NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — While he received much criticism for his comments on gun control Sunday night, broadcaster Bob Costas got words of support Tuesday from Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Costas’ halftime segment on “Sunday Night Football,” brought on by Saturday’s murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend, immediately became the topic of contention and debate.
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However, Mayor Bloomberg, a fierce advocate of gun control himself, said Costas “deserves a lot of credit for speaking out.”
“It’s a tragedy — a guy kills the mother of his child and then shoots himself — but it’s time that we all stood up and Bob Costas deserves a lot of credit for it,” Bloomberg said.
Costas, quoting a column by writer Jason Whitlock, said “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.”
Just this year, Bloomberg lamented during the presidential campaign that both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney failed to say what they would do to get guns off America’s streets.
“There are gonna be in the next four years, something like 48,000 murders with guns. Somebody’s gotta stand up and I have a lot of respect for Bob Costas for doing exactly that,” Bloomberg said.
But now, even Costas said it was a mistake to mention gun control during his segment, telling “The Dan Patrick Show,” he “left it open for too much miscommunication.”
Costas suggested the 90-second segment didn’t allow him enough time to “flesh out” the topic.
“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…or save them for forums where you do,” Costas told the show.
Jovan Belcher shot and killed girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, the mother of his 3-month-old daughter, on Saturday morning, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in the parking lot of the team’s practice facility.
WFAN co-host Craig Carton said Monday: “I thought the beginning of it was very thoughtful, poignant. But when you go down that road of the whole gun control debate — which we’re not getting into on this show ever — to me, not the place for it.”
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