ESPN opted to not show a replay of Nick Chubb’s horrific knee injury on Monday night after it became very clear that it was indeed a gruesome injury. And while some people like Dan Patrick made a case that ESPN should have shown the replay, most were happy that they opted not to, including legendary CBS and TNT broadcaster Kevin Harlan.
Harlan was asked about the decision in an interview with The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch on Friday, where he compared Chubb’s injury to when NBA star Gordon Hayward fractured his ankle in 2017, which Harlan was on call for.
“I had Gordon Hayward’s injury on opening day of the NBA a couple of years ago (2017) in Cleveland when he was with the Celtics,” Harlan told Deitsch. “He came down early in the game, and he broke his ankle. There was bone and blood. I could hear it and see it because we’re courtside. My recollection of it was TNT did not show the replay. I think we just conveyed it was about as gruesome as you might assume.”
He then added that Chubb’s injury was very similar and in his opinion was far too gruesome to show fans at home.
“That was the case on Monday night. It was unbeknownst to the people in the stadium in Pittsburgh before they showed the replay just how gruesome it was. The collective groan and shriek told you all you needed to know. I didn’t see it until the next day when someone showed me a clip, and it was as bad as I had feared. I’m glad Joe (Buck) said what he said. It was honest. I don’t think we’re in the business of gruesome. I think we’re in the business of reporting. And I think those words and the reaction of the players told it all.”
It certainly can be argued either way whether ESPN made the right decision not to show the replay. But with how popular social media is, fans who actually wanted to see the injury could easily have done so on pretty much any social platform. And those at home who had no interest in seeing it luckily didn’t have to.