My Sad Sorkin Moment

Bob Costas, during the halftime break of Sunday Night Football, the day after this incident in Kansas City.

“Well, you knew it was coming. In the aftermath of the nearly unfathomable events in Kansas City, that most mindless of sports clichés was heard yet again: ‘Something like this really puts it all in perspective.’ Well if so, that sort of perspective has a very short shelf life, since we will inevitably hear about the perspective we have supposedly again regained the next time ugly reality intrudes upon our games.

“Please. Those who need tragedies to continually recalibrate their sense of proportion about sports would seem to have little hope of ever truly achieving perspective. You want some actual perspective on this? Well, a bit of it comes from the Kansas City-based writer Jason Whitlock, with whom I do not always agree, but who today said it so well that we may as well just quote or paraphrase from the end of his article: ‘Our current gun culture,’ Whitlock wrote, ‘ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead. Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. 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 still be alive today.’

“The second half is next, from Dallas.”

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