NBC Sports host Bob Costas said it was “entirely appropriate” to exploit Kansas City Chiefs football player Jovan Belcher’s murder-suicide last December to push for gun control during halftime of NBC’s broadcast of “Sunday Night Football” the day after the tragedy.
“This was an entirely appropriate topic for a football broadcast to a large audience,” Costas said.
In an interview with CNN’s “Reliable Sources” that aired on Sunday, Costas said his only regret was that he “made an error in thinking” he “could get as much nuance” as he wanted “in a short period of time.” He said it would not have been appropriate, for instance, to comment on the Newtown or Aurora tragedies.
Costas said all the other networks that televise football talked about Belcher that weekend, but conceded they “took a different tact.”
Indeed, the other networks that televise the NFL did take a “different tact” and did not blatantly opine for gun control like Costas did on NBC.
Costas said he usually has at least two minutes to do his commentary but only had 90 seconds that night.
Costas also assailed what he called the country’s “gun culture” and reiterated his opinion that the “country needs responsible gun control.” He said Americans who want high-capacity magazines or so-called “assault weapons” are not, in his opinion, reasonably interpreting the Second Amendment.
When Howard Kurtz, the show’s host, asked if Costas’s December commentary was a “busted play,” Costas said he “could have handled it better” and again emphasized the time constraints he had been under during the broadcast.
Here is what Costas said on December 2, 2012 during halftime of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”: