Host/TV personality Bob Costas attends the 2012 Golden Goggle awards at the Marriott Marquis Times Square on November 19, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

 

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — NBC broadcaster Bob Costas used his halftime segment on “Sunday Night Football” to advocate for gun control following this weekend’s murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, causing an immediate debate on social media.

In a segment about 90 seconds long, Costas paraphrased and quoted extensively from a piece by Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock.

After praising the column, Costas said: “In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows? But here, wrote Jason Whitlock, is what I believe. If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”

Belcher shot and killed Perkins, the mother of his 3-month-old daughter, on Saturday morning, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in the parking lot of the team’s practice facility.

The online reaction to Costas’ segment was swift, with many people criticizing the broadcaster for expressing his personal views on a program meant for entertainment.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.