A name that won’t be familiar to most U.S. sports fans, Du Plessis is a South African rugby player who plies his trade in France. He plays for Montpellier who is also one of the best teams in their league. However, rugby players – like American football stars – have a lot of testosterone and this sometimes erupts. But when it does, it gets a little bit terrifying.
Montpellier was warming up for their game against arch-rivals Racing 92 when somebody said something and Du Plessis erupted. He got physical as he launched a punch at a teammate before other players quickly dragged him away. If their plan was to intimidate Racing 92 with their savagery, it worked because they won 41-3.
So far on this list, we’ve seen teammates fight teammates. Nothing too unusual about that right? Then there was the case of a player losing control and confronting their coach. But what about one coach going head-to-head with another? This is exceptionally rare because typically coaches are older and have wiser heads than the testosterone-driven young men on their teams.
But sometimes they too can lose control. In 1993, Ryan was the defensive coordinator for the Houston Oilers. A decision by his offensive counterpart Kevin Gilbride infuriated him. After the Oilers gave up the ball, Ryan roared at Gilbride. Then his colleague shouted back and walked towards him. Ryan’s reasonable and well-thought-out response was to punch him in the face.
You might think a professional athlete might have more to worry about than a measly $600. However, if you’re former New York Jets’ defensive end Enemkpali, then every dime counts when you lend cash to somebody. It’s just as much about the principle as it is about the actual sum of money. Starting quarterback Geno Smith discovered this the hard way.
Smith bailed on Enemkpali’s summer camp after agreeing to attend. The latter had paid for his flight ticket and demanded that Smith pay him back. Then Enemkpali confronted him in the locker room and broke the quarterback’s jaw. Needless to say, this didn’t end well for either man. Ryan Fitzpatrick became the starting quarterback and the Jets released their linebacker.
These two MLB legends really didn’t like each other but were able to hold back their grievances while the Mets were winning. However, their dynamic shifted as their team went into decline in 1989, three years after their last championship. This was an aging team and the atmosphere on the practice field definitely wasn’t healthy. But it all boiled over on photoshoot day before the new season started.
The seating arrangements placed Strawberry next to Hernandez but he wasn’t happy. In his words, he only wanted to sit next to his real friends. To sum up, professional athletes can be as petty as a child. These words ignited a brawl between the two players. It wasn’t the best start to the new season for the Mets as the two embarrassed themselves.
Owens has to be one of the worst teammates in the history of the NFL. An immensely talented wide receiver, he even became a six-time Pro Bowler. However, his success on the playing field didn’t translate to popularity in the locker room. However, he made this problem because he antagonized his quarterbacks relentlessly. Probably not the best idea.
The wide receiver’s horrible relationship with quarterback Donavon McNabb is well-known. But he also had a shocking run-in with another Eagles’ teammate, Hugh Douglas. Douglas accused Owens of faking injuries. This in turn ignited a locker room brawl. It’s safe to say things were never boring with Owens around.
New Orleans Saints superstar Thomas is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. But the Los Angeles native also possesses a fierce temper. Even his teammates aren’t safe from it when he explodes. In 2020, fans were curious about why had missed Game Five against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He had suffered from an ankle injury, but it looked like he had recovered.
However, the story broke that Thomas had a physical altercation with a teammate. He fought with C.J. Gardner-Johnson and also answered back to coaches, including head coach Sean Peyton. This left Peyton in a difficult position because in 2019 Thomas broke the record for receptions in a single season. But the team had to make an example of the disruptive star and suspended him.
We miss Rosberg because the German brought out the best in Hamilton. The two Mercedes Benz drivers had an intense rivalry despite competing for the same team. They just wanted to win more than anything else. They also weren’t afraid of getting physical, which makes this one of the craziest entries on this list.
At the Austrian Grand Prix in 2016, Rosberg took their feud to the next level. Earlier in the season, Hamilton’s aggression resulted in both drivers falling out of the race in Spain. But in Austria, Rosberg deliberately drove into his teammate. It was incredibly dangerous, but this was also the season where Rosberg won the Driver’s Championship. His team was obviously furious.
Fighting your teammate can’t be good for morale. Somebody should have told Smith this because he has an unfortunate history of attacking people he should be on good terms with. On no less than three occasions, Smith got into physical conflicts with his own teammates. But remember, they’re just the ones we know about. In sum, this was one brute of a man.
