During the Louisville Cardinals vs Duke Blue Devils game last night the crowd was as loud as any could possibly be. The arena was electric, Rick Pitino and Mike Krzyzewski were doing their sideline routines and then, it happened. Kevin Ware‘s bone shot through his leg and the crowd gasped, fans cried and silence struck the arena. After that, things took a series of strange and sometimes disgusting turns down the nation’s moral compass road.
Immediately after the injury happened, CBS played two replays of the gruesome injury. Twitter started to buzz around a kid’s bone popping out of his body while bashing the network for airing the replay twice. It stopped with two, as the network either heard the cries of the Internet or came to the conclusion that showing the injury again would be in bad taste or, at the least, paint the network in a bad color.
Initially, social media seemed to be genuinely worried about Ware. Many sent their well-wishes out to the sophomore and his family. It was almost as if a person had died rather than lost the ability to play basketball. Still, it showed the good side of people. The side in which rivalries and fandom were not as important as the health of a young man. At the end of the day, after all, Ware was playing this game for free — for our entertainment.
Then the dark side of human nature started to rear its ugly head; the side where some websites would not post the video at all while others boasted that they wouldn’t — as if they required a prize for showing a level of restraint. Some made fun of those treating the injury as a death. Others used the opportunity to poke fun at Louisville or started to gauge the Cardinals’ chances without Ware. Mind you, this was going on while he was still on the floor screaming for his girlfriend. Yes, and that too, people mocked him for calling out for a loved one. Apparently, a 20 year-old is not allowed to want comfort.
When the injury happened, I was over my in-laws. None of them are college basketball fans, but let me keep the game on to humor me. Granted, they only like me in the slightest of ways, so the game was muted. When I returned from throwing some food on my plate I noticed Louisville players crying. I turned to Twitter to find an answer to what I missed and told my daughter to turn away from the TV (unaware CBS was not going to show anymore replays). Then, more strange things happened.
I get a phone call from one of my best friends. He proceeds to tell me what happened and how gruesome of an injury it actually was. That he, while at work, had enough time to catch a glimpse of the game at the wrong time. After agreeing that we felt bad for Ware, we hung up on each other and I went back into the house where I was greeted with questions. I gave them the only answer I knew at the time, “It was not good. His leg must have broken as his bone was showing.”
Being that my two sister-in-laws and their aunt are all nurses, I asked them if they had any idea what that means. The aunt, who can play the stereotype of a bitter divorcée, made some off-color comments about him asking for his girlfriend instead of family. When I told her that his family was not in attendance, she stopped and acted like the comment was never made. Finally, one of my sister-in-laws finally told me that he was likely done for a while. How a break like that can permanently do damage to tendons, muscles, etc and alter his ability to play basketball at a high-level for the rest of his life.
So while we all bask in the discussion, ramification or whatever Ware broken leg talk — he has to live and work to get back from that. We took the injury, regardless of side, personal because we all have to have an opinion or a witty thought about an amateur-athlete.
Ware played basketball at the highest-level you can do, without being paid — only to be talked, mocked, giffed or become a talking point while doing so.
Without. Being. Paid.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone