Everybody wants to think that their favorite sports team is a beacon of purity and light. But the reality is that at the end of the day, they are businesses and this automatically creates darkness due to the sheer focus on money. Unfortunately, most franchise owners couldn’t find a moral compass if one hit them in the face.
Today we’ll look at some of the most dubious decisions and practices in sports history. There are infamous franchise relocations that robbed cities of their character. Meanwhile, some owners and teams chose to ignore horrendous athlete behavior because of their on-field ability. Check out these decisions that lacked moral integrity below.
Hill is one of the best NFL receivers but brought a lot of baggage with him. One of the worst moments came during his days in West Alabama and tarnished his NFL rookie year. The Chiefs maintained an interest in the dynamic young star but this rubbed some people the wrong way.
It isn’t easy to root for a man that lays hands on a woman but they didn’t care what their fans thought. Kansas City showed a lack of moral compass when they drafted him ahead of other teams that removed him from their boards. In the end, he became a massive fan favorite as well as a Super Bowl champion (via Sporting News).
Pippen was the Chewbacca to Michael Jordan’s Han Solo during their heyday with the Bulls. However, the franchise didn’t treat him in the same way as their icon. GM Jerry Krause infamously convinced the gullible Pippen into signing a horrific long contract with little upside (via Fanbuzz).
The player went for long-term security over the possibility of increasing his income. This was a terrible decision because contract inflation went down and he became one of the league’s lowest-paid stars. Krause showed a lack of a moral compass when he took advantage of his star athlete, but that’s business.
The Patriots are experts at cheating as they proved in 2015 when they deflated balls to gain an illegal advantage. They played the Colts in the AFC Championship game before cruising onto a Super Bowl victory. In the end, an NFL investigation concluded that cheating occurred and they punished the franchise.
New England received a fine, lost draft picks and Tom Brady endured a suspension. However, Bill Belichick showed no moral compass and threw his quarterback under the bus. It was a moment that affected their relationship because Brady lost trust in his coach (via Essentially Sports).
McNair became a hero in Houston after he returned an NFL franchise to the city. However, the Texans owner wasn’t a perfect human being and made a horrible comment in 2017. Players began kneeling during the national anthem as a form of civil rights protest.
The owner said that it wasn’t right for “the inmates to be running the prison” in a loaded comment. This had clear racial connotations and he endured a lot of criticism for his choice of words. To be fair, McNair apologized but many people looked at him differently after this (via Business Insider).
Make no mistake, Tom Brady didn’t need to leave the Patriots. In the end, it came down to a relationship breakdown between l0ngtime coach Bill Belichick and his star quarterback. Meanwhile, the fans paid the price as they lost their idol and the greatest player the NFL has ever seen.
Robert Kraft sided with his head coach and Brady walked away as a free agent. Things could have gone much worse for the Patriots because they picked up Mac Jones a season later. But their evolution didn’t happen smoothly and that’s down to decisions at the top of the organization.
This is one of the oldest entries on this list but it’s a fascinating story. The Packers faced financial ruin off the field and their results declined on it. One part of the problem was Curly Lambeau’s obsession with Rockwell Lodge, a luxurious mountain resort in Wisconsin.
In short, the conditions weren’t good for the players because of the hard field. Mysteriously, Rockwell Lodge suffered a fire that destroyed everything and resulted in a massive insurance claim. Onlookers claimed that it was obvious that the Packers prearranged the blaze to save the franchise (via ESPN).
Most of the shameful decisions on this list happened quickly. It’s possible to point the finger at one person or a single front office because they had direct responsibility. But that’s not the case for Washington who held out and became the final NFL team to integrate (via Washington Post).
They allowed black players to compete in 1962 for the first time in their history. However, the Rams introduced black players in 1946 as soon as the league enabled inclusivity. Meanwhile, Washington maintained the controversial ‘Redskins’ nickname until sponsors threatened to pull out in 2020.
The Oystons are some of the worst owners in the history of sports. Thankfully, they no longer run day-to-day business at Blackpool F.C. but they made their fans’ lives a nightmare. That’s because they participated in asset-stripping and almost destroyed the former Premier League soccer team.
