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.