Top 20 Disrespectful Moments In Sports History



Top 20 Disrespectful Moments In Sports History

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Q.V. Hough
These sports moments tarnished everyone involved. For this list, we're focusing on displays of bad behavior, unsportsmanlike conduct and violence during or after sporting events that simply made our jaws drop. Our countdown includes Mike Tyson Bites Evander Holyfield, The Malice at the Palace, Shaq Dunks on Chris Dudley, Luis Suárez Biting Incidents, Black Sox Scandal, and more!

Top 20 Unsportsmanlike Moments In Sports

Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 Unsportsmanlike Moments in Sports.

For this list, we’re focusing on displays of bad behavior, unsportsmanlike conduct and violence during or after sporting events that simply made our jaws drop.

Which unsportsmanlike moment had you shaking your head? Let us know in the comments!

#20: Dale Hunter Blindsides Pierre Turgeon (1993)

April 28, 1993

Today, Dale Hunter has a fantastic reputation as a professional hockey coach in the Ontario Hockey League. But back in 1993, he proved himself to be just another testosterone-fueled athlete in the Patrick Division Semifinals of the NHL Playoffs. In Game Six against the New York Islanders, Hunter lost the puck to Pierre Turgeon. Not only did Turgeon capitalize on the opportunity by scoring, he also celebrated – as hockey players often do. Hunter then proceeded to hunt down Turgeon and delivered a hard-hitting check. As a result, he would miss the first 21 games of the following season.

#19: Floyd Mayweather Jr. Punches Victor Ortiz

September 17, 2011

A few years ago, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. destroyed the hopes of casual boxing fans. The pound-for-pound champ crushed the jaw of an opponent that maybe – just maybe – could’ve handed Money his first professional loss. Nobody expected Victor Ortiz to out-box the champ on that June evening, but then again, nobody expected Floyd to get his boxing shorts in a knot and cheap shot a defenseless Ortiz. If you’re a die-hard Mayweather fan, then you probably have a tough-guy take on the incident. But any boxing purist will tell you this, Mojoholics: THAT was a punk move.

#18: Shaq Dunks on Chris Dudley

March 28, 1999

Over the course of his eight-year tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal posted some huge numbers. During one particularly sweaty game against the New York Knicks in 1999, he posted his hefty figure all up on Chris Dudley before “complementing” the move with a classic shove. Dudley, being a grown man and all, didn’t quite appreciate this questionable display of sportsmanship. So, he naturally launched the ball at Shaq – as if that could erase this nasty bit of human posterizing from his memory.

#17: Eden Hazard Kicks Ball Boy (French name ah-ZAR)

January 23, 2013

If you’re familiar with European football, you know that both players and fans alike will basically do anything in the spirit of gamesmanship. So, when a Swansea (pronounced swan-zee) ball boy attempted to bamboozle the Chelsea club during their 2013 Capital One Cup semifinal game, Eden Hazard wreaked some serious havoc and launched a swift gut bomb to the poor kid’s mid-section. Sure, we don’t exactly condone the ball boy’s behavior. But, in a time when all sporting events are captured on film, we have to wonder: what exactly was Hazard thinking? We’ll say this: Eden earned that Red Card.

#16: Barry Hall Punches Brent Staker

April 12, 2008

If you Google the Australian footballer named Barry Hall, you’ll discover that he’s been involved in a few “incidents” during his AFL career. In a 2008 match against the West Coast Eagles, the veteran tough guy put a left hook on Brent Staker’s chin – because, you know, he’s “competitive”… or perhaps a few cards short of a full deck. All joking aside, the cheap shot took Staker out of the game, and Hall was later suspended for seven games while securing a permanent place on the YouTube wall of shame for unsportsmanlike moments.