It didn’t help matters that Owen Oyston became a convicted rapist in 1996. The club remained in the family for the next couple of decades as they wreaked chaos. Finally, supporters groups forced them out after a court found them guilty of exploiting the team (via Blackpool Gazette).
Elliott’s domestic abuse case was one of the most scandalous in recent sports history. However, this didn’t prevent Jerry Jones from beaming like a lottery winner when he stood beside the running back for the first time. There are still many Dallas fans who feel uncomfortable when they watch Elliott play.
Nobody questions his talent but that’s not enough for everybody to get behind. It’s not unreasonable to dislike women-beaters and that’s why some people will always hate him. Jones showed a complete lack of a moral compass with this decision but that’s typical of NFL owners (via Central Track).
Some people will do anything to win and Alosi became one of these in 2010. He was the head of the New York Jets’ strength and conditioning department. It was a dream job because he effectively reached the pinnacle of his industry. But he ruined it in a moment when he showed a lack of a moral compass.
Alosi infamously tripped Miami’s Nolan Carroll in the middle of a game. He stuck his leg out so that the opposition player couldn’t avoid it. The Jets fired him and he wound up working at Bryant College for a year. Alosi is currently working with the UConn Huskies at the college level (via Gothamist).
Every soccer fan dreams of a rich owner taking over their team and investing millions in the roster. However, this can be a curse when it becomes a reality. The Portsmouth scandal is a warning to every soccer team because the team went from being F.A. Cup champions to League 2.
Portsmouth experienced financial turmoil after they spent too much money. They were unable to pay their staff and lost over 20 players as they plunged into a crisis. They also received a points deduction and suffered back-to-back relegations as mismanagement cost them dearly (via The Guardian).
Olson was a journalist working for the Boston Herald in the early ’90s when a major scandal occurred. She went to the Patriots for an interview but endured intense sexual harassment. The players walked around naked in front of her and behaved in a reprehensible manner.
Later, she complained about the vile situation but the next part was shocking. Team owner Victor Olson horribly described her and showed no sympathy. His lack of a moral compass was horrendous and this was a dark patch in the team’s history (via Washington Post).
Blackburn Rovers shocked the world when they won the Premier League in 1992. However, the team fell off the bandwagon over the next few seasons. In 2010, the Venky Group took over the club and promised their fans the world. They said that they would buy Ronaldinho and hire Diego Maradona as team manager.
In the end, they fired experienced head coach Sam Allardyce and the club went into a freefall. They failed to invest in the squad and the team suffered relegation. Meanwhile, the owners refused to listen to supporter criticism as they ruined their beloved team (via Daily Mail).
ONE Championship is one of the biggest combat sports promotions on the planet. Chairman, Sityodtong says that his vision is to follow the martial arts code of honor. However, this hasn’t prevented them from showing alleged favoritism to many of his athletes (via MMA Fighting).
Women’s atomweight champion Angela Lee allegedly missed weight before her fight against Istela Nunes in 2016. However, they allowed her to weigh in again behind closed doors and the fight went ahead. Meanwhile, ONE also books questionable matchups and has received questions about their accounting.
Buffalo is one of the most passionate sports cities in the United States. However, the problem is that this upstate New York city has a relatively small market. Yes, they draw from the surrounding areas and Canada, but it’s difficult to compete with the Big Apple’s teams (via Fansided).
The Braves played in the NBA for eight years before they ceased to exist in their original form. Irv Levin took over the team’s operations and instantly moved the franchise to California. First, they went to San Diego before evolving into the joke that is the L.A. Clippers. It’s such a shame because the fans lost their relationship.
They had no moral compass and ran up a massive debt at the club. Liverpool faced the threat of administration and a potential points deduction for mismanagement. In the end, a high-profile legal battle saw Fenway Sports Group take over the team as they chased their U.S. compatriots out.
Roethlisberger was a great quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers but that doesn’t mean he was a good person. Many Steelers fans hate him because of the way he allegedly treated women. Furthermore, Pittsburgh showed a lack of a moral compass when they decided to keep him despite his actions (via CBS Sports).
