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Kevin Ware Shirts: Good or Bad Idea?

Kevin Ware shirt

I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t pop out a tear or several this past weekend during the Elite Eight game in which Louisville took down Duke and Kevin Ware suffered his broken leg. It was a gut-wrenching injury and an incredibly emotional reaction from players, coaches, fans, and rivals alike. Overall, I’ve been really proud of the reaction by fellow UK fans to the injury.

Folks have talked about it at exhaustion (and rightfully so), but today’s topic of discussion is getting a bit more controversial. Some folks are claiming that UofL and Adidas are potentially cashing-in on Kevin Ware’s injury via t-shirt sales. (cough, Deadspin, cough.) I am not ready to pass judgement on this, but it is an interesting perspective on the t-shirt, which is pictured above and currently for sale at $24.99.

There are plenty of amateurism disputes regarding how the NCAA treats its so-called ‘student athletes’ and reaps the profits from their college careers. But this is a different issue. What say you?

Is this a proper and reasonable display of support for a fallen teammate? Or is this a money-grab by the higher-ups at UofL and Adidas? Is the profit margin for this t-shirt too high? Shouldn’t they be giving some of these away instead of cranking up the price? The could be merely seen as one of the disappointing yet unavoidable pitfalls of capitalism – every newsworthy event has profit potential, even if its a disturbing injury.

If you haven’t seen the interview with Ware today on ESPN, watch it now. Powerful stuff that overcomes the imaginary lines we draw the sand when it comes to rivalries in sports.

Article written by Chris Thomas

67 Comments for Kevin Ware Shirts: Good or Bad Idea?

  1. David19
    6:02 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Great idea , IF profit goes to good cause.

  2. Mike
    6:04 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Definitely distasteful. Wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t charge out he ass for it. Cashing in on people’s emotions.

  3. minton
    6:04 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I think they get a pass. This was a very unique injury. It’s not every day you get to see real bone sticking out on live TV.

  4. purinrichie
    6:06 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Only Tom Jurich would stoop this low to try and make money off of Ware’s injury. I hope KARMA bites him back this weekend.

  5. Maxbps8
    6:08 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    100:1 odds they come out w/in the next 5-days and announce that 100% of the proceeds go to…x non-profit for disable children.

    If they don’t they will go down on the top 10 list of the biggest opportunists of all-time.

  6. Higher Ups
    6:09 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Personally I think it’s a bad idea. If you want to show support, you do what people have done. Rally behind social media, tv publicity, press, signs, etc. If you want to make a profit, you make a t-shirt. It’s that simple. You don’t produce a product for “support” without the notion that you will be making $23.50 from a $25 shirt.

  7. the Big Dog
    6:09 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t get me wrong because I wish Kevin Ware the best, but I cried a lot more over Louisville winning.

  8. TheNewOriginal
    6:12 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Definitely a gruesome injury, but a common occurrence in a sport like motocross. Have to say that Ware took it like a man, others…not so much.

  9. kramer
    6:15 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I am really sorry that the kid got hurt, I know it was painful to him, coaches teammates and family that had to see it on TV. Iam by no means a UL fan but have sympathy for them, it’s happened to UK before. However, the constant coverage by all the news channels, National news, everything, at this point is a little “over the top”.I did not watch it, or see a replay, I broke my finger and bone was sticking out, and that made me sick then, not watching that.

  10. Chicago Chris
    6:15 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Doesn’t bother me… although I suppose a higher ground solution would be to donate proceeds to something charitable.

  11. kramer
    6:16 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I didn’t cry for Nerlens, not gonna cry for a UL player.

  12. UKSupporter76
    6:17 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink


  13. can't_look
    6:17 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Like the idea if it’s for charity.

  14. Rei
    6:18 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    sucks that he got hurt, for real, but I still don’t want UL to win.

  15. lil c
    6:21 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Struggling to find a topic I see. Who care either way if the Cards make a T-shirt to support one of their players!!!!!! SMH

  16. C-A-T-S
    6:22 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I think it’s a good Idea to support this kid as much as possible. I don’t care if he does play for Louisville. I hope none of these kids get hurt, and what happened to him is horrible. Hopefully, he will heal up and be even better next season. After watching his interview on espn he seems to be a good kid, and how can u not feel bad for that to happen to anyone. So applause for them supporting this young athlete.

  17. dude
    6:23 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    A friend of mine makes t-shirts for a living. He buys blank shirts for under $5. You gotta think Adidas gets a better price than that. So you be the judge.

  18. DesignatedDrinker
    6:23 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    The kid broke his leg and the miserable sports media have turned him into some sort of hero? Like everyone should mourn something that a lot of people experience in life, a broken bone. It’s not like he was in battle fighting for our nation and was killed. He was playing a game. And the pictures of Quick Rick in the hospital room, really? Nice photo op dbag. Where are the pics of him in the abortion clinic with Karen Sypher and the aborted fetus? Oh, guess that didn’t serve the egotistical, hypocritical agenda of Rick. Next we will hear what a family man he is as he steps on a baby to get another ring, when he should’ve been fired 2 years ago for behaving far worse than Bobby Petrino ever did.

  19. fireants25
    6:34 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    as much as it pains to say you have to admit thats the perfect shirt for the moment
    Is it football season yet?!

  20. RahRah
    6:34 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I’m really, really sorry the kid got hurt, but feel it’s being exploited in many ways. The t-shirts, the photo-ops, the interviews, all of it. A horrible injury but the kid is going to be fine. I feel like Pitino is going to ride this kid’s leg all the way to the championship.

  21. Split
    6:37 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Well, if Cards fans want to support one of their players, I guess it’s fine. Kevin Ware probably doesn’t care one way or the other; if he sees a bunch of people wearing Kevin Ware tee shirts, I’m sure he’d greatly appreciate it, but I bet he doesn’t really want lots of attention. I think he just wants his team to win and for himself to heal quickly.

  22. UKBlue
    6:38 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I saw something that makes 0 sense; UL is an Adidas school, I saw UL Nike clothing the other day.

    UL will milk this for everything it’s worth !! If UL is willing to rip off their own fans over tixs, making all of the Lvill taxpayers pay for the Yum Center & give Rick a pay raise after the Sypher ordeal nothing UL does should surprise anyone.

  23. TJurich
    6:38 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Opportunity arises, gotta take advantage, signed T Jurich

    I dont remember on UK capitalizing on Nerlens injury by selling T-shirst or any other university for that matter

    P.S. Best of Luck Kevin in your rehab.

  24. Azubuike's Bicep
    6:39 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    The only thing is that if proceeds go to him or a charity, a case could be made that they are profiting off of Ware, which would be an NCAA violation. With all that being said, let them do what they want. Who cares? They root for their team and we root for ours. If this is what helps them rally around their team then so be it.

    6:40 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Why do we care?

  26. Catfan
    6:42 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I can only assume that Kevin Ware is honored by it so for whatever reason it was done I think it’s good for his spirits

  27. BlueCat
    6:42 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Does the 5 stand for how many final 4’s they have been too.

  28. Dr. Funke
    6:43 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Deadspin is pathetic, If ware didn’t get hurt then they would be selling some other type of shirt. THEY ARE IN THE FINAL FOUR! Thats what they are trying to capitalise on! not an injury. If his injury is something the team and the fans can rally around thats great.

  29. Sammydog
    6:45 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Just one more example of the money making machine college athletics has become. The “student-athletes” are watching as are their parents. Not long before we have another lawsuit for financial exploitation like the one against the video game maker using likenesses of college athletes.

  30. jake
    6:46 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    if you cried at Louisville winning what’d you do when ky made the nit???

  31. Kristen Geil's Abs
    6:48 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Ware for president!

  32. John Ellis
    6:53 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Exploitative and predictable. Given Pitino’s history of dumping injured players (and he’s had a lot of injured players), Ware should declare for the NBA now and make the money himself off this.

  33. Duganboy
    6:55 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I hope Wichita State beats them and if that doesn’t happen then I hope the winner of Cuse/Michigan beats them.

