Bob Costas on the Javon Belcher tragedy – Kudos!


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Awesome commentary from Bob Costas under an hour ago at halftime of the Sunday Night Football game. I know most people will focus on his anti-gun quote of the Jason Whitlock article and I assume I’ll get some push-back on my Facebook or here on my blog on that – but I hope people can get the whole quote in context with Bob’s earlier comments critiquing the comments people make after tragedies connected with sports about how the tragedies put things into perspective. I wish I could get the exact quote here – it was brilliant. If I can find it later – I’ll post it here.

UPDATE: Thanks Mimi for finding this transcript of Bob’s commentary HERE. The best part before quoting the Whitlock article: “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.” Awesome! 🙂

My take-away from Bob’s commentary is that it’s so easy to just accept such violence as just a part of life and brush it off with an easy sentiment such as “this helps puts things in perspective”. But that can keep us from more proactively looking at the deeper issues of depression, domestic violence and gun-control.

(And I loved quarterback Brady Quinn’s quote too about the need for us to get away from getting so consumed by social media and our own worlds that we’re not attentive to the people around us.)

Here is the end of the Jason Whitlock article that Costas quoted some from:

In the coming days, Belcher’s actions will be analyzed through the lens of concussions and head injuries. Who knows? Maybe brain damage triggered his violent overreaction to a fight with his girlfriend. What I believe is, if he didn’t possess/own a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.

That is the message I wish Chiefs players, professional athletes and all of us would focus on Sunday and moving forward. 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.

But we won’t. We’ll watch Sunday’s game and comfort ourselves with the false belief we’re incapable of the wickedness that exploded inside Jovan Belcher Saturday morning.



About howie snyder

Love Jesus, love my family, love meeting new people and sharing life with them!
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11 Responses to Bob Costas on the Javon Belcher tragedy – Kudos!

  1. Todd Oliver says:

    If you seek to disarm the people, you seek to rule them with an iron fist. Outlaw guns, and the only people with guns will be the outlaws. If Jovan Belcher didn’t have a gun, he would’ve strangled his girlfriend and then hanged himself. And then you’d be seeking to outlaw hands and rope. It’s not a matter of guns, it’s a matter of, “train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”–Todd


    • howie snyder says:

      Is the same thing true if we were to seek to disarm people from grenades? How about knives? So there’s a line for everyone in what we think is too far or not. I personally believe that it should be much more difficult to get and possess a gun. Would Jovan Belcher have killed his girlfriend and himself if he didn’t have a gun? Maybe – but I don’t think so. Just like I personally believe that if it were much more difficult to get guns that the Aurora, Colorado Batman premiere shooting by James Holmes would have either been way less tragic or possibly even completely avoided. I completely agree with Whitlock that “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.”

      So last night I’m watching the news and the story is about another man who killed his girlfriend with a gun. I don’t like to watch the news because in Chicago, there is just so much violence that is practically all it is. I’d rather ignore the news and not hear of the constant violence. There are proactive steps that can be taken to decrease the amount of violence in the most violent western country.


  2. skeith5 says:

    Whitlock is an idiot and Costa is an idiot for repeating what he said. Belcher probably would have used another “tool” if he didn’t have a gun available to him. What if Belcher had used a car? Would Whitlock make a comment about how if Belcher didn’t have a car they would both be alive? Cars account for a lot more deaths than firearms.


    • howie snyder says:

      Belcher may have used another tool. But he may have not as well. There could have been a domestic violence news segment instead on Saturday with Kasandra Perkins in the hospital and Belcher in custody and under suicide watch. I agree with Whitlock and Costas that there is a much greater chance that Belcher and Kasandra Perkins would be alive today if he did not possess a handgun. Just as I believe that the bloodbath at the Aurora, Colorado cinema would have been much less or even non-existent if James Holmes would not have been able to get a hold of the caliber weapons or any at all.

      Is Whitlock really an idiot? Just because he believes differently than you? Does name calling constructively address the issue? Why is it that African-Americans are much more likely to be in favor of gun-control? Could it be because they are tired of seeing the violence that guns create within African-American urban communities? Why are victims of gun violence much more likely to be in favor of gun control? Like former assistant to Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady. Would we all think differently if we try to put ourselves in the shoes of these victims? Even if you disagree with all I’m saying, what proactive, constructive, attainable, realistic and practical solutions can you suggest that could help address the issue of such rampant violence in this, the most violent modern country in the world?


    • howie snyder says:

      Stefan, I don’t have time right now to read over the articles you posted, but I can’t comprehend how they would actually contribute to your question. Seems like they would do the opposite to me – meaning that the articles are a good case and point for gun control, not against it. Am I wrong?


  3. Todd Oliver says:

    I love you Howie. I bless you.


  4. Dave Dawdy says:

    Hi Howie. Looks to me like two main points. 1. That we are disconnected from others and our own ability to commit evil acts. I of course agree with this, but really, that’s the easy one. 2. The gun statements: “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…” I really couldn’t disagree more. Does killing become easier with a gun? Of course, but a person still knows what’s going to happen when he pulls the trigger. We need to remain a country with responsible gun owners. Guns ARE used to combat evil as well as escalate it. A gun is a tool–one uses it as one will. Check out this paper on the subject:


    • howie snyder says:

      Dave, I appreciate you being willing to comment on my blog – thanks! I’m pretty extreme in my views on gun control and I know my views would never fly in today’s day and age in the U.S. But that being said, can’t those on both sides of the issue come up with some levels of compromise to allow for responsible gun owners, while making it much more difficult for someone like James Holmes to get guns? But it seems like people jump to such extremes on the issue and it gets so emotionally charged that constructive dialogue appears impossible. I read on the NFL and Sunday Night Football Facebook comments with such vitriol, even after someone would post something along the lines that they had had a loved one killed by gun violence. I don’t see how people can’t at least have some respect and sensitivity for these victims and for Bob Costas making a bold commentary on trying to bring peace to violence, even if you don’t agree with his conclusion.

      But thanks again for sharing – hope all is well with you Dave! I’d like to check out that paper, but I have a bunch of papers due this week for school, so probably won’t be able to get to it this week. Peace bro!


  5. Rick Nier says:

    Howie, it looks like some good conversation here. I like to highlight a good thought on my own blog each week, so I’m gonna highlight this one because I love that you’ve highlighted the greater truth being missed here, the part about sports and priorities.

    As for guns, I’m no expert, but it doesn’t take one to see that it is way to easy to get one these days.


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