‘Big Ben’ dealt with multiple sexual assault cases throughout his tenure as QB1. He settled civil suits against his alleged victims and this says everything about his character. Many parents don’t want an alleged sexual abuser to be a role model for their children so it’s clear why there’s a problem with keeping him on.
There’s a strong case that Brown is one of the worst owners in the NFL. He experienced incredible luck over recent years because the Bengals drafted Joe Burrow. The quarterback’s brilliance inspired the team to a rare Super Bowl appearance. However, make no mistake, Brown is a frustrating owner.
He refused to pour money into free agents and signed morally dubious players throughout his tenure. The likes of Joe Mixon and Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones also found a place on the Bengals’ roster because of Brown. Brown wants to win but he will only do it on his terms (via The Enquirer).
Newcastle fans greeted Ashley as though he were a savior when he first took over the club. Eventually, he became one of the most hated figures in their history. On the one hand, he made them a sustainable business. However, his method of preventing financial losses involved a lack of investment in the team.
The Toon Army protested against his lack of ambition and he put the club up for sale. However, they effectively entered purgatory for about three seasons before he achieved a deal. Ashley had no moral compass and focused on making as much money as possible from his investment (via Four Four Two).
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers desperately wanted to draft Jackson from Auburn in 1984. However, they didn’t like that he was also playing baseball as a dual-sport athlete. They tricked him into visiting their practice field without receiving NCAA authorization (via Fanbuzz).
Then the NCAA suspended Jackson from playing college baseball for the rest of the season. This infuriated him because he believed that the Bucs did this deliberately. Then he vowed never to play for the franchise and caused the team to waste a first-round pick in 1985.
Ice hockey is an institution in Minnesota but the state no longer has an NHL franchise. It’s a shame because people love the sport in the frozen state but Green stole it away from them. The Minnesota North Stars made the Stanley Cup final in 1991 after an incredible sequence of events.
Two years later the team rocked up in Dallas after Green relocated them. He claimed that declining attendances affected his decision but the reality is that he had no moral compass. Green swooped in and took a piece of Milwaukee’s soul to fill his bank balance (via Dallas News).
San Diego is a lovely city but it doesn’t have much in the way of sporting institutions. The Chargers were a rare highlight in a town that lies in the shadow of L.A. and San Francisco. Then Dean Spanos demanded that the city pay for a new stadium or he’d move the team to Los Angeles.
They wanted San Diego to fund $1.1 billion of a $1.4 billion project in a ludicrous request. In the end, the city declined because they couldn’t justify spending that much on a vanity project. It’s a shame that Spanos r0bbed San Diego of some of its character as he showed no moral compass (via The Guardian).
Urban Meyer brought chaos to the NFL when the Jaguars hired him in 2021. He appointed former Iowa strength and conditioning coach Doyle to his staff in a controversial move. The Hawkeyes fired Doyle in 2020 after accusations of racism. This proved that Meyer had no moral compass as he didn’t care about the fallout.
Allegedly, Doyle behaved in a discriminatory manner toward black athletes but Meyer didn’t care. In the end, the media fallout meant that his appointment was untenable. The Jaguars fired Doyle after a day on the job and humiliated themselves in the process (via Daily Iowan).
There are few things worse than stripping a city of its sports teams. Montreal understands this better than most places because it lost several beloved franchises. One of these was their NHL team, the Nordiques. Incredibly, the team began in San Francisco before it moved to the cold North (via The Hockey Writers).
They became an institution in Quebec City and came close to Stanley Cup contention. But a cruel fate awaited them because of their small market. Finally, the franchise evolved into the Colorado Avalanche and left its old name behind. Team owners have no moral compass when it comes to milking fans out of their cash.
Jose Mourinho is one of the most compelling but controversial soccer managers on the planet. The Portuguese coach brings trophies to most teams but also burns bridges along the way. One unsavory incident occurred when he cast Chelsea team doctor Eva Carneiro into the wilderness.
A Chelsea player went down injured during a promising attack. She intervened and did her job. But this prevented the attack from continuing and Mourinho vented his fury at her. The club showed no moral compass as they took his side. In the end, Carneiro won a civil suit for wrongful dismissal (via Sky Sports).
Irish MMA exploded in 2014 when Conor McGregor broke out as a superstar. He took a stable of fighters with him from S.B.G. Ireland, including Paddy Houlihan and Cathal Pendred. However, a schism occurred in the gym after head coach John Kavanagh grew in fame.
Several of Kavanagh’s fighters also opened training centers in collaboration with their coach. But there was outrage when Kavanagh demanded fees from these teams. Chris Fields opened Team KF because he was tired of Kavanagh’s lack of loyalty (via MMA Fighting).
Football is one of the most dangerous sports on the planet but one coach found a way to make it even worse. Gregg Williams became the Saints’ defensive coordinator and concocted a dastardly scheme. He offered his players bonuses if they took opposition athletes out of the game.
News of these bounties became widespread and an NFL investigation found that it was real. His lack of a moral compass cost him a lengthy suspension. Head Coach Sean Payton also received a one-year ban from the league. Allegedly, Williams encouraged similar schemes at his previous franchises (via Bleacher Report).
Bliss was the man behind one of the wackiest and most disturbing stories on this list. His desire to win overrode any common sense that remained in his brain. It also convinced him to cover up a murder in one of the weirdest decisions a sports coach has ever made (via Bleacher Report).
The former Baylor coach convinced his players to say that one student was a drug dealer. That’s because he was secretly paying his fees in a morally dubious move. Furthermore, he ignored rampant drug use that went on behind the scenes because winning was all that mattered.
Several NFL franchises have led a nomadic existence including the Rams. They currently play in L.A. but they began in Cleveland and also played in St. Louis. Sadly, they left the latter city in 2015 because Stan Kroenke demanded a new stadium and wouldn’t pay (via SB Nation).
Arbitrators agreed that the city had a responsibility to invest in the new arena but St. Louis disagreed. In the end, the franchise relocated back to Los Angeles in a move that broke fans’ hearts. Kroenke claimed that declining attendances were another factor but the product on the field was a disgrace.
It’s extremely rare for European teams to relocate to different cities. This is in stark contrast to North American sports because supporters have more power. The only major example of this in U.K. soccer was when Peter Winkelman moved Wimbledon F.C. to Milton-Keynes.
This created a massive controversy and almost didn’t happen because the F.A. failed to grant permission. However, an independent commission allowed it and the club relocated. Fans reacted furiously and Winkelman received death threats because of the betrayal (via MK Citizen).
Houston residents loved the Oilers before they moved to Tennessee and evolved into the Titans. Owner Bud Adams had a problem with their small stadium and hinted that the franchise was living on borrowed time in Texas. But Houston wanted to keep their team and poured tens of millions into upgrading the arena.
Then Adams demanded a new stadium and the writing was on the wall. It was untenable for the city to sanction this after spending so much on updating the Astrodome. Meanwhile, results declined on the field and Adams had no moral compass. In the end, they moved to Nashville and Houston fans lost out (via Texas Monthly).
Manchester United spend almost two decades as the best soccer team in England. That was mostly because of their brilliant manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. However, their owners didn’t help matters because they allowed their stadium to deteriorate and didn’t plan for Ferguson’s retirement (via Sporting News).
The Glazer family plunged the club into massive debt and appeared to care more about their NFL franchise. United’s on-field results declined and they failed to bring day-to-day operations up to a modern standard. Their lack of moral compass saw them focus on financial gains rather than winning games.
Rice was one of the Ravens’ most important players but he was an appalling human being. He infamously assaulted his girlfriend in one of the NFL’s worst domestic violence cases. Camera footage captured the Baltimore star dragging his victim out of an elevator.
Roger Goodell made a mess of punishing Rice as he showed a lack of a moral compass. The commissioner received a massive amount of criticism because it was a joke. In the end, Rice received an indefinite ban but no team wanted to touch him when it ended (via The Spun).
Incredibly, the Cowboys remain the most lucrative sports franchise on the planet despite their recent lack of success. The Jerry Jones regime helped the commercial side of the team but the lack of postseason success is noticeable. Jones openly said that high ratings were more important to him than Super Bowl rings.
That’s a terrible attitude because it’s completely out of odds with the dreams of fans. They follow their team because it gives them a sense of community pride and escapism. However, Jones is all about milking Dallas for as much money as possible (via NBC Sports).
