Naomi Osaka won her first Grand Slam title in 2018 when she defeated Williams in the U.S Open. However, Williams’ behavior throughout the game tarnished the win for the Japanese-Haitian athlete. She received three violations throughout the game and ended it by calling the umpire a ‘thief.’ Meanwhile, Williams’ fans booed Osaka after she won her first major title.
It was so bad that Osaka felt obliged to apologize after the game. “I know that everyone was cheering for [Williams], and I’m sorry it had to end like this,” she said. After, Williams acknowledged that she was in the wrong and that Osaka was a worthy winner. She apologized to her opponent and instructed the crowd to give her respect. However, her antics on the court were pathetic at the time.
Disputes between players and coaches are more common than fans realize. Sometimes personalities simply rub each other up the wrong way. This usually manifests in both parties giving each other the cold shoulder. While it’s unpleasant to be around this, usually a stable working environment is still maintained. However, Sprewell wasn’t a normal person and violently targeted his coach P.J Carlesimo.
Sprewell had a bad practice session for the Golden State Warriors before one of the most infamous tantrums on this list. Carlesimo told him that he wasn’t passing sharply and Sprewell responded by trying to choke his coach unconscious. Finally, teammates and other coaches pulled the two men apart. The Warriors fired Sprewell and the NBA suspended him for his actions.
“You can get that camera out of my face or I’ll take care of it myself, do you hear me?” Bonds told a cameraman in 1991. For some reason, the presence of the press member irritated Bonds during the spring training practice. Things escalated when a team member explained to Bonds that the media worker was entitled to be there. Bonds reacted by getting in the man’s face and intimidating him.
The baseball legend was prone to tantrums throughout his glittering career. Of course, this also prompts accusations of ‘roid rage,’ but it’s more likely that it was simply his personality. He also had a poor relationship with some of his coaches as well as his Giants’ teammate, Jeff Kent. Brilliant but volatile, Bonds was a tremendous player with an asterisk next to his name.
Daley possessed one of the most lethal left hands in all of MMA. The English fighter is one of Bellator’s most recognizable fighters but broke onto the U.S scene with the UFC. ‘Semtex’ is a knockout artist and has devastating power. But he fell foul of the UFC after one unfortunate incident in 2010. He lost a decision to Josh Koscheck and wasn’t happy about it.
Daley threw a cheap shot at Koscheck after the bell and instantly attracted the ire of the UFC top brass. As tantrums go, this one proved costly because the promotion cut him. President Dana White promised that Daley would never fight for the organization again. While Daley was wrong to punch Koscheck, it was still a disappointing turn of events.
Youzhny was an immensely talented tennis player in his heyday, but also a constant underachiever. The Russian star always fell short of winning a Grand Slam but had victories over great players like Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic. However, consistency was always his downfall. Well, almost always. He was occasionally his own worst enemy as he had a penchant for hitting himself on the head with his racket during tantrums.
In 2008, in Miami, he actually drew blood from the stupid action. That should have taught him a lesson, but it obviously didn’t because he did the same thing again in 2015. Only this time, at the French Open, he retired after suffering headaches from banging himself on the head. During other tantrums, he destroyed his own racket too. Youzhny was quite a character.
The elder Diaz brother always carried a certain mystique about him. A former Strikeforce champion and UFC contender, Diaz was always a fan-favorite. He was also an explosive personality and unafraid to bring some Stockton justice to personal disputes. Jason Miller discovered this the hard way after he confronted Diaz’s teammate, Jake Shields. A verbal dispute broke out before Diaz simply punched Miller.
Needless to say, this kicked off a brawl. It was one of the biggest in the history of MMA and had consequences because CBS canceled its coverage of the sport. Not that Diaz cared, because he was happy to issue some street violence to Miller. Meanwhile, his brother Nate has also had back-and-forths with Conor McGregor.
Brazil striker Jesus received a red card in the 2019 Copa America final. The Manchester City forward felt overcome by emotion after the referee sent him off. To be fair it was a mortifying moment for the young man because his whole country was watching. He kicked a water bottle on his way off the field and violently pushed a VAR machine as he walked past.
“I want to apologize, I could have avoided it and I also need to grow up a lot,” Jesus acknowledged after the game. In fairness, it was mature of him to deal with the incident in such a manner. Furthermore, Brazil defeated Peru in the game so that helped to make him feel better. But there is a reason why many of his coaches don’t trust him and his volatility is one of them.
“This is not fair. It is not fair. I’m angry, and I have the right to be angry. I don’t care what people say,” Vettel fumed after a five-second penalty cost him the Canadian Grand Prix. He was furious because it meant that his rival Louis Hamilton won the race in 2019 instead. His anger was evident over the Ferrari radio and was available for the world to hear.
“This is a wrong world I tell you. This is not fair,” Vettel ranted during one of the most notable driving tantrums of the decade. The German driver told the team manager that he was not going to calm down because he felt the race was stolen. Maybe he had a point but he didn’t cover himself in glory with his lack of dignity. However, sometimes emotions just take over.
Arguably France’s greatest ever soccer player, Zidane led his country to the 2006 World Cup Final. He was in the twilight of his career but lit up the tournament and brought them to a showdown with Italy. However, Zidane made headlines in the final for a reason that nobody expected. After Marco Materazzi whispered something offensive in his ear, ‘Zizou’ immediately headbutted him.
Most players have the self-control not to have violent tantrums on the field but Zidane was too far gone. The referee issued him an immediate red card and sent him off the field. Materazzi got the last laugh as Italy went on and won the tournament. Zidane sealed his place in infamy with one of the most iconic images of the World Cup. To be fair, he was probably happy to land one on the Italian.
One of golf’s perennial underachievers, Garcia is a constant on the European and PGA Tours. He won the lucrative Player’s Championship in 2008 but waited until 2017 to win his first Major, the 2017 Open. In the meantime, he endured one near miss after another. Furthermore, Garcia had a fiery temper and made his feelings known on the golf course. The Spaniard raised eyebrows with one of the silliest tantrums ever in 2018.
After a poor shot at The Masters in San Antonio, the disgruntled golfer flung his driver into the bushes. The problem was that he then spent a few moments trying to find the club. Then, in 2019, during the Open in Portrush, Northern Ireland, he flung his club in the direction of his caddy. Many fans dislike Garcia because of his poor sportsmanship but he is talented.
Maybe it’s Mark Cuban’s influence, but Carlisle is also a fiery and passionate individual. He began coaching the Mavericks in 2008 and led them to an NBA Championship. But like the franchise owner, Carlisle is also prone to tantrums when things are not going his way. In 2012, he blew up when a referee made what he perceived to be a poor call. His reaction was both stunning and hilarious.
The referee ignored both Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd’s claims for a missed foul. As a result, Carlisle exploded on the bench because it annoyed him so much. He was probably just shy of having a stroke. His coaching staff and players held him back from confronting the referee but he still received a technical foul for his behavior. Sometimes emotions take over.
Some tantrums rub salt into the athlete’s wounds. In other cases, they even cause wounds. That’s exactly what happened to Burnett in 2010 when he played for the New York Yankees. He apologized to teammates after one explosive incident put him out of action. The right-hander was angry after a poor display against Tampa Bay and flung open a pair of double doors on the way into the clubhouse.
He did so in such an aggressive manner that he actually cut his own hands on the card scanner. He suffered lacerations to both hands and wore bandages to cover them. It didn’t put him out of action but it was an embarrassing story and initially, he told his coaches that he fell. However, the truth emerged and it didn’t shine a positive light upon him.
McGregor’s second inclusion on this list was for a much darker reason than the first. The Irishman was in a bar in Dublin when he decided to buy a round of his own whiskey brand for all of the patrons. However, one older gentleman rejected the free shot. When McGregor pressed the issue, the older man told him that he could ‘keep his whiskey.’ ‘The Notorious’ didn’t appreciate this.
His immediate reaction was to punch the man in the face. In fairness, the fifty-something-year-old took the blow very well. Needless to say, the Irishman faced charges and received a fine for his assault. But it also damaged his reputation because it was such a disgraceful action. As tantrums go, this one left a very nasty taste. Later, McGregor issued a groveling response on ESPN.
It was 2019 and Chelsea played Manchester City in the Carabao Cup Final. The game was on the edge of a knife when Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri decided to make a substitution. He wanted to bring on the Argentine goalkeeper Willy Cabellero, to replace first-choice starter Kepa, because the former was a penalty shootout specialist. However, Kepa didn’t appreciate this.
The Spaniard refused to leave the field and left his manager apoplectic on the sidelines. The scene was unprecedented as the coach stormed down the tunnel toward the dressing room before reappearing. Meanwhile, Chelsea lost the eventual penalty shootout 4-3. Kepa received a lot of abuse after throwing one of the most infamous tantrums in Premier League history.
Khabib and Conor McGregor had one of the most toxic rivalries in UFC history. The pair finally fought in 2018 at UFC 229. The Russian lightweight champion successfully defended his title against “The Notorious” with a fourth-round submission. However, the fight didn’t end there. Infuriated and emotional over events that led up to the fight, Khabib jumped out of the cage and attacked McGregor’s team.
This ignited an entire brawl as members of Khabib’s team entered the cage and tried to attack McGregor. Chaos erupted within seconds after tantrums became an all-out war. In the end, the pair received fines and suspensions from the UFC. It was an infamous event that sealed its place in MMA folklore. Meanwhile, this rivalry continues to rumble.
This infamous clash of Jims occurred in 1994 when Everett went on the Jim Rome show. The Rams quarterback was a sensitive soul and Rome discovered this the hard way. However, it was the ESPN host’s fault because he took a joke too far. He continuously referred to Everett as ‘Chris.’ This was a reference to Chris Evert, a popular female tennis player of the time.
Eventually, Everett snapped and erupted in one of TV’s most entertaining tantrums. He flipped the table over and knocked Rome to the ground. While Rome definitely deserved a good slap, it was probably good for his show in hindsight because there is nothing like a quarterback assault to up the ratings. To sum up, Everett was in the right and everybody applauded him.
“You cannot be serious!” instantly became the line that defined McEnroe’s life. He even used the quote as the title of his biography after he retired. The catchphrase materialized during Wimbledon in 1981. The British tournament is notorious for its strict rules and code of conduct, while McEnroe was a fiery personality. In short, they weren’t a match made in heaven.
He played Tom Gullickson in a game where the umpire ruled that his serve was out. The US tennis star instantly erupted with one of tennis’s most famous tantrums and began with that immortal line. He continued lambasting the official for several moments and outraged the Wimbledon organizers in the process. They even broke with tradition by refusing to make him a member of the All-England Club.
The second of Williams’ tantrums on this list, this one is even worse than the previous. It occurred at the U.S Open in 2009 and was notoriously bad. After umpire Shino Tsuruchi called her for a foot fault on her second serve, Williams reacted with poisonous vitriol. “I’m going to shove this f***ing ball down your f***ing throat,” she said. Needless to say, that’s not acceptable behavior.
Two years later in the final of the U.S Open, she had another meltdown. This time she targeted Eva Asderaki after a code violation. “Really, don’t even look at me,” she said. “If you ever see me walking down the hall, walk the other way. Because you’re out of control. Totally out of control. You’re a hater, you’re unattractive inside. Who would do such a thing?” Now Williams has a reputation.