Top 10 Most Notable Fights in Sports HistorySports have always been competitive. Sometimes tensions flare up and two teams get into a fight. In a competitive environment, fights are bound to occur from time to time. Whether it’s a rivalry where there’s already bad blood between two teams or not, most of the time tensions rise because of something that happens during the game. Usually some form of taunting or excessive physical contact beyond the normal course of play. For the purposes of this list I look for what caused the brawl, who was involved, and the aftermath.
Of course, #1 is Malice in the Palace. Happening in 2004, Indiana's Ron Artest committed a hard foul on Detroit's Ben Wallace in the final minute of the game. Wallace shoved Artest, and the teams scuffled but were soon separated. The real drama began after a fan in the stands threw a drink at Artest, and he charged into the stands and attacked a fan. Artest was suspended the rest of the season as a result which was a total of 73 regular season games and 13 playoff games which by the way is the NBA's longest suspension for a non-drug related incident. Eight other players were suspended a total of 60 games for the brawl and aftermath that ensued. Artest, Jermaine O'Neal, and Stephen Jackson who also entered the stands were all charged with assault and received a year of probation and mandated community service. As a result of the whole situation
Quite the fight.
This is one of the most historical rivalries in all of sports it goes all the way back to the beginning of organized baseball. Of course there are bound to be moments where these two teams clash. There's a number of incidents that have occurred over the years. For this list we will be talking mainly about the brawl in 2003. And this wasn't just any game this was in the ALCS. Game 3 to be specific. the fight began after Boston's Pedro Martinez threw behind Karim Garcia's head in the top of the fourth inning. The umpire ruled it hit Garcia in the back and awarded him first base. Garcia would then run for second and slide hard into second baseman Todd Walker knocking him down. The peak of this saga was when Pedro Martinez grabbed Yankees manager Don Zimmer and knocked him to the ground. Surprisingly nobody was ejected throughout all of this. And later in the game there was an incident between the Yankees bullpen and a Boston groundskeeper. The Yankees would win this game and ultimately ...more
Dec. 23, 1979. This is the game where a number of Bruins players went over the boards and into the N.Y. stands and assaulted a number of fans, including one fella who had his shoe taken off and was beaten with it. The video is readily available on YouTube and its quite a trip. This incident may have also been the straw that broke the camels back as it pertains to the NHL's "Goon Era". The NHL was under fire for what was perceived to be a lack of control (or even clandestine endorsement) of fighting and extremely chippy play. A few teams were clearly built around hammering more skilled teams. It largely worked, but not against the best NHL team of the time, the Montreal Canadiens, who could beat these physical teams at their game or at skilled hockey. The NY Islanders followed the Canadiens blueprint and could beat all comers however they wished to play. However this apparently sanctioned goonery got the NHL in hot water with a few court cases of legalized assault. It became a good ...more
Going into this game the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche were ready to fight.Tensions we're already high after they played in the 1996 playoffs capped off by an illegal check into the boards from Colorado's Claude Lemieux that severely injured Kris Draper. Detroit was ready for vengeance. In the first period of their 1997 matchup, a series of several simultaneous fights broke out, with Darren McCarty pummeling Lemieux. All in all, there were 10 fights and over two hours of combined penalty minutes. The Red Wings won 6-5 with McCarty notching the winning goal in overtime. The Red Wings would win the Stanley Cup that year
This incident began when several FIU players seemed to be angered by a Miami player showboating after a touchdown. The Hurricanes were killing the Panthers as it was already 28-0 before the touchdown. After the extra point which made it 35-0 several FIU players began fighting with their opponents, leading to an all-out brawl among the two teams. A Miami player swung his helmet at several Golden Panthers, while an injured FIU player swung his crutches in the scrum. In total this brawl was so large that 31 different players combined were suspended for their involvement Miami earned 13 suspensions, while FIU received 18.
