No Respect: These Sports Stars Showed Truly Bad Sportsmanship

Darren - May 19, 2023

No Respect: These Sports Stars Showed Truly Bad Sportsmanship

Darren - May 19, 2023

The Guardian

Jessica McCaskill

McCaskill is one of the most talented female boxers today but she’s a sore loser. In 2017, she found Katie Taylor in London for the WBA lightweight strap. The legendary Irish champion outboxed her in a dominant decision victory. McCaskill was a game opponent but there was a clear skill gap (via Irish Mirror).


However, the former investment banker never forgave Taylor for this loss. Now she takes every opportunity to criticize the Irish woman and downplay her achievements. McCaskill outraged diehard fans when she worked as a co-commentator for the iconic Taylor vs. Serrano fight. She repeatedly gave biased views about Serrano and didn’t say a single positive point about Taylor.

Sports Illustrated

Bill Laimbeer

The Detroit Pistons were one of the toughest teams of the late 1980s and early ’90s. They played a brutal brand of basketball that rubbed rivals up the wrong way. Everybody talks about Dennis Rodman but Laimbeer was arguably their dirtiest player. He was the prototype for later stars like Draymond Green (via Detroit Free Press).

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Laimbeer has no remorse about his style of play or how people judged him. “That’s one of the things I’m really good at, I don’t care. I’m going to win the game,” said Laimbeer. “I don’t care what I got to do, I don’t care what people think about me. The most important thing is to win the game, most important thing is to win the championship.”

Sports Illustrated

Cam Newton

Losing a Super Bowl is one of the most devastating feelings for an elite football player. They dream of becoming franchise icons and receiving a ring that immortalizes their achievement. The Panthers had a golden opportunity to break their duck against the Broncos in 2016. But they suffered a heartbreaking loss and it hurt badly (via SBNation).

Sporting News

Their star quarterback, Newton, walked off the field without shaking hands with his opponents. There was a slight media agenda against the reigning MVP but it was still bad sportsmanship. In hindsight, most people agree that it was forgivable because of the wild emotions. Peyton Manning famously did the same thing after the Colts lost against the Saints.

CBS Sports

LeGarrette Blount

It’s never acceptable to attack another athlete even if they say something very insulting. Yes, it may be tempting to teach them a lesson but ultimately it backfires. That’s because it will lead to a suspension and hurts the player’s team. Unfortunately, Blount didn’t consider this when he had a rush of blood in 2009.

247 Sports

Boise State handed the Oregon Ducks a tough loss. The Broncos’ Byron Hout trash-talked Blount in the middle of the field. This was bad sportsmanship because it was disrespectful. Then Blount punched him straight in the face. Hout received a brutal lesson while Blount got a lengthy suspension (via NBC Sports).



Former Brazil goalkeeper Dida enjoyed a lot of success in his playing career. He won European and Italian titles during his time with AC Milan but fans remember him for one incident. Milan played Celtic in 2007 when he produced one of the most embarrassing moments ever. A Celtic supporter ran onto the field and lightly slapped Dida as he passed by.


Nobody condoned the fans’ action but it wasn’t exactly a knockout punch. Dida hit the floor as if someone smashed him with a sledgehammer and required a stretcher to leave the field. It was ridiculous because it didn’t hurt him at all. Later, UEFA hit him with a two-game ban for his antics (via Daily Star).

Fox News

Conor McGregor

Many people would argue that McGregor is a humble loser but that’s not true. Yes, he paid respect to the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Nate Diaz after their victories. But a glance at his Twitter feed reveals his bad sportsmanship. He famously refuses to accept his losses to the point of delusion.


This saw him go back and forth with several rivals including Dustin Poirier and Khabib Nurmagamedov. He often takes things too far and uses racial insults or insults from their partners. It’s not pleasant and leaves a bad taste in many people’s mouths. But McGregor lives on the edge and isn’t going to change (via USA Today Sports).


Brett Favre

There are different types of bad sportsmanship as Favre will prove. After Favre departed Green Bay he spitefully gave the Jets all of the information he could about the organization. It didn’t do much good because he was past his prime and the Gang Green was garbage. Then he began holding teams to ransom without backing it up on the field.


Favre taught Aaron Rodgers lessons about how to manipulate a franchise. He refused to report to summer practice and missed conditioning training with the Vikings. Meanwhile, he bullied them into sending his teammates to Mississippi. Favre lost a lot of respect as he entered the twilight of his career (via Time).

New York Post

Yoel Romero

Former UFC fighter Romero possessed terrifying power and athleticism. However, the Cuban was also a master of the dark arts and didn’t mind cheating if it gave him an edge. He fought Tim Kennedy at UFC 178 when the infamous StoolGate went down. Romero’s coach rubbed Vaseline on his fighter’s body. The referee noticed and forced him to wipe Romero’s chest.


