Kevin Ware experienced one of the most gruesome injuries in the history of sports Sunday, and anyone who missed the play has had the chance to witness it since. Websites and sports highlight shows have replayed the ghastly injury for anyone interested.
One outlet, however, was markedly limited in how much it played back the event: the very network that was broadcasting the game. CBS showed the replay twice after Ware was injured, once from the original angle and once from a down-the-court view. The network then opted to focus on reaction at the arena, and at halftime, CBS also chose not to replay the stomach-turning injury.
While much debate has since arisen about who should be showing the injury and whether the viewers themselves should be the ones choosing to watch it or not, one outlet has emerged mostly unscathed. CBS is drawing praise for showing restraint in a moment that could have quickly become sensationalized.
CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said the network doesn’t regret not showing further replays.
“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,” he said Monday, according to The Associated Press. “I’ve seen statistics on the millions of views this piece of footage has had on YouTube, and I have no problem with that.”
McManus also brushed off criticism that CBS should have shown more replays because it was “in a position to document history.”
“I just didn’t think we had any obligation to be the facilitator of putting that footage back on the screen,” he said. “We documented it, we described it, and we showed it, and I think that was enough.”
Part of the reason CBS is considered in the clear, The Associated Press story reports, is because there are other ways for viewers to see the play. In other situations, such as when Joe Theismann was injured, a network was the only place where viewers could see what happened.
CBS also did not show any footage of blood or the bone protruding from the skin, which other outlets have.
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