His most serious clash was with Anthony Bright as a member of the Panthers’ roster. A film session was ongoing when Smith got angry and punched Bright. He shattered his teammate’s nose which didn’t help him to make friends. Bright pressed charges and the police brought Smith in on misdemeanor assault. Somebody needed to give that man a Snickers.
One of the most ridiculous and infamous incidents in Premier League soccer came about in 2005. Bowyer was always a volatile presence, but nobody could have predicted this ludicrous moment. His team, Newcastle United, trailed 3-0 to Aston Villa. In short, it was a bad day at the office and the Newcastle players felt humiliated. Then Bowyer’s frustration erupted.
Bowyer confronted his teammate, Dyer, because the latter refused to pass to him. When he asked why the answer was because he was playing like “s**t.” The next thing that happened was the two men were throwing punches at each other. Players from both teams had to separate them and then the referee issued red cards to the pair. It didn’t change the result at all.
It’s possibly the understatement of the century to say that Sprewell did not have a good relationship with Golden State Warriors coach P.J. Carlesimo. He held a grudge against Carlesimo after the latter withdrew him early from a game. Things escalated in a practice session when the coach told Sprewell to work on his passing. But the player didn’t like that.
He threatened to kill Carlesimo because he was sick of the coach’s tough disciplinarian style. Carlesimo said, “I’m right here.” Unfortunately for him, Sprewell was a genuine lunatic and went straight for him. He grabbed the coach by the throat and took him to the ground. His teammates literally had to prevent him from choking the life out of Carlesimo. The NBA banned him for 68 games then the Warriors traded him to the Knicks.
Homophobic slurs are a no-no in the modern world, but in the 1990s, they were commonplace. Calling somebody ‘gay’ was a suggestion that they were effeminate and less of a man than you. Furthermore, NFL players can be very sensitive about this because they have massive egos. No pro-athlete wants to lose face in the locker room. This caused a massive fight during the Redskins’ 1997 training camp. Check out the picture below.
Westbrook thought that Davis called him gay after he believed that he heard the slur. The wide receiver confronted his teammate but then things turned physical. In the end, Westbrook ended up on top of Davis and battered him until teammates separated them. Finally, it emerged that Davis actually called Westbrook soft. At the very least, he was definitely feeling sensitive that day.
One of those players who just can’t stay out of trouble, Harvin had several physical encounters with his own teammates. A volatile character, he carried his temper from high school all the way to the NFL. His time with the Seattle Seahawks was probably the most controversial. He won a Super Bowl, but also had several fights with teammates like wide receiver Golden Tate.
The running back punched his teammate before the Super Bowl which is a very counterproductive thing to do. Meanwhile, he also fought Doug Baldwin the following year. Finally, he had a confrontation with Russell Wilson but teammates separated the two before it turned physical. An intense and aggressive character, Harvin was nonetheless a great player. But the red mist was quick to rise.
Everybody’s emotions get the better of them sometimes, but that is no excuse for what Romanowski did to Marcus Williams. The Raiders’ enforcers lost control and attacked his teammate during a scrimmage. Sometimes this kind of thing happens, but usually, teammates separate the angry men and it’s over. But Romanowski literally ended Williams’s career.
In short, he ripped the backup tight end’s helmet off. Then he punched him with crushing force and broke his eye socket. Williams was unable to play again because the physical damage was too severe. Of course, he sued Romanowski for his brutal action. Romanowski also had savage encounters with opposition players but to do this to your own teammate is next-level horrendous.
In 2009, Arenas and Crittenton were both members of the Washington Wizards’ roster. However, they weren’t the best of friends. Any fan of Michael Jordan will know that NBA stars gamble hard. While this can be a fun way of killing time, it’s also often the cause of friction between players. These two men brought it to the next level when they pulled guns on each other.
This went beyond a normal physical confrontation. After Crittenton failed to repay a debt, Arenas told him he’d burn him if he didn’t. The pair brought guns to their locker room and squared off. Although the situation cooled, it resulted in both men facing criminal charges. It also practically ended Crittenton’s career and he is currently serving time for killing a woman in Atlanta.