Spin Cycle

12.05.12

Mike Wise: Costas Crossed a Line Already 'Obliterated'

Sportscaster should have written op-ed on gun control instead, he says
Video screenshot

'Mike Wise tells Howard Kurtz that he wouldn't have done what Bob Costas did.'

Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise says he wouldn’t have done what Bob Costas did—at least not in the way he did it.

Rather than focusing on gun control in the wake of that murder-suicide involving a Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, “I would have used it as a platform for domestic violence in sports,” Wise tells me in a video interview. Athletes are disproportionately involved in incidents involving their significant others, he says.

But Wise doesn’t share the outrage of those who have pummeled Costas for using his Sunday Night Football commentary for a sympathetic take on gun control. “The moment a guy who’s kind of an icon in sports announcing and broadcasting throws his opinion out and it doesn’t dovetail with someone else’s opinion, you’ve crossed the line,” says Wise. But “wait a minute: MSNBC and Fox have been crossing that line for awhile…That’s the part I don’t get: Bob Costas crossing a line that’s been obliterated by other people in society.”

Wise, who hosts a Washington radio show, says that sports is seen as “the last bastion of society” where “political views are verboten.” What’s more, Costas had a “heckuva small amount of time” to make his point (which the NBC sportscaster has admitted was a misstep). A better idea would have been for Costas to make his point in an interview or op-ed piece.

As for the fans, “during those three or four minutes on Sunday Night Football, they want Bob Costas to be Bob Costas. They don’t want him to be an anti-NRA guy.”