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Costas: "Mistake" To Give Anti-Gun Commentary During Football Game

NBC's Bob Costas tells sports radio host Dan Patrick his anti-gun remarks on Sunday night were a mistake because 90 seconds wasn't enough time for him to "flesh out" what he meant to say so he was completely understood.

Costas says he should have saved his comments for a different forum, rather than during halftime of Sunday's NFL game, but did so because "this is when the Belcher situation had played itself out."

BOB COSTAS: And for a long time, I’ve been wanting to get off my chest my disgust with this idea that every time something tragic happens, no matter what it may be, that in any way touches sports, there’s a chorus of people saying, 'You know, this really puts it in perspective.’ Which is a bunch of nonsense, because if that was true, we wouldn’t have to have that perspective readjusted every time the next tragedy occurs. It’s a bunch of nonsense.

And what I was trying to say was, that if you want some perspective on this, there are a number of issues related to this that we could begin to talk about and think about. The problem was that I didn’t have enough time to get to many of them. And that, I think, was my mistake, to be quite honest, Dan. A friend of mine in broadcasting pointed this out to me yesterday, and I agree with him. He said, ‘You violated your own rule.’ Because we have had this discussion before. I’ve always said, if you’re going to get into touchy topics, nuanced topics, make sure that you have enough time to flesh them out, that you have enough time to make yourself fully understood, or save them for forums where you do. In this particular situation, the timeliness of it was, if you’re going to comment on it at all, it had to be this Sunday. Because this is when the Belcher situation had played itself out.

So, I'm thinking I can't address all of the possible aspects of this. Domestic violence; the possibility of athletes, especially athletes who play a violent sport are more prone to domestic violence than people the same age elsewhere in society. The possible connection between football and this particular tragedy. We know that football is connected, and it's effects are connected to other situations. We don't know yet whether it's connected to Belcher, but that's certainly a question that could be asked. The easy availability of guns is another.

And so I saw what Jason Whitlock had written and a portion of what he wrote resonated with me and given the time that I had, I thought that was on aspect that I could put out there and maybe, maybe I gave the audience too much credit, but I said if you're looking for perspective, a bit of it could be found. And my implication there -- with every second counting, I had maybe 50 seconds total for this -- my implication was a bit of perspective, here's one aspect of it. I also put in parenthetically that in the days ahead, Belcher's actions, and their possible connection to football, will be analyzed. That was meant to imply there are many aspects of this, I'm addressing one by quoting what Jason Whitlock said in his column.

So I think that my mistake there was that I left it open to too much interpretation. (The Dan Patrick Show, December 4, 2012)

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