The Gun Control Halftime Show...

I don’t watch sports on TV, so I only know what I read here. Basically, some guy named Bob Costas, who is I guess a famous sports announcer, decided to give a gun control speech at halftime of a football game because of a murder/suicide that happened with one of the players last week. My understanding of all the details are sketchy, because as I said, I don’t really follow sports and had only vaguely heard about the football player and his girlfriend and the murder/suicide thing.

Basically, for debate…what do you think about all of this? Was this the proper forum for this Bob Costas guy to use to give his opinion about gun control? Would you feel the same if the reverse had happened, and someone used the same forum (a football game) to express their views on the opposite (perhaps if the girlfriend had been armed she could have defended herself, or something equally silly as blaming ‘gun culture’ on some guy killing his girlfriend and himself, as if that never happened before the invention of guns)?

I’ll skip the usual This Modern World comic I bring in everytime something like this happens - short version, we are never going to get any gun control with teeth because this is a country (literally) founded by personal gun ownership. It is ingrained in our DNA.

As for whether or not this was proper for Costas to use this place as a forum - ultimately that is up to him and his producers/bosses. If I were his boss I would tell him no way in a million years to touch that subject, it is just bad business. Lots of gun owners watch football (I imagine). There’s nothing inherently wrong with what he did IMO, just like if Fox had an editorial during halftime decrying Obamacare with regards to football injuries. I just feel in both cases it is a bad business decision.

Costas is entitled to his opinion.

Costas is entitled to his opinion. I agree with his opinion. He should not express it at halftime on camera.

How about if he advised people to buckle up, or get a colonoscopy when you turn fifty, or have a smoke detector? I don’t think we should continue to avoid a topic simply because there is a large, vocal segment of the population that gets upset.

I actually find it refreshing when smart sports journalists comment on matters outside of the sports arena. I think Frank Deford is one of the great journalists of our time, not just because of his sports commentary, but also because he has interesting views on our society in general.

I’ve only read Costas’ comments, and while I don’t think the thoughts expressed are terribly profound, at least they are relevant, and at least thought through. Not all sports journalists are interesting: for example, I don’t particularly care to ever hear Jim Rome talk about anything.

Sure, I bet NBC probably isn’t happy about the political message being raised in that venue. But I don’t like the idea that smart journalists who cover sports should be prohibited from talking about anything other than box scores, injuries, trade rumors, incompetent coaches and inspirational athletes.

I don’t think a 30-second or 1-minute piece during halftime of a game is the best venue for the discussion, and I think the sports columnist who Costas was quoting (Whitlock) is an ass, so that’s all to the negative. But there’s nothing wrong with actually discussing the issue, and while I don’t think events like this can be blamed on guns and guns alone, I’m tired of that pattern we fall into every time a tragedy like this happens: someone (or a large crowd of people) is shot, and the blood has barely clotted when it’s decreed almost immediately from on high that the one thing that cannot be discussed for any reason ever how dare you is whether or not maybe some sensible restrictions on gun ownership might reduce events of this type.

I’m sure Costas intent was to do something controversial to get more attention. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume it was to bring more attention to the issue and not himself. It was a tough situation because there was no escaping the situation yesterday. Not saying anything about the particular incident wouldn’t have been right. But this branched out into a broader political issue. Perhaps the halftime show wasn’t the place to address that broader issue. I doubt it will make any difference though.

Disagree. I watch the NBC/FOX/CBS Halftime Show to hear about football. If I want to hear about gun control, I’ll flip the channel over to MSNBC. Costas has his job because he is an expert on sports. He knows nothing more about gun control or abortion or SSM than you or I.

He should shut the fuck up about subject matters outside the framework of his show and simply do his job. If he wants a soapbox for his political views, he should pay for it or go on a network that will have him.

How about the guy who fixes the copier at your job? Which do you want to hear from him: How to save toner and prevent paper jams, or how health insurance should be reformed?

First of all, I end up being the guy who fixes most of the jams in the copier, and my views on health insurance are totally awesome.