Winston continues to forge a career as an NFL quarterback despite facing tough times on and off the field. His arrival in the league created a furor because of his personal history. Many opposition fans deride him as a crab leg thief because he stole the shellfish from a grocery store.
But it’s his record of domestic and sexual violence that sickens some supporters. Tampa Bay drafted him despite this because they thought his skills overrode the negative publicity. They didn’t care when he grabbed a female Uber driver’s crotch either in a sickening move (via Inside Hook).
The Buffalo Bills will play in a new stadium later in the decade after team owners the Pegulas pressured New York State into action. It was a delicate situation because the Bills play upstate in one of the NFL’s smallest markets. While they maintain a rabid fanbase this means nothing to evil franchise owners (via Defector).
Luckily, the governor is a Bills fan and was happy to pour taxpayers’ money into a new arena. They’ll dig the first hole in 2026 and potentially pour billions into its construction. Rumors flew around that the Bills’ ownership considered relocation to Toronto and Austin. Trust us, no team is safe because they have no moral compass.
Nobody wants to hear that their favorite sports franchise has an alleged relationship with pedophile priests. Unfortunately, Saints fans woke up in 2020 to learn that their team covered up Catholic Church abuse. This was a sickening story and one that tarnished their relationship with the franchise.
Court reports claimed that the Saints influenced a list of credibly accused clergy. Emails revealed that the team’s executives prevented some names from making this list in a dark twist. The Church and Saints allegedly worked together to block the exposure of these vile humans (via PBS).
Bill Belichick broke many records with the Patriots throughout his tenure as head coach. However, he shattered one in 2007 that he didn’t want. This came at the culmination of the SpyGate scandal when an NFL tribunal hit him with a massive fine for cheating.
They found the franchise guilty of videotaping opposition teams’ hand signals at practices. This gave the Patriots an unfair advantage and may have helped them to win key games. Belichick has no moral compass when it comes to cheating and regularly practices the dark arts (via History).
There’s a strong argument to be made that Cyborg is the greatest female fighter ever. The Brazilian became the UFC’s featherweight champion and destroyed almost everybody she faced. Meanwhile, she won titles with Invicta and Bellator too. Amanda Nunes shocked her in her final UFC appearance but she hated the promotion.
That’s because UFC President Dana White appallingly treated her. He referred to her as the ‘female Wanderlei Silva’ and disparaged her consistently. Furthermore, he failed to build a division around her when she was a genuine draw (via Sportskeeda).
The Raiders began life in Oakland before an idiotic move to L.A. in 1982. Then they returned to their original home and became one of the NFL’s most distinctive franchises. Yes, Oakland is a gritty city but the Raiders were a perfect fit because they didn’t conform.
Then the NFL’s evil owners voted in support of a move to Las Vegas. A shiny new stadium awaited in “Sin City” and Oakland couldn’t compete. Sadly, their fans lost their team because there was no way to stop the relocation. It’s a shame because it no longer feels the same way on game day (via Forbes).
The Qatar World Cup is one of the most controversial sports events in history. After all, the Gulf nation only has a population of 2.9 million people with one major city. Somehow they will host millions of visitors despite a lack of infrastructure or soccer history (via The Athletic).
Multiple personalities involved in the bid received jail sentences and bans for bribery. Meanwhile, there was a massive scandal because of alleged human rights abuses during the stadia construction process. The people involved in this racket don’t have a single moral compass between them.
Portland is the only city on the northwest coast with an NBA franchise after Seattle lost to the SuperSonics. It’s a shame because the iconic team provided the league with great moments. They also had fabulous players like Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp (via Reuters).
Ultimately, one man decided to relocate the team from Seattle to Oklahoma City. They changed their colors and became the Thunder as the franchise left its name behind. Seattle refused to sanction a new stadium and the writing was on the wall from this point.
The Jets are a strange entry on this list because they still exist, albeit in a different form. Winnipeg lost its NHL franchise in 1996 after its owner relocated them to Phoenix, Arizona. This was extremely cruel because of the dramatic geographical shift from Canada to the U.S. desert.
