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Costas on NFL's Adrian Peterson: 'It's a horrible crime'

In a wide-ranging interview with MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell NBC Sports veteran Bob Costas had some harsh words for Adrian Peterson, Roger Goodell and the NFL.

NBC Sports veteran sportscaster Bob Costas tore into NFL star Adrian Peterson Tuesday in an interview with Lawrence O'Donnell on msnbc's "The Last Word".

In regards to the child abuse allegations against the Vikings running back -- unprovoked and at the end of a wide-ranging interview -- Costas said, "The Viking teammate who said of Adrian Peterson, 'He's a great father,' -- statistically, he's great at fathering children. That's not the same thing as being a great father."

"And anyone who can't see the difference between legitimately disciplining a kid and beating a kid to the point where the authorities have to step in," Costas continued, "and the kid is 4 years old, no cultural or regional differences explain that away. It's a crime, and a horrible crime."

Speaking of the larger problem of the culture of violence within the NFL, Costas told msnbc that another league problem - head trauma - could be a partial culprit. "Many of those who play an inherently violent and brutal game, not a rough and tough game, but a violent and brutal game, will not will able to confine that behavior to the field, especially with what we're learning about head trauma."

Costas also said that the NFL's handling of the Ray Rice scandal was, at best, "feckless and incompetent and curiously passive." He went on to say, "It's almost impossible to believe that they didn't have the essential sense of it from some source or other, if we are to believe they didn't see the tape."

Related: Can Roger Goodell regain his credibility?

Previously, Costas has stated, "If something connects Roger Goodell to having seen this tape earlier ... I think it's a public relations disaster that he cannot survive."

Bob Costas also commented on the controversy surrounding the name of Washington, DC's NFL team. "I don't believe that anyone in 2014 is intentionally disrespecting Native Americans when they root for the Washington Redskins," he said. "But things change... just grab a dictionary. Any dictionary. It is a dictionary-defined insult or slur, pejorative, derogatory, insulting, a slur."