Sportscaster turned gun control advocate Bob Costas moved into the crosshairs of Bill O’Reilly Wednesday night, saying he isn’t “backing up” on any of his controversial comments condemning the role a firearms culture played in the murder-suicide of an NFL player.
Costas is making the rounds in the wake of his halftime harangue following Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher's murder of his girlfriend and subsequent suicide. The short speech caught football fans by surprise during Sunday night’s game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, and Costas has drawn fire from critics who think he should stick to sports.
Appearing on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” Costas said domestic violence, football, the gun culture and possible substance abuse could have been factors in the tragedy. He said the availability of a gun wasn't the only issue, but he didn't have more time for a nuanced discussion Sunday.
“In retrospect, I don’t back up on anything I said, but I think it might have been more effective if I said, ‘Look, if we’re looking for perspective on this, we’re going to have to have a serious discussion within sports, an ongoing discussion, not five minutes of faux tears about it, but a serious discussion about domestic violence, about the culture of the game itself, about the easy access to guns, about steroids, drugs and alcohol and in the future, we will soon do that,” Costas said. “I think that would have… led to less misunderstanding of where I was coming from.”
O’Reilly let Costas speak his mind, quipping: “Anytime you get in trouble, you come right here, we’ll get you out of it.”
Costas stressed that he is “not looking to repeal the Second Amendment,” but said the fallout from the foray into firearms won’t stop him from expounding on guns in the future.
“I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again,” he said. “I will look for places where there’s more time to do it.”
Costas spoke earlier to sports radio host Dan Patrick and MSNBC’s Lawrence O'Donnell about the gun commentary.