However, this also gave Romero extra rest because he sat on his stool as his coach cleaned him. He blatantly cheated and it was bad sportsmanship. Romero is also famous for grabbing his opponents’ gloves and the fence. Some rivals even accused him of deliberately missing weight to gain an advantage (via SCMP).


Myles Garrett

Nobody messes with Garrett because he’s one of the NFL’s best defensive players. The Cleveland star is also a fiery character as Steelers QB Mason Rudolph discovered. The NFL hit Garrett with an indefinite suspension after he removed Rudolph’s helmet and smashed him with it.


This was one of the most controversial incidents of 2020 and shocked the league. It came out of nothing after Garrett tackled the quarterback and took him down. Then they wrestled on the ground before Garrett saw red. It was an unnecessary overreaction but he paid the price for it (via The Guardian).

Sky Sports

Luiz Adriano

Adriano enjoyed a lengthy career with the Ukrainian team Shakhtar Donetsk. They played Denmark’s FC Nordsjaelland in a 2013 Champions League clash. The Brazilian striker scored three goals but that’s not why people talked about him after the game. His first was very controversial because he showed bad sportsmanship (via Bleacher Report).

Bleacher Report

A Nordsjaelland player received an injury before the game restarted. Then their player kicked the ball back to their goalkeeper. Typically, opposition players allow the keeper to punt the ball upfield before contesting it. But Adriano stole the ball and scored the easiest goal of his life. He didn’t break the rules but UEFA still suspended him for two games because of his poor etiquette.


Mike Tyson

Few combat sports athletes have an aura like Tyson. The former heavyweight champion was a savage knockout artist but he was in decline when he fought Evander Holyfield. The latter shocked the world in their first meeting and Tyson demanded a rematch. ‘Iron Mike’ didn’t enjoy their second clash but he produced one of the most notorious fouls ever.

NBC 29

Tyson bit a chunk of Holyfield’s ear off and suffered a disqualification after round three. This was his second attempted bite of the short match. Initially, referee Mills Lane didn’t realize what happened and allowed the fight to continue. Then, at the end of the round, he called an end to the match (via TalkSport).

247 Sports

Marshall Henderson

There was a time when Henderson was one of the biggest stars in college basketball. The Ole Miss athlete attracted the nation’s attention with his controversial views and actions. We’re not here to talk about his racism because that’s for another day. But he had plenty of moments of bad sportsmanship too.

Fox News

Henderson brought March Madness to another level after Mississippi crashed out in the third round. He infamously lifted his middle finger to LaSalle’s fans during the 2013 NCAA Tournament. This wasn’t the most family-friendly gesture and the NCAA reprimanded him for his action (via USA Today Sports).


Israel Adesanya Part 2

Adesanya enters this list for a second time after an incident in 2023. He finally defeated his rival Alex Pereira in their fourth meeting and the relief was palpable. But he celebrated embarrassingly as he showed bad sportsmanship. Pereira knocked Adesanya out cold in a kickboxing match seven years before. Then the Brazilian’s six-year-old son mocked the stricken fighter.

The Athletic

He collapsed to the ground as if somebody shot him. Adesanya showed that he never forgets because he emulated this celebration after KO’ing Pereira. He cruelly mocked the now-12-year-old boy. Many critics said that this was unnecessary because he was feuding with a little boy (via The Mirror).


Gregg Williams

Williams is one of the most notorious defensive coaches ever because of one illegal scheme. He was the mastermind behind BountyGate, a concept that almost cost him his career. Sean Payton suffered a one-year suspension and Williams almost got a lifetime ban for this villainous practice (via NBC Sports).


In short, Williams offered his players bonuses if they targeted and injured opponents. This rocked the NFL because it was so immoral. However, it emerged that this was nothing new because Williams did the same thing in his previous jobs. Amazingly, he continued to bounce around the NFL and even had an interim head coach job.


Diego Maradona

England met Argentina in the quarterfinals of the 1986 World Cup. It was a heated clash between two rivals on and off the field. These nations fought over the Falkland Islands in 1982 and there was bad blood. The English spent most of the game hacking at the legs of the best player in the world, Maradona (via Sporting News).


But this was the Maradona show because he produced two iconic moments. One was a shocking moment of bad sportsmanship as he punched the ball into the net. The officials didn’t spot the foul and he called it ‘The Hand of God.’ Later, he dazzled the fans with one of the best goals ever as he ran through half of the English team.


Khabib Nurmagomedov

Nurmagomedov was one of the most intimidating MMA fighters of his era. The former UFC lightweight champion retired with an undefeated 29-0 record after beating some big names. He famously had a toxic rivalry with Conor McGregor but beat the Irishman when they finally fought. However, that wasn’t the end of the story because he went crazy.

Sports Illustrated

‘The Eagle’ reacted badly to one of McGregor’s teammates, Dillon Danis. He jumped off the cage and attacked ‘The Notorious’s’ corner as a brawl broke out. It was one of the darkest days in UFC history because it played out in front of the world. Nonetheless, Khabib’s moment of bad sportsmanship enhanced his legacy (via MMA Fighting).