  34. Tyler
    6:55 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Why are they acting like he was diagnosed with a Stage 5 Terminal Cancer. I am sure 65-70% of the people on this board have broken a bone. I understand the players disappointment when they saw him lying there. I just dont understand the interviews, T-shirts, and hashtags. It is all too much! ESPN just needs a “theme” to spice up a very very dull Final Four. Unfortunately, major television is convincing everyone to “love” this team and give everyone a common interest for the weekend. We get it. His leg is broken, go play ball!

  35. Corey
    6:56 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I think it’s a good question but more info is needed. Most importantly, what is the money going to be used for? Are they going to share the profits to help someone? Or are all the profits going to the T-Shirt co.? If it’s the latter, then, I think it’s exploiting a kids injury for profit. Sure, you can say that it’s to motivate everyone to get behind the Cardinals too, which is good, but it’s a shame when a kid has no say-so in the matter and he’s generating revenue for someone that he’ll probably never receive a share of.

    God bless, Kevin Ware. Get well soon. GO CATS!!!

  36. Really?
    6:57 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    You don’t think we wouldn’t do this UK fans? Gimme a break. Sheesh some of these comments are ridiculous. I’m talking KentuckyRLDiculous.

  37. jumpman78
    6:58 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    This shit is really getting old KSR. You know KENTUCKY Sports Radio. He is not the first player nor will he be the last that has this sort of injury during a game. Everyone is acting like he is the first. Sorry, but there was a Texas A&M player that did this back in 08 or 09, and his was much more serious. Just getting tired of this same old post.

  38. shelbyjoe
    7:02 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I’m so sick of hearing about Ware – for crying out loud, he doesn’t have a terminal illness – he broke a freaking leg – a LOT of people brake their legs. Where was all the crying and support from UL when Nerlens went down?

  39. BravoBigBlue
    7:06 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Who cares??? Isn’t this a UK site??? If I wanted that Sh#!, I’d go to a UL site. Does KSR have little brother envy? Or just desperate for more visitors? Reminds me the way the UL fans and media obsess about Kentucky. I feel bad for Ware, but I could care less about Louisville. Period.

  40. brain
    7:08 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    This site has a obsession with UL. Kind of sickening having to wade through all this card crap.

  41. Bluekzu
    7:10 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t care one way or the other. It might be a bit melodramatic, but if they want to do it then that’s their right.

  42. Blue
    7:10 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I bet Fan Outfitters wished they had thought of it.

  43. Shirts
    7:12 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Before ksr, wrote this they should have looked into the t-shirts sold by U of l, the proceeds are funneled back into the schools scholarships funds. It has been put out already.

  44. jalo
    7:15 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    If this was a UK player that got hurt, would there be shirts made for him as well

  45. ZombieLibrarian
    7:26 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    We’re sure this isn’t to celebrate their attempt at a ‘fifth’ national championship, right? I remember the Adidas t-shirt earlier in the year touting their ‘4’ National Championships.

  46. Reality
    7:48 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    When you guys respond well to one injury then we will talk. Oh yeah, next time you play a mid-major NIT team like Robert Morris, and one of their players smacks the crap out of you (Goodwin). Don’t just take that, like a B***** do something!

    P.S. Sean Woods was right!

  47. Takethoseonionsoffmysliders
    7:53 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I cried like a baby when he was hurt. So sad to see that happen to anyone.

  48. Sk54
    7:59 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Plain and simple, college basketball is a business. U of L is making money on this just like an endorsement deal does for a Pro. Capitalizing on an opportunity. Kevin Ware was given top notch medical care and Tom Jurich needs a way to pay for that insurance and co-pay.

  49. Big_Brother
    7:59 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    I guess we can count our 2 NIT chanpionships too, next year we go for 11 and tie UCLA

  50. Big_Brother
    8:02 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    WOW UL NIT championships = UK NIT championships. Who knew little brother is as good as Big Brother. lol

  51. Snl1960
    8:11 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Does this mean he is going pro……… Making money on shirts

  52. well
    8:24 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    Honest truth I am tired of hearing about it, I mean I am sorry he broke his leg, it was nasty . Noel’s injury was awful also but far as I know no shirts are made or was he on every news report doing interviews. People are losing people to cancer and other terrible diseases. Sorry you broke your leg but you will be fine.

