An opening segment featuring Don Cheadle and a song from Rihanna has been pulled from CBS’ “Thursday Night Football” pregame show, and instead the 30 minute segment will be used to provide reporting and commentary on Ray Rice’s domestic violence controversy.
“CBS This Morning” anchor Norah O’Donnell will be reporting on the Rice fallout on the set in Baltimore with “Thursday Night” pregame host James Brown.
The original opening segment was to feature narration from Cheadle over a rendition of Jay-Z’s “Run This Town,” featuring Rihanna. A separate comedic skit had also been scrapped in favor of more serious reporting.
“It’s important to realize we are not overreacting to this story but it is as big a story as has faced the NFL,” CBS Sports CEO Sean McManus told Sports Illustrated on Thursday. “We thought journalistically and from a tone standpoint, we needed to have the appropriate tone and coverage. A lot of the production elements we wanted in the show are being eliminated because of time or tone.”
Rice was cut by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after a new video emerged of him assaulting his then fiancee Janay in an elevator in Atlantic City in February.