Fortunately, Winnipeg fans received a new edition of the Jets when the Atlanta Thrashers moved north in 2011. The Truth North ownership group considered other names but settled on the Jets because of the sentimental attachment. It was a travesty that the city lost its team in the first place (via Saskatoon).
Gruden’s second and last tenure with the Raiders came to an unceremonious end in 2021 after a wild email scandal. He demonstrated sexist and discriminatory perspectives in a series of online communications. In the end, Gruden lost his job because his position became untenable.
It should be noted that Gruden appeared to act independently in Las Vegas as he communicated with his Washington counterparts. But this revealed the type of attitudes that exist behind the scenes at NFL franchises. These people wouldn’t be able to find a moral compass to save their lives (via Sporting News).
The Houston Astros are one of MLB’s most successful franchises in recent seasons. But controversy tainted their World Series victories as the team disgraced their city. Their sign-stealing practices helped them cheat their way to victories in an appallingly immoral sequence of events.
In the end, the team’s coach and general manager lost their jobs. However, the players escaped without any punishment while MLB failed to strip them of their 2017 World Series win. It was a shambles and one that stung the league because it didn’t need another controversy (via Sporting News).
NASCAR has a dubious legacy but things are improving in the modern world. But it still creates controversies like the Larson scandal in 2020. The driver competed in an online race during the global health crisis. He didn’t realize that he left his microphone live and used racist language (via Essentially Sports).
His team dropped him and the league hit him with a suspension. Most sporting teams wouldn’t want to associate themselves with a racist but Hendrick Motorsport didn’t have a moral compass. They signed him up and now the two parties are winning races without a care in the world.
In 2021, a UK court sentenced Barry Bennell to 31 years in prison for child abuse. Bennell was a former youth coach at the English soccer club Crewe Alexandria. The court found him guilty of over 50 counts of abuse against 12 boys under his care. It was a horrendous case with massive questions about the club’s code of conduct.
Many people said that it was an open secret that Bennell took boys to his home. Allegedly, senior figures knew about his gross habits but failed to intervene and protect the vulnerable children. Finally, the club issued a public apology but it was too late for its victims (via Mirror).
English soccer clubs shudder when they hear Bates’ name because he was one of the worst owners ever. His time in charge of Chelsea ended with a massive racism scandal. Later, he took over Leeds United and caused them to plummet down the leagues (via The Guardian).
There were positive aspects to his ownership of Chelsea because he modernized the club and improved its facilities. But his later behavior was inexcusable. Furthermore, some Leeds fans like Bates because he stabilized them in the Championship but he had no moral compass.
Kraft is the owner of the New England Patriots and one of the most powerful men in sports. He helped his team to unprecedented success but that’s not why he’s on this list. The business tycoon made headlines when he allegedly received sexual services at a massage parlor.
However, Kraft successfully avoided punishments because his legal team did their job. They convinced a court that video evidence was inadmissible. In the end, the Asian masseuses received the brunt of the law because they couldn’t afford the same representation (via Vanity Fair).
The Juventus match-fixing scandal-tainted Italian soccer for a generation. The team has experienced more domestic success than any of their rivals but it emerged that they cheated their way to two titles. Key club figures applied pressure on referees to favor the Turin giants.
The truth emerged and a massive lawsuit began as the scale of this scandal emerged. In the end, the Italian FA relegated Juventus to Serie B as an unprecedented punishment. The club bounced back and became a force again but its owners had no moral compass at all (via Daily Mail).
Every list of iconic and extinct sports franchises contains the Whalers because of their popularity. Connecticut’s only major sports team maintains a special place in the hearts of NHL fans. They also had one of the best logos in all of hockey but sadly it’s obsolete today.
That’s because Connecticut couldn’t sustain the market requirements for a major league franchise. At least, that’s what Peter Karmanos thought when he forced an exit. He wanted a new stadium but the state governor refused and that was it for the iconic team (via Patch).
Combat sports are very exciting but there’s one uncomfortable reality. Every time a fighter goes to war, they put their long-term health at risk. Former UFC fighter Spencer Fisher revealed that he suffered CTE after his long career. But the company’s president, Dana White, had a cold reaction.
