Bob Costas said Wednesday he stands by his anti-gun remarks during Sunday’s night National Football League broadcast — but the NBC sportscaster insisted he doesn’t want to repeal the 2nd Amendment and scrambled to distance himself from another commentator’s remarks equating the National Rifle Association to the Ku Klux Klan.
“I didn’t call for any specific prohibition on guns, never used the words ‘gun control,’” Mr. Costas told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly on Wednesday night. “I quoted from a column by Jason Whitlock … I am not agreeing with him. I was unaware of the remarks he made about the NRA and the KKK … and obviously I would disagree with them 100 percent.”
Mr. Whitlock, an online sports columnist for Fox who often tackles racial issues in his writing, said in the wake of a weekend suicide and murder involving an NFL player that, “I believe the NRA is the new KKK. And that the arming of so many black youths, uh, and loading up our community with drugs, and then just having an open shooting gallery, is the work of people who obviously don’t have our best interests [at heart].”
Mr. Costas said his own Sunday comments were intended as a reflection on the “gun culture” of professional sports, especially football, in which the overwhelming majority of athletes feel a need to acquire and brandish guns. That culture, the sportscaster said, leads to far more instances of trouble than those “whereby that athlete, having a gun, averted or diminished a dangerous situation.”
And though he said he wasn’t advocating the repeal of the constitutional right to bear arms, he did say that he thought society as a whole needs to better regulate weapons.
“If you were to ask me, I believe that there should be more comprehensive and effective controls on the sale of guns.”