America needed to hear what Bob Costas had to say last night. And there was no better place to make his statement than during the half-time show during Sunday night football.
When I woke up this morning to the news of Costas’ remarks I was pleased that someone at least tried to impart some wisdom about gun control to the ones who needed to hear it the most.
The startling news of the murder, and then suicide which surrounded Jovan Belcher this weekend needed some attention to the facts about gun control. But how best to make that point to a nation that is so caught up in the culture of guns? How best to lob some common sense to a nation that hears continuous lies from the National Rifle Association?
That is where Bob Costas enters, and made many Americans proud this morning.
He began the 90-second speech by lamenting the “mindless … sports clichés” invoked in the wake of the murder-suicide, namely the idea that “something like this really puts it all in perspective.” “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,” he said. “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.”
From there, Costas turned to the issue of guns. He quoted extensively from a piece by Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock, who wrote that “our current gun culture simply ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy” and concluded that “if Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”
I welcome the on-air expression of intelligence concerning the need for gun control. Too many people know the pain and suffering from gun violence that can be curtailed with strict and meaningful gun control laws. The red-neck crowd will rant at NBC Sports over the Costas remarks, and keep shooting each other. But I am at least heartened that a very convincing voice was able to make clear the truth of this matter in a way that millions were able to hear.
And agree with.