It has to do with his outspoken criticism of the NFL in relation to the league’s concussion crisis. Here is a taste of some great long-form sports journalism from Mark Fainaru-Wada at ESPN’s “Outside the Lines”:
By this point, Costas’ line at Maryland — This game destroys people’s brains — had gone viral, raising hackles in the NBC offices. The New York Daily News asked NBC for comment, and a spokesman responded, “Bob’s opinions are his own, and they do not represent those of the NBC Sports Group” — prompting a story from Raissman under the headline, “NBC throws Bob Costas under the bus and in the process sends warning to rest of its talent.”
Sensing a budding problem with his employer, Costas says he decided to appear on CNN on Saturday morning to make it clear he wasn’t being critical of NBC. So, for the third time in a week, Costas was talking publicly about football and brain damage. He didn’t soften any of his comments — in fact, he reiterated them — but he did attempt to defend the network.
“I’ve been saying these things for the better part of a decade, and often on NBC, in front of the biggest audience not just in all of sports, but in all of television — ‘Sunday Night Football,'” Costas told host Michael Smerconish. “And I think NBC Sports deserves credit for this.”
Within an hour, Costas says he received a text from Flood, who oversees sports production for NBC.
“I think the words were, ‘You’ve crossed the line,'” says Costas, who says he no longer has the text.
“My thought was, ‘What line have I crossed?'”
Later, Costas says he pointed out that he had been saying these things about football for years — often on NBC. That didn’t matter; it seemed this was one time too many.
Costas was told he was off the Super Bowl LII broadcast.
“I recall the phrase, ‘It’s a six-hour, daylong celebration of football, and you’re not the right person to celebrate football,'” Costas says. “To which my response was not, ‘Oh please, please, change your mind.’ My response was, ‘Yeah, I guess you’re right.'”
Read the entire piece here.