Social media has become a key element in how sports fans take in games in recent years. This year’s NCAA tournament has been no exception, with fans constantly sending out updates on Twitter during every minute of action. But no event caused such a storm on social media as Kevin Ware’s gruesome injury on Sunday during Louisville’s Elite Eight matchup against Duke.
By now you know the story. Ware attempted to block a shot, suffering a compound fracture upon impact right in front of the Cardinals’ bench. The injury, captured live on CBS, was described as one of the most horrific sports injuries of all time. Fans instantly began Tweeting out prayers of support for Ware and his family with the #PrayForWare hashtag. Ware’s name was instantly trending on Twitter worldwide.
Replay’s of the horrific injury instantly went viral on social media. On the court, teammates broke down crying, overwhelmed with emotion. Fellow athletes sent out tweets of support, including one from Joe Theismann, who suffered a similar injury in 1985 that ended his career.
Watching Duke/ Louisville my heart goes out to Kevin Ware.
— Joe Theismann (@Theismann7) March 31, 2013
Unfortunately, amidst the Tweets of support, a fake account was set up by a user claiming to be Ware. The account (@KevinWare_5) generated thousands of followers immediately following the injury. Most caught on quickly to the hoax, and the account was suspended by Twitter on Monday.
On Monday, just 24 hours after the injury, Louisville sports information director Kenny Klein tweeted out an inspiring picture of Ware standing up and moving on crutches, wearing Louisville’s regional champions hat. The photo was retweeted over 5,000 times. Ware hopes to join the Cardinals as they travel to Atlanta to prepare for the Final Four.
— Kenny Klein (@KKcards) April 1, 2013