Bob Costas And Fox Sportswriter Tick Off NFL Fans, Blame Belcher Murder-Suicide On ‘Gun Culture’

Author: December 3, 2012 1:18 pm
NBC Sportscaster Bob Costas

NBC sportscaster Bob Costas praised Fox Sports writer Jason Whitlock’s article, which blames gun culture on Kansas City Chiefs Linebacker Jovan Belcher’s murder-suicide, during half time for the Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles Game on December 2nd.

When fans tuned in for their Sunday Night Football fix and halftime show, NBC Sportscaster Bob Costa’s Sunday sermon on gun control probably wasn’t what they had in mind … especially with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders in the stadium. But a somber and intelligent one-and-a-half minute commentary with heartfelt quotes from Fox Sportswriter Jason Whitlock is what they got during Costa’s half-time segment. And — like it or not — it’s probably what we all needed to hear, less than 24 hours after Kansas City Chiefs Linebacker Jovan Belcher’s tragic murder-suicide.

Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders

Now, THIS is probably more what Cowboys and Eagle fans had in mind for their half-time entertainment (from the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders website).

As reported by Business Insider in an article for Raw Story, Belcher went to the home he shared with his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins and shot her dead — leaving their child an orphan; drove to the Chiefs’ practice facility, thanked Coach Romeo Crennel and General Manager Scott Pioli while chatting with them in the parking lot, then shot himself in the head as the police arrived. And then — according to a thoroughly disgusted Fox Sports‘ Jason  Whitlock — Belcher’s teammates played their scheduled game against the Carolina Panthers, and won 27-21. Perhaps the Panthers were unnerved by their rivals’ eagerness to play ball a scant few hours after their teammate’s blood and brains had been wiped off the parking lot.


Whitlock first sounds bemused, as he wonders why “a 25-year-old kid gunned down his 22-year-old girlfriend in front of his mother and three-month-old child, and all he could think to do in the immediate aftermath is rush to thank his football coach and football employer.”

His tone then shifts to indignant bitterness, as he declares, “Football is our God. Its exaggerated value in our society has never been more evident than Saturday morning in my adopted hometown. There’s just no way this game should be played.”
Then Whitlock drops the bomb, and berates America’s lax gun laws — quite shocking from someone who writes for FOX:

How many young people have to die senselessly? How many lives have to be ruined before we realize the right to bear arms doesn’t protect us from a government equipped with stealth bombers, predator drones, tanks and nuclear weapons? Our current gun culture simply 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 followed up that evening with his one-and-a-half minute commentary during his solemn, half-time segment
In the aftermath of the unfathomable events in Kansas City, that most mindless of sports cliches was heard, yet again: “Something like this really puts it all in 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.”
Costa’s little speech definitely ticked off lots of football fans, as evidenced by headlines like these:
Here’s the video:

And here’s the entire transcript of Costas’ commentary:

In the aftermath of the unfathomable events in Kansas City, that most mindless of sports cliches 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 a bleak 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 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 teenaged 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. 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.”


Elisabeth Parker is a writer, Web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante. Come visit her at ElisabethParker.Com, friend her on facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

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