AL HAMNIK: Kevin Ware injury handled with class on social media

2013-04-01T18:15:00Z 2013-04-03T02:07:44Z AL HAMNIK: Kevin Ware injury handled with class on social mediaAl Hamnik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
April 01, 2013 6:15 pm  • 

Occasionally, social media gets it right.

Good taste and compassion prevail over sensationalism and shock value.

That was the case during Sunday's Midwest Regional final when Louisville's Kevin Ware landed awkwardly out of bounds while contesting a Duke 3-pointer and broke his right leg in two places.

Fans and teammates close to the play at Lucas Oil Stadium said they heard the bone snap as CBS cameras captured the gruesome sequence in its entirety.

Duke players retreated to their bench, fighting back tears and in shock.

Louisville players collapsed on the court, sobbing uncontrollably.

The Louisville bench, located near where Ware had collapsed, quickly leaned the opposite way like wind-blown reeds, repulsed by what appeared to be a compound fracture as game officials rushed in with several towels.

An eerie hush fell over the entire stadium as CBS announcers chose their words carefully and struggled to remain optimistic while coaches Rick Pitino and Mike Krzyzewski were in tears.

CBS stopped showing the horrific replay, which was not seen inside Lucas Oil Stadium.

We may have witnessed one of the most powerful and emotional moments in televised sports. Whether or not you were a fan of either team, you found yourself praying for Kevin Ware.

Social media, much to my surprise, did not turn the freakish accident into a circus.

We had a house full of guests Easter Sunday and the young adults there, those who sleep with their iPhones, quickly began searching for video of Ware's injury.

There was plenty to pick from on You Tube.

Much of it was in good taste and with compassion.

What we saw basically was a brief cut from CBS which included Ware's collapse, players' reactions, and the guard being carried off the court on a stretcher.

As of Monday afternoon, the more popular You Tube clips averaged between 12,000 and 15,000 views.

ESPN showed class with photo stills of the accident and video from the Pitino and Krzyzewski press conferences.

The Twitter world also erupted with complete sympathy and support for the fallen Cardinal, unlike the torch job it did on Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler two years ago.

Former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann tweeted that his heart went out for young Kevin Ware.

Michael Bush, who played for the Bears and suffered the same type of injury at Louisville, offered the Ware family his full support.

Of course, not everyone came out of this pure as the driven snow.

A web site called TYT, with a warning for the squeamish, twice showed a clip of Ware's dangling leg and drew 150,000 views by mid-day.

You Tube featured another site, belonging to some ambulance chaser named Peter Pan, that provided a graphic photo of a bloody compound fracture with the caption: "Kevin Ware breaks leg. Check out this shot of the accident close up."

Two things immediately caught your attention.

The leg belonged to a white individual on a checkered floor. The Lucas Oil sideline was a glossy black.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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