Bob Costas CBS Masters: Tals Beef Over Outside Protests

Bob Costas has never had the opportunity to announce The Masters because CBS has held the exclusive broadcast rights to the tournament since the 1950s, with ESPN picking up the first two rounds in 2008.

Costas, who has worked primarily for NBC since 1979, claimed on Friday’s Dan Patrick Show that if he did get that chance, he’d get kicked out of the broadcast booth at Augusta National.

“What no CBS commentator has ever alluded to, even in passing, even during a rain delay, even when there was time to do so, is Augusta’s history of racism and sexism,” Costas said. “Even when people were protesting just outside the grounds — forget about taking a side — never acknowledging it. So not only will I never work the Masters because I’m not at CBS, but I’d have to say something and then I would be ejected.”

Perhaps it’s the freedom of knowing that he will never have to appease his bosses and the network’s corporate sponsors when it comes to the tournament, but Costas’ acknowledgement of Augusta’s previous policies — the club only admitted its first African-American member in 1990 and first female members last year — certainly gives added meaning to the phrase “a tradition unlike any other.”

“I think someone should have had the guts to do it along the way,” Costas said towards the end of his call. “Broadcaster, executive, somebody should have said to someone at Augusta, ‘Look this is an issue. And this is not Nightline or Meet the Press, we understand that. But this is an issue. And it’s an elephant in the room. And we’re going to address it as concisely as we can but we’re going to address it so our heads are not in the collective sand trap.”

Costas would surely be criticized for expressing his opinion, much like he was after his headline-making gun control argument at halftime of a Sunday Night Football broadcast in December.

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