Home > Uncategorized > Sorry, Bob Costas, but you really blew it

Sorry, Bob Costas, but you really blew it

[Published in the December 12, 2012 edition of the Clio, Mich. Genesee County Herald]

From A to Zowie

Sorry, Bob Costas, but you really blew it

By Richard Zowie

It’s amazing how a media personality can talk so tough at one moment and be so cowardly in the next moment.

A few weeks ago on December 1, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot to death his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, and then turned the gun on himself in a murder-suicide.

The next day during halftime on NBC’s Sunday night football, sports commentator Bob Costas quoted Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock and said: “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”

Early in the morning on December 8, Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent and his friend, Cowboys practice squad member Jerry Brown, rode in a car. Brent had been drinking. The car crashed, and Brown died. Brent, like so many alleged drunk drivers, is still alive. He faces intoxication manslaughter charges.

According to a cbsnews.com report, Brent had previously been arrested in Illinois in 2009 for driving under the influence along with driving on a suspended license and speeding. He pled guilty and received 60 days in jail, two years of probation, 200 hours of community service and a fine of about $2,000.

On Sunday night, during halftime of the Green Bay Packers versus Detroit Lions game, Costas talked to former NFL coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy about the NFL’s programs for helping out players who’ve had too much to drink and need a ride home.

Here’s what Costas SHOULD have said: “If Josh Brent hadn’t consumed alcohol in excess and if he hadn’t gotten behind the wheel of a car, Jerry Brown would still be alive.”

Why not take a stand, Bob? After all, far more people in America die annually from alcohol-related driving accidents than they do from gun crimes. Not to mention all the women who receive serious injuries courtesy of current or former husbands or boyfriends who are drunk or high.

But then, perhaps it’s more politically correct to criticize gun ownership than it is alcohol consumption.

Coors, Anheuser-Busch and Miller run commercials all the time during NFL games. That’s not the case with Smith and Wesson, Beretta and Glock. With the gun criticism, there’s no concern over alienating advertisers. My guess is the NFL receives a LOT of advertising revenue from beer companies and doesn’t want to rock the boat.

To be clear, I am not against drinking, as long as it’s done responsibly. However, Brent has shown a pattern of not being responsible.

As for Belcher, had he stabbed his girlfriend, would Costas have argued that if Belcher hadn’t had a knife, he and his girlfriend would still be alive?

Or if he’d bludgeoned her, would Costas think the two would still be alive if Belcher hadn’t had a baseball bat?

Or if he’d strangled her, would Costas think the two would still be alive if Belcher hadn’t had hands?

No, Bob, the issue is more about a society that devalues human life and then doesn’t hold its citizens accountable—especially its professional athletes.

Until Costas and others grasp that, the madness in this country will continue.

Richard Zowie is a reporter and columnist for the Herald. He can be reached at rzowie@myherald.net, and his blog is at www.fromatozowie.wordpress.com.

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