#15: Trevor Chappell’s Pansy Bowl

February 1, 1981

When it comes to the rules and regulations of cricket, there’s nothing that says one can’t bowl underarm. But in the spirit of competition, it’s simply a no-no. So, imagine the outrage when an already contentious 1981 match between Australia and New Zealand took a troubling turn when Australia’s Trevor Chappell effectively mailed it in to secure a final victory. The New Zealanders actually needed six runs to tie it up, but in perhaps the most bone-headed decision of Australian cricket, Greg Chappell asked his brother to embrace his inner cowardice, because sports are just that damn important. Briefly a champ, forever a BUM.

#14: Albert Haynesworth Stomps Andre Gurode (jur-ROD)

October 1, 2006

Early on in the 2006 NFL season, the Tennessee Titans were hosting “America’s Team,” the Dallas Cowboys. However, defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth nearly ended the American Dream of Andre Gurode for no apparent reason other than malicious intent. After a play, Haynesworth strolled on over to a pile of opponents and proceeded to kick and stomp Gurode while he was still on the ground. But while most mature players can keep their emotions and thoughts in check, Haynesworth just went ahead anyway like it was no big deal, which led to 30 stitches for Gurode.

#13: The Shoe Incident

December 23, 1979

Fights are pretty commonplace in hockey. But even for the rock 'em, sock'em playing style of the ‘70s, this brawl involving a Boston Bruins defenseman and New York Rangers fan was really out of the norm. To catch a spectator who’d assaulted a player, the Bruins team leapt into the stands to confront the culprit. However, what was most shocking was when Mike Milbury hit the offender with his own shoe. The incident led to multiple player suspensions and fines.

#12: Roberto Alomar and the Spitting Incident

September 27, 1996

He may be one of baseball’s most talented second basemen, but that doesn’t mean he always kept himself in line. During a 1996 game against the Blue Jays, Roberto Alomar objected to John Hirschbeck’s call by spitting in the umpire’s face. Though the Baltimore Orioles player claimed the umpire had made racist comments, Alomar was suspended for five games. The two eventually reconciled.

#11: Boston Marathon Cheater

April 21, 1980

Though Rosie Ruiz maintained that she ran the Boston Marathon in its entirety, it’s generally accepted the Cuban American cheated her way to the finish line. The fact that Ruiz barely broke a sweat and wasn’t familiar with common runners’ terms was just the starting point for people’s suspicions. For while there wasn’t any video surveillance, witness reports that she took the subway and official investigations ultimately revealed the truth.

#10: Kermit Washington Punches Rudy Tomjanovich

December 9, 1977

When you’re one of seven players to average 20 points and 20 rebounds over your entire college career, it takes something pretty despicable for that to be overshadowed. And there’s really nothing to justify the 1977 roundhouse punch that Kermit Washington dropped on Rudy Tomjanovich, who was simply trying to break up an in-game brawl between the L.A. Lakers and Houston Rockets. The punch nearly killed Tomjanovich, and considering the graphic descriptions of those who witnessed it first-hand, it’s kind of a miracle that he went on to have a successful coaching career – considering he tasted his own spinal fluid on that fateful day.

#9: Eric Cantona Kung Fu Kick

January 25, 1995

Football and martial arts: these two sports don’t often appear in the same sentence, but a French athlete known as King Eric brought the two together during an outrageous moment in 1995. Playing away to Crystal Palace, Eric Cantona overheard a Palace fan’s hateful boasting. Did he just shrug it off? Nah, he instead greeted him with a Bruce Lee-style Kung Fu kick, followed by a series of Floyd Mayweather-like jabs. When all was said and done, Cantona earned himself an eight-month ban. In perhaps the strangest press conference ever, the player referenced… “seagulls.” Wow.

#8: Marty McSorley Hits Donald Brashear with Stick

February 21, 2000

In the world of hockey – a sport in which players are allowed to fight during games – there’s nothing that typically surprises fans, or players for that matter. Unless, of course, it’s a blindside cheap shot. In 2000, with less than five seconds left in a game against the Vancouver Canucks, the Boston Bruins’ Marty McSorley inexplicably whacked Donald Brashear in the face from behind. This led Brashear to not only take a nasty backwards fall, but also to suffer from a severe concussion. When there are so many ways to confront your opponent in hockey, this particular display of unsportsmanlike conduct unsurprisingly caught the attention of the British Columbia authorities. McSorley would end up being sentenced to 18 months’ probation. He never played in the NHL again.

