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NFL fans have been mourning the loss of 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker Junior Seau, whose death at 43 on Wednesday shocked the sports world. But Seau’s death was not the only event shaking the NFL community this week, and that may have contributed to MSNBC mistakenly showing a photograph of a different football player during a report about Seau.
On Wednesday, the cable network ran a picture of Jonathan Vilma, rather than Seau, during a segment about his death, reports Mediaite. Vilma was also in the news that day for receiving a suspension from the New Orleans Saints’ as part of the league’s bounty scandal, in which coaches monetarily rewarded players for injuring stars on opposing teams during games.
Cable news networks have famously used the wrong photos in reports before, but in less sensitive stories than Seau’s. In February 2008, NBC apologized for using a picture of Osama Bin Laden when MSNBC host Chris Matthews was talking about Barack Obama, then a presidential candidate. Last year, Fox News mistakenly showed footage of Tina Fey’s impersonation of Sarah Palin, rather than footage of the real Palin, during a segment.
Seau’s death of a gunshot wound to the chest was ruled a suicide by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office Thursday evening. The body of the former NFL linebacker was discovered by his girlfriend at his Oceanside, Calif. home the day before.
Watch the video of MSNBC’s report below.
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