  53. Maters
    8:33 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    People don’t show this much love to our injured and fallen troops. Sad really.

  54. Wayne
    9:14 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    At least Thw L1C4 bs has been pot to bed now the on;u thing im seeing is L1C5

  55. Throwing Stones
    9:28 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    It’s interesting that KSR’s bedfellow, Fan Outfitters, is profiteering the hell out of Ware’s injury with t-shirts, but KSR doesn’t mention that in this post. Check out the front page of Fan Outfitter’s Louisville website,

  56. WCAT FN
    11:18 pm April 3, 2013 Permalink

    #5 exactly. PR mistake by missing the opportunity to avoid any “controversy”. All they had to do was announce XX% of all proceeds go to X charity with the release of the shirt. Not a UK/UofL comment, but Cal would have been out in front of that. For example, he makes $1 mil for Haiti by making smart executive decisions.

  57. Matt
    1:32 am April 4, 2013 Permalink

    The Kevin Ware saga is wearing me out. No pun intended. The guy broke his leg, not his neck. He is fine and will play again. The national media and fans alike are treating this kid like he caught cancer on the court. Players get hurt playing sports, it is what it is. National interviews, trending hashtags, t-shirts, what’s next? A meeting with Obama? HE BROKE HIS LEG! I’m not a doctor, but he will survive. It was a nasty break, but profiting from this is more disgusting than his fibula sticking out of his shin. Someone make this go away.

  58. King Cote
    8:32 am April 4, 2013 Permalink

    Did Ware die on the court? I guess all the UofL fans for get about is multiple suspensions and the one in January that was an indefinte one.

  59. Zach
    8:38 am April 4, 2013 Permalink

    57, you are right. I am sick of this also. This is getting publicized way too much. These injuries occur every year in any sport(cough, cough, Adrian Peterson) and Ware himself said he didn’t feel pain. C’mon people, aren’t you making this sound a little bit bigger than it really is?

  60. Tanya
    8:47 am April 4, 2013 Permalink

    Can we please get on with our lives? Ware is hurt, we get it. Does it really deserve national attention on every single show? I am a UK fan, and I am sick of Loserville coverage. Period.

  61. Bunzz
    9:20 am April 4, 2013 Permalink

    As long as the U of L pays for every penny of Ware’s over $600K in medical bills, I’m fine with it. And I’m sure they have insurance that will do so.

  62. LexCat
    9:42 am April 4, 2013 Permalink

    Can this dude’s fifteen minutes of fame be over now? Please.

    10:27 am April 4, 2013 Permalink

    Yeah…..WHO would ever exploit a kid with a for profit t-shirt ?????

  64. Tom Jurich
    10:50 am April 4, 2013 Permalink

    The University of Louisville has declined ALL royalties from the sale of this shirt for Kevin.

    Find something else to whine about BIOTCH!!

  65. NoIllusions
    1:02 pm April 4, 2013 Permalink

    First, I hate the cards.
    Second, don’t they claim to have won 4 national titles? So a t-shirt with the #5 in it would make sense given they are this close to possibly winning it all.

  66. purinrichie
    3:04 pm April 4, 2013 Permalink

    I take back what I said in post #4. Tom Jurich is the best AD in the nation. If you think not, then you are an idiot

  67. CATdawg
    3:27 pm April 4, 2013 Permalink

    What’s the difference in using the “flat top” or “twins are coming” shirts? But on the flipside of the argument though is that they aren’t putting last names on the back of jerseys now or at least in the same color as the jersey…this is supposed to be because you’re part of a team not playing as an individual. So doesn’t that mean Adidas is now spelling team with an “I?” Maybe it’s a way to make up to them for “forgetting” to include them in covers of Sports Illustrated 2 yrs running (now they get their cover with the injury). Just my 2cents… 🙂