Secondly, I think Costas is a pretty smart guy. Like I said, I don’t think his comments are profound or made me think about things in different ways, but I disagree that there’s a church and state-like separation between sports and everything else that happens on this planet.

Sports are silly and stupid. We use sports to get all worked up over something that doesn’t actually matter. It’s almost recreational tribalism. It’s stupid to try to make sports into some deep meaningful thing. People don’t want politics in their sports or other heavy topics - at most they want fluff stories about how someone overcame a broken dick to become the world’s greatest pole vaulter or something. Trying to inject a political spiel into sports journalism is groanworthy.

I can see why the gun control issue comes up with mass shootings even if I disagree that they’re compelling as policy drivers. But in this particular case it’s especially absurd - the idea that some huge roid rage linebacker who could rip apart a buick with his bare hands needs a gun to kill his fiance is comical.

Quite the opposite - people use single isolated meaningless tragedies to try to tug at the emotions of people to gain favor for their political viewpoint. It’s only in response to this that people step in and try to give perspective on the issue, that single newsworthy narratives shouldn’t drive policy. What you said simply doesn’t make sense - the thing you’re accusing people of saying is a a defensive response. It makes no sense to say it’s proactively offered when it’s only used to refute its counterpoint. The people shrieking first after a big story like this are always the people using it for a gun control agenda.

Haven’t homicide rates continued to go down since the early 1990s? In 2010 there were fewer than 9000 homicides committed with a firearm.

#1) I’m sure that they are wonderful. :slight_smile: But you aren’t any more qualified that me or any other poster about it (at least I don’t think). As such, if you had a position on a TV show for an unrelated topic, nobody would care to hear your opinion. (The Dope is fine; that’s what it is here for)

#2) Disagree. Sports are an outlet for me. A place to unwind after a week of serious stuff. I watch sports to see a simple game. Sure, when there is a tragedy, like in KC, you take the time to properly mourn the victim(S), but don’t start into a political issue. That messes with my entertainment, even if I might agree with it.

Would it have been okay if Costas had went on a religious rant about how the child shouldn’t have been born out of wedlock?

Costas is a smart enough guy I guess when it comes to sports, but as to his opinion on the current Syria uprisings: I don’t give a giant rats ass what he thinks…

So, you are obviously a fan of Costas. That’s cool…I don’t really know who he is, so have no opinion one way or the other as far as his intellect. You feel he should have a forum, using his TV show (I guess…part of the televised aspect of the game I assume) to say what he wants on the subject? What if you didn’t agree with him, his position or thought he was stupid though? Would that change your opinion on this?

That’s horrible! If only we could find that handgun and ban it, the violent crime rate would shrink to just about nothing.

Yes, pretty much everything is better across the board than it was, but the media has become better at selling outrageous narratives and the public has become even more swallowed up in a furor of recreational victimhood where we enjoy nothing more than getting our panties in a bunch. If you did a poll, I suspect the vast majority of people would say that crime is getting worse, society is in the gutter, some would even say it’s the end of days - and yet things on the crime front are going great.

It’s the way the media glamorizes and hypes these crimes and the way people want to eat that shit all up that gives everyone the impression that things are going to shit. They’re not.

The shrieking from both sides is simultaneous at this point, and it’s equally political.

All of those seem like reasonable ideas and most importantly (if I am an NBC boss), unlikely to cause a large segment of my customers to get mad and change the channel. As I said, I don’t think its a bad statement to make I just think it is a bad business decision. Very little upside and at the very least a decent downside.

It wasn’t a Walther, was it?

“No, we shouldn’t vastly change public policy over this incident” is inherently a response to “We should vastly change public policy over this incident!” - people don’t chime in to declare the status quo fine without someone proposing a reaction or change.

What you’re doing here is attempting to short circuit the (valid) defense against your implicatons before they can be made, essentially making a political swipe yourself while implying that you are a noble neutral sage above such things when you are actually firing the first shot.