A Brief History Of Sport’s Most Unsporting Moments

smashedracketAthletes, whether we want to believe it or not, are people just like the rest of us. Despite their near physical perfection, the pressure to perform or perhaps the dizzying effects of stardom at times cause even the best of them to behave inappropriately.

Bad sportsmanship is common enough, at times it rears its ugly head in even the most friendly of matches, but it is very rare to see it at its worst. For at its worst, unsporting behavior can evoke such revulsion that it can change the way that a game is played from that point forward. It can redefine what we consider acceptable behavior and permanently sully the public’s memory of otherwise great athletes.

Whether due to violence, unfair play or rudeness, the athletes in the events featured in this article have earned reputations for unsporting behavior. Today, we look at the worst moments and the impact of the most glaring examples unsportsmanlike conduct in a range of different sports in an effort to understand precisely what it was that caused mere seconds of play to be etched in the memories of fans around the world.

Ice Hockey: Retaliatory Hit Leaves Player With Broken Neck

bertuzzi_1

Three weeks after a questionable call that injured Vancouver Canucks team captain Markus Näslund (the league’s leading scorer at the time) by Colorado Avalanche center Steve Moore, the Canucks were looking for revenge. With Colorado up 8-2 late in the third period, Todd Bertuzzi began following Moore down the ice and trying to get him to fight. When Moore didn’t give him the time of day, Bertuzzi, behind Moore, grabbed the Colorado player’s jersey and punched him in the side of the head and took him down to the ice face first.

After lying on the ice for several minutes, Moore was  finally removed on a stretcher.  According to Wikipedia, “he suffered three fractured vertebrae in his neck, vertebral ligament damage, a grade three concussion, stretching of the brachial plexus nerves, and facial cuts. To date, Moore has not appeared in another professional hockey game.”

Aftermath: The aftermath of the Bertuzzi-Moore incident began immediately after it took place and continues to this day. Bertuzzi was suspended indefinitely, fined $500,000 and faced criminal charges that saw him sentenced to a year of probation.

Bertuzzi was allowed to reenter the league for the 2005-2006 season, but faced civil action from Moore, which is presently ongoing. Moore’s lawyers are seeking a total of 18 million dollars and Moore’s parents are seeking a further $1.5 million for “negligent infliction of nervous shock and mental distress.”

bertuzzi_2moore bertuzzi_3moore bertuzzi_4

[Wikipedia]

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About the author: C. S. Magor

 

C.S. Magor is the editor-in-chief and a reporter at large for We Interrupt and Uberreview. He currently resides in the Japanese countryside approximately two hours from Tokyo - where he has spent the better part of a decade testing his hypothesis that Japan is neither as quirky nor as interesting as others would have you believe.

Website: http://www.weinterrupt.com

 

Editor's Picks

 
  • Kevin C

    Perhaps you should review what the term “clock-wise” means.

  • Kevin C

    Perhaps you should review what the term “clock-wise” means.

  • Jim N

    Rolling a cricket ball is worse than biting someone’s ear off?? Granted I know next to nothing of the English sport – but c’mon.

    • http://www.weinterrupt.com C. S. Magor

      The sports were not in any particular order, of course I would rather have a ball rolled to me than my ear bitten off, but the rolled ball created a hell of a stink as it was seen as a cowardly play. It cast the Australian team in a bad light for many years after, even the Australian players on the field thought it was a gutless move.

  • Jim N

    Rolling a cricket ball is worse than biting someone’s ear off?? Granted I know next to nothing of the English sport – but c’mon.

    • http://www.weinterrupt.com C. S. Magor

      The sports were not in any particular order, of course I would rather have a ball rolled to me than my ear bitten off, but the rolled ball created a hell of a stink as it was seen as a cowardly play. It cast the Australian team in a bad light for many years after, even the Australian players on the field thought it was a gutless move.

  • Kevin B

    How can they leave off Woody Hayes coming from the sideline to level an opposing player running for a touchdown??

    • http://www.weinterrupt.com C. S. Magor

      I’m only a mere mortal, but that incident just might make the next list.

  • Kevin B

    How can they leave off Woody Hayes coming from the sideline to level an opposing player running for a touchdown??

    • http://www.weinterrupt.com C. S. Magor

      I’m only a mere mortal, but that incident just might make the next list.

  • Vince

    Two comments: ON Kermit Washington, I saw that game and did not then and still do not believe it was bad sportsmanship. You have skirmish going on adrenaline is high and a player from the opposite team is running at you. I dont know about anyone else but I think if you put yourself in the same shoes you are going to protect yourself and while some do it by running some tend to throw out a fist or kick.

    Mike Tyson: During and after the first fight Tyson was complaining of headbutts from Holyfield, a number or other fighters also stepped forward and stated the same, Holyfield tends to lead and hit with his head. During the second fight Tyson again was complaining of headbutts. Holyfield is at least 6 inches taller than tyson why is his head hitting tyson on the forehead. bad sportsmanship on tyson but should also have been on Holyfield

  • Vince

    Two comments: ON Kermit Washington, I saw that game and did not then and still do not believe it was bad sportsmanship. You have skirmish going on adrenaline is high and a player from the opposite team is running at you. I dont know about anyone else but I think if you put yourself in the same shoes you are going to protect yourself and while some do it by running some tend to throw out a fist or kick.

    Mike Tyson: During and after the first fight Tyson was complaining of headbutts from Holyfield, a number or other fighters also stepped forward and stated the same, Holyfield tends to lead and hit with his head. During the second fight Tyson again was complaining of headbutts. Holyfield is at least 6 inches taller than tyson why is his head hitting tyson on the forehead. bad sportsmanship on tyson but should also have been on Holyfield

  • Mike

    Hmmm…like the list but if you’re going to call out dopers how about Roger Clemens ongoing boorish and deceitful behavior and taking the sportsworld and Congress for idiots with his own brand of sophistry. Also, throw in his bat throwing incident in the World Series and a professional philistine is complete.

  • Mike

    Hmmm…like the list but if you’re going to call out dopers how about Roger Clemens ongoing boorish and deceitful behavior and taking the sportsworld and Congress for idiots with his own brand of sophistry. Also, throw in his bat throwing incident in the World Series and a professional philistine is complete.

 

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