Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware experienced one of the most painful broken legs ever to be captured by cameras during Sunday afternoon’s game, but CBS is having no second thoughts over how it covered the sports injury.
CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus has no regrets about banning further replays of Ware’s gruesome injury, the Associated Press reported, and he added that if anyone wants to watch it again on the Internet that’s fine with him.
CBS showed two quick replays of the incident during March Madness on Easter Sunday. No blood or broken bone was shown. It was a simple awkward fall and was only aired on CBS twice before the footage was pulled from the network.
“In today’s world, if you want to see a piece of video instantaneously that you just saw on television, there are a million ways to do that,” McManus said Monday, according to the AP. “I’ve seen statistics on the millions of views this piece of footage has had on YouTube and I have no problem with that.”
Ware was injured when he was attempting to block an opposing player in the Cardinals’ regional final victory over Duke. His teammates and coach Rick Pitino were in tears after catching a glimpse of the athlete’s tibia bone protruding from his leg.
He had surgery for his injury on Sunday and is expected to watch Louisville compete in the final four on Sunday from the bench in Atlanta, the AP wrote.
CBS was praised for showing restraint in their coverage of the horrific sports injury.
“If people want to go watch the footage for whatever reason, they have a right to do so,” McManus said. “I just didn’t think we had any obligation to be the facilitator of putting that footage back on the screen. We documented it, we described it and we showed it, and I think that was enough.”
The network made sure to document the event with several postings attached to Ware’s name after his accident on Sunday.
Ware’s injury was comparable to when Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann broke his leg during a Monday Night Football game in 1985. It was just as gruesome, with bone projecting from his skin, except back then the only way viewers could see replays was if it was shown on the network.
People also have DVRs now, so they can easily play back the incident on their own.
“Current technology makes it a whole lot easier for them to take the high road,” Jeff Billings, a sports media professor at the University of Alabama, told the AP.
McManus maintained there is no reason for the footage to be shown again, even if Ware shows up to support his team on the Atlanta bench Saturday for the Final Four game.
“I just think that it’s not necessary,” he said to the AP. “It’s not journalistically important that we do that now because we told the story. I think we’ll move on from that footage.”