In the wake of the stunning murder-suicide by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, longtime NBC sportscaster Bob Costas indulged in a 90-second lecture on gun control during halftime of Sunday night’s broadcast of the Eagles-Cowboys game in Dallas.
Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins Saturday morning, then drove to the team’s facility and committed suicide in front of Chiefs personnel, including head coach Romeo Crennel.
“In the aftermath of the nearly unfathomable events in Kansas City, that most mindless of sports clichés was heard yet again: something like this really puts it all in perspective,” Costas said. “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 ugly 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 ever 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 don’t always agree, but today said it so well that we may as well quote or paraphrase from the end of his article.
“Our current gun culture, Whitlock wrote, ensures 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. 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.”