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Costas explains controversial comments; broadcast notes

Some broadcast news and notes:

### As many of you know, NBC’s Bob Costas created quite a stir this week when he appeared to advocate gun control in an essay during halftime of Sunday’s Eagles-Cowboys game. Costas was discussing the murder/suicide committed by Chiefs player Jovan Belcher.

Appearing on Dan Patrick’s radio show this week, Costas said it was “mistake” for him to imply he was advocating gun control because his choice of words “left it open for too much miscommunication. I was thinking how can I come at this at a different angle?

“What I was trying to say was if you want some perspective on this, there are a number of issues related to this that we can begin to talk about and think about. The problem is I didn’t have enough time to get to many of them. I left it open to too much misinterpretation.”

Costas said producer Sam Flood told him he would have one minute, 15 seconds to address the Belcher story “in some way.”

On Lawrence O’Donnell’s MSNBC show this week, Costas further explained his thinking: “What I was talking about here - and I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear to everybody – was the gun culture. I never mentioned the Second Amendment. I never used the words gun control. People inferred that. Now do I believe that we need more comprehensive and more sensible gun control legislation? Yes I do. That doesn’t mean repeal the Second Amendment.

“No one is saying Belcher is not responsible. Earlier in the day, I said I was appalled by the way some of this had been covered initially by some of the sports networks, where they made it seem like there were two victims.”

But he added: “Sometimes the quality of those who oppose you speaks for itself. I was told that someone compared [the halftime segment] to blatantly racist comments. This is simply a case of people who don’t agree with this or they don’t agree with what people think I was saying.”

### Here was Costas’ essay, in case you missed it:

“You knew it was coming. 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.’

"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 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 teenage 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 its 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.”

 

### ESPN named John Kruk to its Sunday night baseball announcing team. He replaces Terry Francona, who left to manage the Cleveland Indians.

### Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf call their second consecutive Dolphins game for CBS Sunday (at San Francisco).

### 790 The Ticket is taking its time to pick a replacement for Jason Jackson on its 1 to 3 p.m. weekday talk show. Eric Reid --- not the Heat announcer -- continues to handle the gig. Steve Goldstein is a possibility.

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