ARLINGTON, Texas NBC broadcaster Bob Costas used his halftime segment on "Sunday Night Football" to advocate for gun control following this weekend's murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, causing an immediate debate on social media.
In a segment about 90 seconds long, Costas paraphrased and quoted extensively from a piece by Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock.
After praising the column, Costas said: "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 Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today."
Belcher shot and killed Perkins, the mother of his 3-month-old daughter, on Saturday morning, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in the parking lot of the team's practice facility.
The online reaction to Costas' segment was swift, with many people criticizing the broadcaster for expressing his personal views on a program meant for entertainment.
Summed up Deadspin's Sean Newell: "It is so laughably out of touch it almost has to be satire."
TV host Lou Dobbs tweeted:
The Media Left at Halftime: Bob Costas pushing gun control, quoting...who else?..a sports writer on ridding the country of the 2nd Amendment— lou dobbs (@loudobbsnews) December 3, 2012
Fox commentator Andy Levy:
Bob Costas, who's gotten rich thanks in part to a sport that destroys men's bodies and brains, gives us a little civics lecture.— Andy Levy (@andylevy) December 3, 2012
However, some people supported Costas' opinion. NFL free agent Chris Harris tweeted:
Bob Costas just spoke some truth and real profound stuff on the #SNF halftime show.— Chris Harris (@ChrisHarrisNFL) December 3, 2012
Tweeted National Post sports columnist Bruce Arthur:
Bob Costas just quoted Jason Whitlock, and the whole thing made perfect sense.— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) December 3, 2012