Sometimes, you can’t even watch a football game without a political argument butting in.
During halftime of NBC’s Sunday night coverage of the Eagles/Cowboys game, commentator Bob Costas Bob Costas used his air time to discuss the murder/suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher.
It was an horrific crime – Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend, then drove to the Chief’s training center and shot himself in front of his coach, Romeo Crennel, and Chief’s GM Scott Pioli.
No one knows what drove Belcher to commit these crimes. But for Costas, the motive was irrelevant. The real demon in this story was Belcher’s gun – the one he used to kill his girlfriend – the mother of his infant daughter – and himself.
Talking about the need for “perspective,” Costas quoted an article by sports commentator, and former player, Jason Whitlock. Costas agreed with Whitlock’s sentiment that if Belcher didn’t have access to gun, both he and his girlfriend would be alive today.
Almost immediately, Costas’ comments caused a stir on the social media sites. And now, at least one of the seven Republican candidates for lt. governor is seeking to make it an election issue in Virginia.
Monday morning, Pete Snyder rolled out the following comment on Facebook:
“So the liberal media’s reach now extends to Sunday Night Football. First it was Keith Olbermann, now Bob Costas. The assault on liberty continues.”
The comment got some notice, including that of Middleburg resident, and National Rifle Association board member, Matt Blunt.
I talked to Blunt this afternoon, and he said that while “Bob Costas is a skilled sports commentator, he does not have a deep understanding of our constitutional liberties.” Blunt said that he was hoping for more public officials to comment on Costas’ comments, but that Snyder is the only one – so far – who has offered comment.
I’m sure more will do so if the issue hangs around for another news cycle. Then, it will become a marker for the other campaigns to follow. The overwhelming majority of the GOP candidates for all the statewide offices are strong Second Amendment backers. The voters in their districts know that. Here’s an opportunity for them to tell the rest of the state’s GOP activists, too – while getting in a lick on the liberal media at the same time.
Jason Whitlock, the columnist whom Costas cited, has decided to double down on his remarks. Now, the “NRA is the new KKK.”