It’s not often a televised professional football game gets purposely political. But this weekend’s broadcast of “Sunday Night Football” did just that after an apparent murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher.
On Saturday morning, the 25-year-old Belcher allegedly shot and killed his 22-year-old girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, the mother of his 3-month-old daughter, before driving to Arrowhead Stadium and turning the gun on himself.
During halftime, NBC sports broadcaster Bob Costas delivered an impassioned speech advocating on behalf of gun control.
“That most mindless of sports cliches was heard yet again: ‘Something like this really puts it all in perspective.’ 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,” Costas began.
“Please,” he continued. “Those who need tragedies to continually recalibrate their sense of proportion about sports would seem to have little hope of ever truly achieving perspective.”
After offering effusive praise for a column written by Kansas City, Mo.-based writer and Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock, Costas said: “In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions and their 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.’ ”