Costas: Defends Gun Comments, Blasts Political Correctness

NBC Sportscaster Bob Costas defended his previous comments on gun control and criticized political correctness on Friday’s “Real Time” on HBO.

Costas defended mixing politics and sports, sarcastically saying “there’s no mixing politics and sports, and sports has never had anything to do with social change in America. Jackie Robinson didn’t exist. Arthur Ashe didn’t exit, Billie Jean King and Title IX, Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the Olympics, there was nothing political about that. There was nothing political about Muhammad Ali, nothing whatsoever, and it all should have been completely ignored.” He added that people who say politics and sports shouldn’t mix really believed “just don’t say something that I disagree with.”

He argued that nothing political he has said should be controversial, and that his prior remark on former Chiefs player Jovan Belcher’s murder/suicide “wasn’t about the Second Amendment, wasn’t about denying someone the right to protect their home and family, or use a gun, if that’s their thing for sporting purposes. It was about a gun culture run amok.”

Costas continued, “Greg Hardy, who just got signed by the Cowboys, but sat out most of last year because he was involved in a domestic violence case, which is prevalent in the National Football League and dominated a lot of the news last season — but [what] was kind of overlooked in all this, he was slapping his girlfriend around. He was found guilty by a judge, and then he had the right under Carolina law to take it to a jury trial, and the case was dropped because she wouldn’t testify against him, she changed her mind. But, in any case, as part of this, he threw her on a couch with loaded shotguns and assault weapons on the couch. Now, is this what the Founding Fathers had in mind that Greg Hardy should be armed to the teeth? That private citizens should be able to purchase cop-killer armor-piercing bullets? That you should be able to have an AK-47? I mean, carry it to its logical conclusion, if you’re fearful of the tyrannical government taking away your rights as a citizen, then you ought to have a bazooka, you ought to have a tank, you ought to be able to have nuclear weapons if you can get them before ISIS gets their hands on them.”

He also discussed political correctness and President Obama’s refusal to identify terrorists as Islamic extremists, which he said showed political correctness had gone too far, also stating “you need people on the left to call this bullsh*t out…just as you need people on the right to call conservative bullsh*t out.”

Costas concluded, “there are legitimate conservative positions, OK? I often find myself saying ‘that’s a good point that George Will made, that’s a good point that Rich Lowry made.’ It may not be the entire thing, it’s a conservative point ,but there’s some truth in it. The DOJ report, to listen to Fox, the only thing that was in it was that Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown, fair enough. To listen to MSNBC, the only that was in it was that there was systemic racism in the Ferguson Police Department, also fair enough. And other places, Cleveland, we saw something in Fort Lauderdale just recently came out. We know that this is true to a certain extent across the country, but why can’t people with common sense hold two truths in their head at the same time?”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett