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December 11th, 2012
01:52 PM ET

Clips From Last Night: Bob Costas on the NFL's gun culture; the family of Jerry Brown Jr. share sentiments

In the aftermath of recent tragedies to have stricken the National Football League, on Monday "Piers Morgan Tonight" invited sportscaster Bob Costas to share his unique insight on the culture within America's most popular sport.

On Saturday, a Dallas-area car crash resulted in the death of Cowboy's linebacker Jerry Brown Jr., an incident that came on the heels of a December 1st murder-suicide involving the Kansas City Chief's Jovan Belcher.

Referencing the Florida gun death that divided the country last Spring, Costas pointed to gun legislation that he finds to be far too lax:

"It's ridiculously easy for someone to purchase a gun online or multiple guns or at a gun show and then those guns wind up in the hands of people in Washington, D.C., or Chicago, or New York, which may have stricter gun controls but it's so easy to get around those gun controls. You could literally be a felon, walk out of jail, and it would be very easy for you to purchase a weapon without any kind of a background check," Costas explained.

"George Zimmerman had an arrest record and he had a restraining order for domestic violence taken out against him in his past. Now that restraining order had expired. I'm not commenting on the exact whys and wherefores – that will play out in the court of law – about what happened between him and Trayvon Martin. But what does common sense tell you about the likelihood of that confrontation ever taking place in the first place if George Zimmerman was not carrying a gun?"

Speaking specifically about the NFL, the eight-time National Sportscaster of the Year described what he classifies as a "gun culture" within the league:

"Front page of the paper, not the sports section, front page of the weekend edition of the "USA Today" is about guns in the National Football League," said Costas. "Jovan Belcherb had eight guns ... Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens recently had to turn in his guns because of a legal action ... Tank Johnson, a few years ago, from the Bears, his were illegal, but he had a virtual munitions plant in his house in Chicago."

While Belcher's death was gun-related, Brown Jr.'s came as a result of a car crash, believed to involve alcohol. On Monday, Morgan welcomed relatives of the late linebacker to share their emotions and reactions during an intensely trying time:

"I was upset, but I realized, you know, our youth today are young and stupid, and we was all once that age and we'd done things that we are not proud of," said Stacey Jackson, Brown Jr.'s mother, when asked how she felt in learning that Josh Brent, her son's friend and the driver on the night in question, may have been drinking at the time of the accident. "I realize everyone thinks they're invincible and thinks that it's not going to happen to me. So because I know Josh Brent and he's been part of our family since Jerry went to the University of Illinois, that's all I can do is pray for him and his family because I know he's hurting just as well as we are, because him and Jerry was like brothers."

Brown Jr.'s grandmother Theresa Clark, meanwhile, also shared her sentiments:

"My feelings, my heart, every part of me aches because I knew the legacy that he was leaving for the rest of his cousins, because they were so proud of him that all of them are playing football. Not only did he work hard to become a football player, that was his dream since he was a little boy. That meant more to him than anything in the world."

Watch the clips, and listen to the interviews, as Piers Morgan and his guests react to recent happenings within the NFL and the ramifications that have resulted.
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soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. gordon smith

    First of all Bob doesnt know anything about what he is talking about. As a "revered" journalist you would think he would do some research before he talks about such a controversial issue. You cannot buy guns off the internet and have them sent directly to you unless you are curio and relic (antique guns) licensed. They have to go to a FFL dealer who does the background check first and then you are charged a fee. Secondly "AUTOMATIC" guns are banned and illegal. People cant buy full auto rifles, assault rifles or not. They are "semi" auto or bolt, the user must pull the trigger each time, unlike weapons used by international "armies".

    December 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kobio

      Bob sounds like a genius now. In light of the mass killing in CT You all have lost this battle. Period.

      December 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Bob C.

    Wow... A has-been jock and a foreigner talking about something they know absolutely nothing about... Fair and balanced journalism - and the foreigners and U.S. sheeple drink this pro-leftist "kool-aid" in gulps.

    What made Costas an expert on concealed-carry personnel, history, violence and the nuances of gun availability to law-abiding and the criminals (WHO DON'T, BY DEFINITION, OBEY THE LAW) ? And why doesn't the other expert (Morgan) ask tough questions versus sucking up to the ill-informed jock making an empassioned plea about which he clearly not only knows nothing, of, but makes patently FALSE claims?

    I'm sitting in a hotel in Geneva watching CNN....and it's clear wy the rest of the world has such a low opinion of the U.S.: liberal reporting of liberal talking points by the CNN and MSNBC socialists under the guise of "news."

    Shame on you, Piers Morgan and CNN. And please stop trying to make conservatives and American patriots appear as right-wing nutjobs. Why not report on yourselves and the inaccurate, debilitating and damaging effect that your socialist views have had on freedom and liberty?

    December 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eric

      That's right Bob.......................you and your right to "DEFEND YOUR HOME" (from whom? ... Obama himself as he struts into your living room carrying a Marxist socialist flag) supercede common sense. LET'S ALL CARRY GUNS ............... ALL THE TIME! That will definitely lead to less violence, less deaths, and better safety. RIGHT?

      AND our kids will be safer. RIGHT? DId you at all LISTEN to how three different children either shot themselves or someone else in their home with their relative's gun?????
      And did you think MAYBE the owner of that gun thought just like you???

      Moronic and ignorant. You sound like you live either in fear, or have a problem with authority....................so, we should give all the authority to YOU, right??????????????

      Turn on the news and hear the latest...........OREGON MALL SHOOTER KILLS TWO THEN SELF!!
      Sounded like a really fun place to be.
      Maybe if your NRA mandated keeping the guns INSIDE YOUR HOME (where none of us mind you keeping them) rather than carrying them at a mall, club, park, restaurant, etc.......etc....................ETC!!!) and worked with lawmakers and police to help ENFORCE THE LAWS then that never would have happened.

      WAY too many wackos out there. Did you pay attention to the last election? Your NRA majority is thankfully shrinking. KEEP THE GUNS INSIDE THE HOME...................... NOT at the mall or the movies.

      What if your kid was at that mall at the wrong time????????
      WHY DO YOU PEOPLE NOT THINK ABOUT THAT? Do you really and truly believe that the sole purpose of the govt is to invade your home and take away your liberty?
      Well if you do, here's something.....................MOVE TO ANOTHER COUNTRY!!
      Last I checked emigration was still legal.

      Ah but no, you want the freedoms here and the good life.
      Well then, you need to be RESPONSIBLE. And so does everyone else. Obviously the wackos can't, or don't, so is the answer to arm everyone and hunt them down, guess who they are, and kill 'em all?

      Or MAYBE is it sensible to actually TRY to curtail deadly weapons...............for a change.

      December 12, 2012 at 4:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      I wonder what the NRA would say if someone shot Wayne LaPierre with an assault rifle, when he was shopping for Christmas in his favorite mall. Maybe when he was checking out a new tie to go with his suit. He should have just been carrying a rifle of his own, I guess? Be ready all the time is the motto? Have a finger on the trigger even when you are buying bread. It's the new vision for the USA according to the NRA.

      December 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • quitbeingbraindead

        Like two monkeys trying to get it on with a football, and both enjoying it. WHY is your life worth more in your home, but worth nothing the second you step off your property? I have carried a gun for over 2,000 hours. I gave the gun over 2,000 chances to cause violence or harm others. IT DID NOT DO SO... is the gun defective?

        December 13, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dennis mulvey

    Costas is a radical liberal of the far left comparable to Hitler. He would trash the 2nd amendment to disarm innocent citizens of the right to self defense. I am a PhD Chemist with numerous papers and patents and at one time had a top secret security clearance. Why should I be deprived of the right to self defense.? Mr. Costas would never let my voice be heard, for he is afraid of the truth. Every dictatorship in history, starting with ancient Rome (Cicero) have stated that to get in power, the first step is to disarm the populace, then slowly or quickly erode free speech, press (already done), and media. I challenge you, Mr. Costas, to debate me on this issue. You haven't the guts. Dennis Mulvey

    December 11, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eric

      You'd lose Dennis. Because yu obviously didn't listen to him. He didn't, and nobody doesn't, dispute the right to defend your home. Carry permits, multiple large magazine weapons, guns in parks, movie theaters, etc... will almost ALWAYS lead to NEGATIVE consequences rather than good.
      If everybody was "packing" in Aurora and firing in the dark, a LOT more than 17 people would have died. Use common sense.
      Until it happens to you or yours, go ahead and listen to your FOX news cronies telling you the gov't is going to invade your home.
      Costas was dead on. And OH, BTW................... look at the news tonight....................SHOOTER GOES INTO OREGON MALL WITH RIFLE AND SHOOTS TWO DEAD, INJURES MANY MORE, THEN SHOOTS SELF!!!!

      How many more do we need??????????
      What if you or your kid were one of the dead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????

      December 12, 2012 at 4:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Kline

        Please come to my home and try and disarm me, Eric. You're just as much of a wack job as Costas. Living in Fear. I

        December 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mike in VA

    "What does common sense tell you about the likelihood of that confrontation ever taking place in the first place if George Zimmerman was not carrying a gun?"

    Then Zimmerman would be dead and Martin would be in jail.

    December 11, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Keef

    Comic strip about Costas:
    http://www.kchronicles.com/2012/12/11/costas/

    December 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Eric

    Kline,
    Funny how you accuse me of being a wack job. You obviously read nothing of what I wrote just above, and simply responded with the classis NRA nut-job one-liner "Just TRY and come disarm me!"
    And you accuse ME of living in fear? Wow, anyone else think this guy's concept is completely idiotic?
    I don't own a gun. Don't have to.
    You DARE me to come disarm you.

    SO...................who appears to be the one afraid? (of Obama, the U.N., of me..............................etc...)

    Sense, people. Sense.

    And btw...no comments I see about Oregon.

    December 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kline

      I'm glad you don't own any fire arms Eric, You'd probably prove your own point about wakos with guns.

      December 12, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Bob

    A common thread with gun and other kinds of violence seems to revolve around the use alcohol...mr Belcher had a few guns...he also had a few drinks.......alcohol is often at the root of so many bad decisions...seems to me alot of crap happens around bars cars and NFL players ...but not exclusively to that group by any means...it begs the question ...would this have happened without the use of alcohol....in the case of the death mr Brown, obviously not....the instrument of death and the intent was different...but the root influence for a bad decision is likely the same

    December 12, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      "the root influence for a bad decision is likely the same"

      Yeah, owning a gun.

      December 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. quitbeingbraindead

    Why are handguns and assault rifles shown only as evil and wicked in the hands of good private citizens, yet perfectly fine in the hands of employees of the State? If this is truly "government by the people" why do we see the servants disarming their masters by force of law?

    December 13, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Eric

    Can you stop watching FOX news. And listen tot he Costas interview. And READ what I wrote, and what Bob and Mike in VA wrote.

    NOBODY IS SAYING THAT YOU (quitbeingbraindead) or YOU (Kline – although your comments are a little frightening and are transparent about your hatred of govt and fear of them coming into your house and taking your possessions) are irresponsible. NOBODY.

    What we and most of the country (world actually) is saying is that it is WAY TOO EASY for "irresponsible" people to get hold of firearms and kill people. That is why myself and others like me lean on what appears to be a working solution – let YOu, as law abiding citizens, get and keep a gun IN YOUR HOME FOR HOME DEFENSE.
    How else are you going to keep wackos from getting a gun, taking it to the Oregon Mall, and going on a Friday the 13th rampage?
    Explain to us how YOU would fix this problem!!
    And I don't want to hear one-liner crap like KLINE (yes, YOU) spouts ............... crap like "Try and come and disarm me!!!!"
    That is stupid and is a knee-jerk fear-related reaction that does nothing to SOLVE THE PROBLEM. Hell, He doesn't even WANT TO ADMIT THERE IS A PROBLEM, except of course the govt and Obama and anyone opposing the NRA.

    December 14, 2012 at 12:06 am | Report abuse | Reply

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