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Ernie Johnson's emotional TV segment before 'The Match 2' gets strong reaction from viewers

Sporting News logo Sporting News 5/24/2020 Dan Bernstein
Ernie Johnson, Jr. wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera © Provided by Sporting News

"The Match 2" opened with an emotional segment from broadcaster Ernie Johnson describing the context of the high-profile golf competition amid the coronavirus pandemic and explaining his decision not to call the event.

Johnson's son Michael has muscular dystrophy that causes severe respiratory issues, and Johnson was concerned covering "The Match 2" could lead him to bring COVID-19 back home and threaten Michael's life. Johnson framed the decision not to attend the event as one of risk and reward that many Americans are facing during this uncertain period.

"I would have loved to have been part of the broadcast team down there at Medalist today," Johnson said. "But I have a 31-year-old son Michael, and for the last nine years, every breath he's taken has been with the aid of a ventilator. He gets lung infections all the time. I just didn't think it was worth the risk of bringing in an unseen foe into our house."

MORE: Live updates from "The Match 2"

Johnson's eloquent segment drew praise on social media and recognition of his unique ability to connect with viewers on serious subjects.

Ahead of Sunday's much-anticipated golf matchup that included Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady, his words were just what many people needed to hear.

Here are some of the reactions to Johnson's segment:


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