#7: Luis Suárez Biting Incidents


We could probably make a whole list about this player’s numerous misdeeds, but for this video, we’re going to go with what striker Luis Suárez is most commonly known for; biting opposing players. Yes, players (emphasize s). The first incident occured in 2010, when he bit attacking midfielder Otman Bakkal on the shoulder. In 2013, he went for Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic. Then, a year later, he bit the back shoulder of Italy’s Giorgino Chiellini during a World Cup match. While widely considered a skilled and talented player, his actions with his teeth along with other controversies have surely cast a shadow over his career.

#6: Black Sox Scandal

Baseball (1919)

This scandal caused so much damage to baseball that officials banned the players involved for life. Referring to the conspiracy between eight White Sox players and pro gamblers to deliberately lose the 1919 World Series games , this fixing of the MLB championship also achieved notoriety for the alleged participation of legendary athletes like Eddie Cicotte and Shoeless Joe Jackson.

#5: Zinedine Zidane Headbutts Marco Materazzi

July 9, 2006

It was during France’s return to the 2006 World Cup Finals when, seemingly out of nowhere, Zinedine Zidane used his noggin’ to hit Marco Materazzi’s chest. Zidane was sent off the pitch, and Italy won the game in the shootout. It was later revealed the Italian player had taunted and insulted him. Zidane has publicly said that he wouldn’t have been able to live with himself if he wasn’t sent off. We’re not sure that France would say the same thing.

#4: Todd Bertuzzi Punches Steve Moore

March 8, 2004

It's one thing to stand up for a team mate, but this was just way out of line. In retaliation for a hit on captain Markus Näslund by Colorado avalanche forward Steve Moore in a previous game, Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi attempted to provoke Moore into fighting him. But when Moore would not respond, Bertuzzi proceeded to grab his jersey and punch him on the side of his face. Moore would subsequently land face first on the ice. Out cold, he was carried out in a stretcher. Although Bertuzzi apologized for his actions, the league would suspend him for the remainder of the season and the incident remains one of the NHL’s darkest moments.

#3: Attack on Nancy Kerrigan

January 6, 1994

While the Olympics are competitive, this went beyond anything we'd come to expect from figure skating. To increase her chances at the Olympics, Tonya Harding conspired to have rival Nancy Kerrigan taken out of the picture. Kerrigan was then unable to participate in the U.S. Figure Skating Championship, clearing the way for Harding’s victory. Though both made the Olympic team, Harding eventually faced charges for her involvement.

#2: The Malice at the Palace

November 19, 2004

Though the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons fight began on the court, it quickly degenerated into the NBA’s most infamous brawl when they took it to the stands: after a spectator threw a drink at Ron Artest, pro b-ballers and fans began throwing punches and drinks at each other. The Pacers-Piston brawl led to multiple player suspensions and criminal charges for several fans.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions.

Chris Simon Steps on Back of Jarkko Ruutu’s Leg with Skate
December 15, 2007

Ron Artest Elbows James Harden in Face
April 22, 2012

Pedro Martinez and Don Zimmer Brawl
October 11, 2003

Dennis Wideman Knocks Down Linesman
January 27, 2016

Jack Tatum’s Preseason Game Hit on Darryl Stingley
August 12, 1978

#1: Mike Tyson Bites Evander Holyfield

June 28, 1997

Mike Tyson was already seen as a wild and crazy boxer, but his 1997 rematch against Evander Holyfield topped anything and everything else he'd done in the ring. During “The Sound and the Fury” fight, Tyson bit his opponent’s ear on two separate occasions during the match. He later stated his actions were in response to Holyfield’s un-penalized head butting.