Bob Costas says NBC's decision to remove him from Super Bowl LII coverage was mutual

Bob Costas is speaking out after news surfaced that the long-time NBC journalist would not be hosting the annual Super Bowl LII pre-show due to past comments he had made about football's link to concussions back in November.

Costas shut down claims that the reason he will host this year's Super Bowl pre-show on Feb. 4 was because of his comments about concussions but rather due to his lack of enthusiasm for the sport.

"The decision was mutually agreeable, and not only do I not have a problem with it, I am actually happy about it. I have long had ambivalent feelings about football, so at this point, it’s better to leave the hosting to those who are more enthusiastic about it," Costas said in an email to Sports Business Daily.

Costas went on to explain that his past comments regarding football were nothing new and were not the reason behind him not serving as host of the Super Bowl pre-show.

"I have been making the same points for several years, often on NBC," Costas said. "In halftime commentaries, interviews with Roger Goodell and other prominent NFL figures, appearances on CNN and elsewhere, I have addressed the issue of football and its undeniable connection to brain trauma many times. Why? Because the evidence is overwhelming and the effects are often devastating.

"It's the elephant in the stadium at every game whether others choose to acknowledge it or not. And it’s not going away. So the idea that I am only now finding my voice on this, or that NBC was taken aback by what I said at Maryland is just wrong. It’s all simple and straightforward," Costas explained.

After news broke that Costas would not be hosting the show, NBC announced that Dan Patrick and Liam McHugh would be replacing Costas as the Super Bowl hosts.

NBC said in a statement, “Dan and Liam have served as hosts for our NFL pregame/studio shows on Sunday nights and Thursday nights, respectively, throughout the season and will continue on Super Bowl Sunday.”

You can find Morgan M. Evans on Twitter @themizfactor.