It was an emotional week in the National Football League. The horrific tragedy in Kansas City rocked the Chiefs, their fans, and the entire nation. You can’t make sense of the senseless, yet that’s exactly what many attempted to do during the hours and days that followed the Jovan Belcher story. I just didn’t expect Bob Costas to be one of them.
Let me start by saying I consider myself a Bob Costas fan. Like Costas, I went to Syracuse and studied broadcast journalism. Unlike Costas, I did not drop out. Boom! I worked in the news business. He works in sports news. So, we’re peers…sort of.
Which made it all the more shocking to me when, during halftime on Sunday Night Football, Costas used his position as an NBC host to pontificate on gun control in the wake of the Belcher murder-suicide. My first reaction was to pick up my phone and tweet, “What the hell is Costas doing?” I decided instead to give him a chance, to see if he was going somewhere that made sense. The only sense I could make of it, was that Costas used the emotion tied to Belcher’s acts to commit professional suicide himself. And it left me asking the same question. Why?
I would rather watch a marching band than listen to Bob Costas (or anyone else for that matter) politicize a tragedy and voice opinion merely because they are in a position to do so. One of the reasons Americans have become so angry and polarized is that they are tired of having opinions heaped upon them unsolicited. Like when my sister and her sister-in-law went to the Madonna concert and were forced to listen to her unpaid election advertisement…while paying $300 a seat.
Whether it’s self importance, self assertiveness, or self aggrandizement, people in the public eye (and ear) need to listen up. In this season of giving, stop giving the public what makes you feel good and instead, try giving them what they ask you for.
In other words, do us a favor…and get off your soap box.
Now…I’ll get off mine.