Sports and gambling have always been associated with each other, and that is bad news for those in charge of professional sports. What’s scary is the obvious fact that athletes and coaches can sway outcomes of games, and sometimes, the payday being offered by overzealous bettors is too much to pass up.
Perhaps the most infamous betting scandal occurred in 1919, when eight members of the Chicago White Sox helped throw the World Series. The Black Sox left a black eye on Major League Baseball for some time, and the mark has been left. Still to this day, the legendary Shoeless Joe Jackson remains on the outside looking in of the hallowed halls of baseball’s Hall of Fame after a lifetime ban for his alleged role in the Black Sox mess.
Also waiting for his luck to change in regard to the Hall is Pete Rose. The all-time hits leader has yet to have his lifetime ban from the game lifted, a punishment he received for betting on the Reds when he managed the team.
Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy actually served jail time for his role in a betting scandal that raised plenty of questions about the integrity of the NBA. As we’ve seen with Donaghy, basketball is seemingly an easy sport to fix, something that has been backed up by numerous point-shaving scandals in college basketball.
Of course, not all sports scandals have to do with betting. There are stories like that of Little League pitcher Danny Almonte. The left-hander took the country by storm in the 2001 Little League World Series. His incredible fastball and slider seemed too good to be true, a thought that was validated when it was discovered that Almonte was actually two years older than he was originally believed to be.
The desire to be a champion also clouded the judgment of figure skater Tonya Harding who became infamous after her ex-husband and her bodyguard orchestrated an attack on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan back in 1994.
What is the worst American sports scandal of all time? Share your thoughts below.
Monday, May 30: Who is the best leadoff hitter in baseball?