Fox Sports Brasil paid powerful tribute to the Chapecoense Brazilian soccer club and the network’s six employees that were among the 70 people killed in a plane crash Monday night in Medellin, Colombia. The channel was set to broadcast the Copa Sudamerica game between Chapecoense and Atletico Nacional of Colombia Wednesday night. But rather than televise something else in place of the game that would no longer be played, Fox Sports Brasil instead decided to honor those who had been lost.
During the time in which the game would have been played, the network aired a 90-minute moment of silence with a black screen, a game clock and the hashtag #90MinutesOfSilence during the broadcast.
— Livia Nepomuceno (@LiviaNepoFox) November 30, 2016
During halftime of the telecast, Fox Sports Brasil paid tribute to the six employees who died in the crash with a video package produced for each person. A tweet from the network read “Today, the FOX Sports music won’t play. Our tribute to the victims of the crash. We sympathize with the families of these professionals.”
Hoje, a música do FOX Sports não vai tocar.
Nossa homenagem às vítimas do acidente.
Nos solidarizamos com as famílias dos profissionais. pic.twitter.com/s16CGh41Q6
— FOX Sports Brasil (@FoxSports_br) November 30, 2016
Fans and players gathered at the Chapecoense stadium in Brazil and Atletico Nacional’s stadium in Colombia to pay respect to the victims of the crash. Atletico Nacional has called for Chapecoense to be awarded the Copa Sudamerica title, while other Brazilian soccer clubs have offered to loan their players to Chapecoense in order to help rebuild the team and petitioned for the club to be exempt from relegation for the next three years.
How to handle such a tragic situation must have been a difficult decision for Fox Sports Brasil. Showing something else during that time slot would have been understandable. There’s broadcast time to be filled, after all. But it might have come off as a bit tone-deaf and not giving viewers an opportunity to mourn this loss and pay respect to the victims of a national tragedy. The network itself also needed to honor its colleagues and friends who had been lost and the 90 minutes of silence, in addition to the halftime tributes to those employees, was a touching gesture.
Television certainly has a way of bringing people together. At its best, it can help a community process events and deal with them. During a time when Brazil, Colombia and so many others throughout the world needed to mourn as one, Fox Sports Brasil did something wonderful to serve its audience.