's real crime was in playing up the gun safety side of Belcher's case without mentioning the elephant in the room: the NFL culture that mixes vicious concussions, painkillers and drugs into a cocktail that seems increasingly prone to erupt in violence.

Sure, it'd be great if Belcher's case opened doors to a national conversation about gun control. But the issue has become so dead -- and so thoroughly won by the NRA -- that neither presidential nominee even mentioned it last month.

Here's Costas's full speech, via Awful Announcing:
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 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 its 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."
Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Costas should be fired. There needs to be some safe haven from left wing loonies, and football was it. If this becomes the new normal, football will follow the New York Times in it's swirl down the toilet.

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

^^^ I think that guy finds a way to kill whether it's with a gun or a two by four ?

Larry Masarsky
Larry Masarsky

Costas should not use a murder as an opportunity to spew his political views during a football game. If I wanted to hear silly liberals give me their political opinions, I would tune into MSNBC.

Josh Everage
Josh Everage

Cars are designed for transportation. Guns are made specifically to kill people.

Deathray Jones
Deathray Jones

car opertion is heavily regulated, guns are not, carlos.

Jason Herrera
Jason Herrera

so when did Costas become a political analyst/football analyst?

miamitrev2 topcommenter

SNF isn't the time or place for political statements.

To use what happened on Saturday as a means to further his agenda is beyond pathetic

Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

@Josh Everage Guns are made to shoot things.  They are not made specifically to kill people.  And even if they were.....So?

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault