You don’t have to be a fan of sports to have heard of the horrific injury that occurred in the NCAA Tournament on March 31. It serves as a sobering reminder that athletes are people too.
An Elite Eight game between Duke and Louisville provided viewers with a close game of basketball until sophomore guard Kevin Ware went up to block a shot and came down with one of the most gruesome injuries to ever occur in a sporting event. After showing the replay twice, CBS refused to broadcast the video again and other networks followed suit.
Too often, fans get wrapped up in the competition and the heat of the game. Although this does not represent an entire fan base of any team, there are people who get violent, heckle players, and cheer at an athlete’s misfortunes.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassell knows all too well of how wrapped up the fans can get. After suffering a concussion during a game with the Baltimore Ravens, the fans at his own home stadium cheered as he came off the field. Concussions have been one of the most hotly debated topics in sports over the past few years.
Multiple concussions have led athletes to get brain injuries, a potentially deadly situation. NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau committed suicide last year and was later discovered to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or simply known as CTE. With something so serious, it is unfathomable to think of fans cheering that type of injury – yet they did.
While the Ware injury did not produce that kind of result, it did affect anyone who saw it live. Members of both teams were crying, some even vomiting at the gruesome sight. It serves as a reminder that these athletes are playing their hearts out for the fans and putting their bodies on the line. It’s time the fans return the respect.