US sports presenter Bob Costas has said the decision to pull him from planned coverage of last year’s Super Bowl was the result of comments he made about the risk of head injuries in American football - not simply professional courtesy and conflicting schedules with the biggest day in US sports.
Costas, who resigned from his post with NBC Sports earlier this year after 40 years, had originally been scheduled to host the 2018 Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles, but it was announced just days before that he would not fill that role.
In an exclusive interview with ESPN's E:60, Costas recalls being “yanked” from the coverage for his comments “linking football and brain damage”.
“I remember being told that now I can no longer host the Super Bowl,” Costas said.
“I think the words were, ‘You’ve crossed the line,’” he said. “And my thought was, what line have I crossed?”
Over his 40-year career as a sportscaster Costas became one of the best known faces of the industry, but apparently caused difficulties for himself with comments like the one he made during a 2017 event at the University of Maryland, when he said football “destroys” brains.
That event was not the only time he has spoken out against the brutal effects of football, and the traumatic injuries that have been documented from the game.
Costas, prior to his stepping down from his post at NBC Sports, was well known for his coverage of sports in the US and international events, including the Olympics.