Bob Costas Expresses Opinions on Sunday Night Football on NBC


Bob Costas, commentator for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” addressed the controversial issue surrounding Washington’s team name during the halftime show of the Washington vs. Dallas football game on national television on October 13. 

Costas said the term used for the team name is “an insult, a slur to the Native American culture” and “ask yourself what the equivalent would be if directed toward African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians or members of any other ethnic group.” 

This broadcast was shortly after President Obama commented to the media about team’s name. But the larger story revolves around how Costas addressed the ongoing issue on national television. 

As a journalist/commentator, your responsibility is to be unbiased and report the facts. Specifically a commentator’s job, is to comment on the game, provide the fans with information pertaining to the game and players, and to provide viewers with an inside scoop of the game, team, and players. 

Commentators should not state their own opinions during a broadcast. As controversial as this issue is, Costas only added more fuel to the fire especially considering he was commentating during a Washington game. 

NFL and any other professional league commentator should do what they are getting paid for and that is to strictly comment on the game and its players. The controversial issues regarding teams and players should be left up to the league and the team itself.

Fans should be able to tune into any professional game and be able to enjoy the game without any politics. The great thing about sports is it provides an escape from the real world. For fans, it provides fun and entertainment, and a commentator’s job is to promote exactly that.

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About The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project

The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project is a hub for teaching, research, and service related to sport media. The Project benefits students and faculty at Bowling Green State University, and offers outreach and media consulting to area and regional groups that work with student-athletes. Through collaborative efforts of the Sport Management program and the School of Media and Communication, BGSU students have the opportunity to learn such skills as sports writing, reporting, broadcasting, announcing, public relations, media relations, communication management and production. Faculty and other scholars have access to resources about the commercial and sociological aspects of sport.

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