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10 Sports Moments That Made Us Lose Faith in Humanity

  • Ryan Kantor

Here at we’re largely known for our sports lists–the Top 10 Most Beautiful Sports Wifes, Top 10 Iconic Plays, Top 5 NBA Players That Would Be Head Coaching Material, and the list of lists goes on and on. Well, a recent crime (comes up at #4 on the list) at my alma mater made me think of all the sports moments that just make us grit our death and lose a little faith in humanity. A little unorthodox for an article, but hey, not taking it too seriously is sometimes how we get by in this world.

The Tonya Harding and Mike Tyson stories shot to the top of the list and made many of the others look like small potatoes, so to bring to light some moments you have not heard about or have at least forgotten, limited to events since 2000. Enjoy… Well maybe not enjoy but you get the point…

Dishonorable Mention – Tiger Wood Infidelity

10. NCAA Continues to Put Athletes Last

Although the media hasn’t run with this story as one might expect it still belongs on the list. The University of North Carolina, a premier public institution, created a fake Afro-American Studies department and offered bogus courses for athletes for the purpose of maintaining their academic eligibility at the otherwise prestigious and challenging university. The NCAA has not leveled serious sanctions, but is busy laughing it up about a denied appeal for Dante Hill, who will lose his senior basketball season because he played 8-minutes in a scrimmage and thus burned up his final year of eligibility. Depriving athletes of the true academic opportunity a great school like UNC offers is awful for NCAA athletes, but the association in more focused on enforcing draconian eligibility rules.

9. Steroids won’t go away

Obviously we remember the terrible steroid fiascoes of the early 2000s. Then we really felt like baseball was clean, only to watch the Biogenesis scandal unfold with some of the best players in the game involved.

Furthermore, steroids in college sports are becoming more and more obvious and nothing in being done about it. It was hoped that the SEC would pass a conference wide substance abuse policy, but that doesn’t seem to be the case and the few schools that actually enforce a serious policy (that’s both recreational, illicit drugs and PEDS) are in the position of “unilaterally disarming.”

8. Giants Fan Brutally Beaten by Dodger Fans

In the parking lot after an Opening Day baseball game, Dodgers fans attacked Bryan Stow, a Giants fan, and caused serious brain trauma. To make matters worse, the insurance companies were only able to cover his therapy for so long, and the family is now trying to pay for care out-of-pocket, but due to the great expense he has suffered setbacks. The Stow family and the city of San Francisco have brought litigation against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

7. Lance Armstrong Denies Cheating for Years, Lied and Doped

Lance Armstrong, the American who dominated a European sport and build a well-known charitable foundation (LIVESTRONG, which despite the unscrupulous founder is still a reputable charity) repeatedly denied steroid use. He defeated testicular cancer, and although cycling isn’t big enough to generate a national hero, Lance Armstrong was the closest thing the sport could support.

In an interview on Oprah of all places, he admitted that he had been doping for a decade. Worse yet, he had been lying about it and “bullying” those who stood in his way, using his immense power in the sport to crush the reputation anyone who opposed him.

6. NBA Referee Tim Donaghy Cheated

“Sacramento had the best team in the league,” former NBA referee Tim Donaghy wrote in an email interview about the series. “But the referees/league didn’t allow the better team to win.”

Tim Donaghy was a gambling addict and NBA referee who bet on thousands of games he refereed and eventually was approached by a “mob boss”  about a gambling scheme. Already in debt, Donaghy complied, intentionally missing calls as bets dictated. Most notably in one of the greatest NBA series in the modern era, Lakers-Kings in 2002. The NBA wanted a 7th game, and Tom Donaghy and other allegedly complicit referees made sure it happened by tilting game six in favor of the Los Angeles Lakers. To be fair, it’s almost justice for all the flopping that Sacramento Kings center, Vlade Divac, did throughout his career.

Tim Donaghy has served 15 months in jail, was divorced by his wife, and faces additional charges by state governments.

5. Oaks at Toomer’s Corner Poisened

A 64-year-old Alabama fan with a criminal past took a rivalry way too far when he went on Auburn’s beautiful campus and poured herbicide on their famous Oaks at Toomer’s Corner. For years, after each of the Auburn’s wins, fans streamed to the beloved Oaks and rolled them with toilet paper. It had been an Auburn tradition for years, but one man showed that some don’t know where rivalry ends and the law begins.

Harvey Updike, the man who did this, served six months in jail, and now heads back to Louisiana where he may face charges for making threatening remarks to employees at a Lowe’s Home Improvement store. He is banned from all Auburn University property and Lowe’s stores. He will continue to serve five years of probation, but Auburn fans will be deprived for longer than that. For a great video on the tradition and Harvey Updike, check out this piece by ESPN.

NCAA Football: Auburn-Spring Game


4. Howard’s Rock Defaced

Subjectively the best tradition in college football, before each home game the Clemson Tigers rub Howard’s Rock to indicate their promised level of effort and desire and then run down the hill surrounded by 80,000 raucous fans. On June 3rd, 2013 it was discovered that someone had picked the lock on the glass casing around the rock and smashes a first sized chunk off the rock. Damaging such a rich tradition is akin to someone defacing Touchdown Jesus in Notre Dame, IN. It’s disgusting, it’s wrong, and it’s sad, but the tradition will live.

Here’s Heather Dinich with the report. If you’re unfamiliar with the tradition, check out the video below. It’s inspiring enough to bring a tear to the eye to the roughest and toughest of Clemson men.

Photo Courtesy

3. The Malice in the Palace

This, coupled with all the other Ron Artest incidents, rises towards to the top of the list. The Brawl in Auburn Hills was actually not started by Ron Artest, but rather Ben Wallace and fine folks of the beautiful city of Detroit. Nontheless, Ron Artest took it to another level and can be seen literally exchanging punches with Pistons fans.

2. Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore Incident

The macho bravado of the NHL was really exposed for its violent negativity in February of 2004. A tit-for-that episode between Vancouver and Colorado had ensued. It started when Avalanche center Steve Moore injured Canucks team captain Markus Näslund by checking him in the head while Näslund was reaching for the puck ahead of him. Several Canucks players were vocal against Moore in the media. In particular, forward Brad May issued a “bounty” on Moore, while Bertuzzi called him a “piece of s—.” In a rematch five days later, Colorado players drew Steve Moore into a fight early in the game. Towards the end of what had turned into a blowout game, Todd Bertuzzi began following Steve Moore around attempting to draw him into another fight. When Moore did not react, “Bertuzzi grabbed his jersey from behind and punched him in the back of the head, with Moore’s face hitting the ice as they both fell down. Bertuzzi, as well as several other players from both teams, landed atop Moore as he fell to the ice. Canucks fans initially cheered at Bertuzzi’s actions, but as it became apparent Moore was seriously injured, the arena became silent.

After lying on the ice for approximately 10 minutes, Moore was removed from the playing surface on a stretcher. The injuries were career-ending. Bertuzzi would serve a 20-game suspension and face litigation. Intentionally injuring a player is bad, the crowds initial cheers shot this towards to top of our list.

1. Jerry Sandusky at Penn St

You know this story and it obviously wasn’t a close race for the #1 spot. A grown man sexually abusing young boys and a university unwilling to turn to authorities for fear of negative PR and NCAA sanction (see #10). Statues literally crumbled at the feet of this scandal and the most famous man in Penn St history, Joe Paterno, will never be thought of the same. The saga isn’t over. Prayers go out to the victims.

Photo Credit: AP

If you’ve read this far, I feel obliged to end with some sort of wise nugget. This world we live in is VERY far from perfect, but remember it’s only temporary, there are greater things beyond this world, but while we are here it is all of are calling to spread love and make the world just a little bit better of a place.

Simon is an author at Sports-Kings. For more info you can visit his websites at or follow his at where he is the content manager.

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