In the late 90s, the Knicks and Heat developed a rivalry when they repeatedly played against each other in the playoffs. This brawl was centered around New York's Larry Johnson and Miami's Alonzo Mourning. Both players were former teammates but they had a bit of a falling out in Charlotte when they were teammates. This game was a pretty physical game and with mere seconds to play. Mourning and Johnson got fired up and started swinging wildly at one another. None of the punches thrown landed, but both teams faced huge suspensions that impacted the series. That fight is remembered to this day for Jeff Van Gundy's desperate attempt to stop the fight by grabbing onto Mourning's leg. Mourning, Johnson, and New York's Chris Mills were all suspended for the following game.
The Steelers and Browns had an ugly end to their game in 2019 when Browns defensive end Myles Garrett received the longest suspension in NFL history for a single on-field act after this ugly incident against rival Pittsburgh Steelers. There were just a few seconds left to go in this game, Garrett ripped off the helmet of Steelers QB Mason Rudolph. When Rudolph charged at Garrett in retaliation, Garrett smashed Rudolph on top of the head with it. Pittsburgh's offensive lineman David DeCastro quickly took Garrett to the ground, while center Maurkice Pouncey punched and kicked him. The teams were separated after some additional fighting. After the incident, 33 different players were punished, their fines totaling nearly $750,000. Three players were suspended, including Garrett, who sat out the rest of the season.
To this day, one of my biggest regrets is turning off this game to go to bed a minute before the fight happened.
The Chicago rivalry between the North Side Cubs and South Side White Sox got heated in 2006 after a collision at the plate. A.J. Pierzynski had earned a reputation for antagonizing opponents, and he did just that with the White Sox. In a play at the plate, he ran over Cubs catcher Michael Barrett and then slapped home plate and got in Barrett's face in a taunting kind of way. Barrett responded by winding up and hitting Pierzynski, players came pouring out of the dugouts, starting a melee around home plate. For his role in the fight, Barrett earned a 10-game suspension. For the White Sox, outfielder Brian Anderson was banned for five games, and third base coach Joey Cora was suspended for two. Everyone else who participated was fined.
A massive brawl broke out right as Kansas completed a dominating win over their rivals Kansas State. As they dribbled out the clock to close out the game. Kansas State's DaJuan Gordon stole the ball and went up for a lay in, only to be blocked by Kansas' Silvio De Sousa and fall to the ground. After De Sousa stood over to taunt him, players from both sides came pouring onto the floor and a fight ensued. Punches were thrown, and fans sitting nearby scrambled out of the way. At one point De Sousa even raised a chair over his head before a coach took it out of his hands before he could use it. All but five players on each team were ejected. De Sousa was suspended for a total of 12 games and three other players were suspended for a combined 13 games. This is not only a rare occasion in college basketball but also the fact this was a blowout and this happened really makes this fight make less sense to me
the Knicks were playing Denver and losing 119-100 with a minute to go and New York seemed to be salty that many of Denver's starters were still in the game, potentially running up the score. As J.R. Smith tried to run for a breakaway dunk, he was hammered by New York's Mardy Collins. Players pushed and shoved, Smith wrestled Nate Robinson and punches were thrown. After the fight seemed to die down, Denver's Carmelo Anthony further escalated the saga when he punched Collins in the face. The inciting foul seemed to be premeditated, as New York's Robinson said after the game, "we're not going to let guys keep dunking when they're up 20." Anthony received the largest suspension, at 15 games. Smith and Robinson missed 10 games; Collins was suspended for six; and New York's Jared Jeffries earned a four-game ban.
The bad blood between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers began when the teams played against each other in the 2015 playoffs. Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista flipped his bat after hitting what would be the biggest home run in that series. The Next Year when they played again Pitcher Matt Bush hit Bautista with a pitch. Bautista responded by sliding beyond second base as he was trying to break up a double play he ended up almost hitting the second baseman Rougned Odor. It's worth noting that these type of slides can be dangerous especially for the fielder. Odor responded by pushing Bautista, then punched him in the face. Both benches cleared and 14 players and coaches were punished over the incident