After a kicked cameraman, deflated footballs and everything in between, the world has seen some crazy reasoning for athletes to be suspended. To settle it all, I took a look back at some of the most unusual suspensions that have ever occurred in professional sports.
6. Chris Sale’s Five-Day Suspension For Cutting Team’s Uniforms
Sale’s suspension is one of the more recent ones on this list, and I’m sure a lot of you will think its an overreaction to put it on the list of craziest suspensions of all-time. However, think about just how weird this actually was. Sale reportedly didn’t want to wear Chicago’s throwback uniforms because the jersey’s collar didn’t feel well on his neck when he was pitching, so he cut everyone else’s jerseys so no one could wear them. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a player destroying any team equipment for any reason, let alone the fact that he didn’t want to wear the jerseys because of an uncomfortable collar. It’s like when a kindergarten teacher tells a child he can’t use the colored pencils because it’s someone else’s turn to use them, so he breaks them all to ruin everyone else’s fun.
5. Tom Brady’s Four-Game Suspension For DeflateGate
Another recent suspension that many football fans aren’t huge on, Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for DeflateGate will go down in history as one of the most confusing situations in sports history. It was found to be “more probable than not” that Brady was aware of deflated footballs in a 45-7 rout of an AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts, and the league, specifically Roger Goodell, suspended the quarterback for four games. After seemingly-endless appeals, and a whole season of Brady playing, the suspension finally was upheld and Brady will miss the first four games of the 2016-2017 season. To be honest, looking back, I have absolutely no idea what actually happened in the whole ordeal.
4. Dennis Rodman’s 11-Game Suspension For Kicking A Cameraman
Of course, it wouldn’t be a successful list about suspensions without mentioning the one and only Dennis Rodman. Rodman had a notorious incident with cameraman Eugene Amos in 1997, where he kicked the worker in the groin and missed 11 games. In total, Rodman lost a million dollars because of the kick after being suspended for 11 games without pay, and receiving a $25,000 fine and settling for $200,000 with Amos. In basic terms, it was a real low blow for Rodman and his bank account.
3. Marty McSorley’s 23-Game Suspension (And Assault Charges)
This will forever be known as one of the uglier moments in NHL history. Usually fights and brutality are encouraged and appreciated in the sport, but Boston’s Marty McSorley took it to the extreme in 2000. McSorley’s anger got the best of him as he came up behind an opponent and swung his hockey stick at the player’s head. His mistake cost him 23 games, and also earned him a guilty verdict on some charges for assault with a weapon.
2. Latrell Sprewell’s 82-Game Suspension For Attacking His Coach
While some people make fun of Allen Iverson for his notorious “Practice?” rant, at least he didn’t take it as far as Latrell Sprewell did in 1997. At the time, Sprewell was on the Golden State Warriors, and actually attacked his coach during a practice not once, but twice in less than an hour. His first attack included choking and dragging his coach by his throat, and the second involved him returning after a shower to punch the coach. He was suspended for 82 games, one of the longest in history, but it doesn’t even put up a fair fight to the top suspension on this week’s Pick-Six.
1. Metta World Peace/Ron Artest’s 86-Game Suspension For Fighting Literally Everyone
Arguably the most notorious incident in NBA history, Ron Artest tops this week’s list with the infamous “Malice at the Palace.” With less than one minute remaining in a regular season game, the Pacers and Pistons’ emotions ran wild as the two teams brawled on the court. As the fight was coming to an end, a fan threw a drink at Ron Artest (now known in the NBA as Metta World Peace), and all hell broke loose. Artist ran into the crowd, and fans and players eventually began fighting each other. The aftermath included nine suspended players for a total of 146 games, 11 million dollars in salary lost, assault charges for five players, and some fans being banned from the Palace for life. Artist got the brunt of the equation, with a suspension for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs which totaled 86 games.