He showed a lack of a moral compass as he brushed it off. White told the media: “He’s not the first and he’s definitely not going to be the last. This is a contact sport and anybody who’s ever done this younger, myself included, is dealing with brain issues. It’s part of the gig”
Brock Lesnar is one of the few people who successfully forged UFC and WWE careers. The former heavyweight champion stunned fans when he rejoined the former promotion for a headline fight against Mark Hunt at UFC 200. This went down after they controversially withdrew Conor McGregor from the high-profile card.
Lesnar won the match after he used his wrestling to full effect. Later, he failed a drug test after he tested positive for multiple steroids. Hunt sued the UFC because they put him in a dangerous situation against an obvious cheater. The promotion had no moral compass and poured millions into their defense (via Sportskeeda).
Irsay was one of the most controversial NFL owners ever because of an infamous relocation. He moved the Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis in the shadiest manner possible. Irsay hired a fleet of moving trucks and drove the team away in the middle of the night before Baltimore knew what happened.
He expected the city to intervene and launch legal action against him so he got ahead of the problem. Meanwhile, Indianapolis greeted the trucks like returning D-Day veterans. Now the modern Colts feel like an unrelated franchise to Johnny Unitas’s iconic team (via History).
If we’re honest, most sports owners only care about the business side of their franchises and teams. Money makes the world go around and they want to milk their toy for all their worth. However, De Laurentis makes it clear that he has no moral compass because he doesn’t stay quiet.
The Napoli owner broke the Internet in 2022 when he said he’d never sign another African player. He said this because he was tired of players representing their nations at the African Cup of Nations when he paid their wages. It was gross and immoral but typical of this vile personality (via ESPN).
Modell remains one of the most polarizing figures in the NFL’s history. That’s because two fanbases have staggeringly different perspectives of the media tycoon. On the one hand, Cleveland fans despise him because he stripped the Browns from their city, albeit for a short period.
But Baltimore loves him because he reintroduced an NFL franchise to the city in the form of the Ravens. However, there wasn’t a moral compass involved in this process because he wanted to make more money. The Browns returned to Cleveland but never had the same success again (via USA Today).
Incognito was a decent NFL guard but his name didn’t match his character. The former Dolphins veteran was a horrendous bully and made Jonathan Martin’s life a misery. It’s extraordinary how far his treatment of Martin went and that the NFL allowed him back into a dressing room (via Sports Illustrated).
Finally, the Dolphins began an investigation and brought the league into the loop. But they allowed it to go so far that Martin feared Incognito might inflict violent harm on him. This was one of the least-savory situations in recent NFL history and shows that bullying occurs in every workplace.
Cap-tampering is a massive taboo in the NFL because it destroys the principles of the practice. However, Denver tried their luck in the mid-1990s by delaying payments to players. They repeated the same trick with John Elway and Terrell Davis in 2001 (via NBC Sports).
The NFL didn’t respond kindly to this and made an example out of the franchise. Denver lost multiple draft picks and received a hefty fine for their cheeky attempt. Furthermore, the Broncos won a pair of Super Bowls during this period but claimed their cap-tampering didn’t give them a competitive advantage.
Vick was one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL before a massive scandal emerged. An FBI investigation uncovered his role as the leader of a dogfighting ring. He received a jail sentence and the Falcons discarded him because he was worse than garbage (via CNBC).
However, that wasn’t the end of his NFL career because teams will do anything for a decent quarterback. The Eagles decided that a negative fan reaction was worth gaining an elite starter. They showed no moral compass as they snapped him up following his release from prison.
A pair of organizations showed a lack of a moral compass when it came to Greg Hardy. Firstly, Jerry Jones cheerfully brought the convicted woman-beater to the Cowboys. Many of their fans resented him but the tone-deaf owner didn’t care about this at all (via TalkSport).
Then, the UFC signed him to fight in their heavyweight division. Fans loathed Hardy but the UFC continued to promote him and put him in high-profile spots. In the end, he flamed out of the organization and nobody shed a tear. It was a terrible decision to bring him there in the first place.
On paper, Khan is a fascinating figure because he is the only minority NFL owner right now. The businessman runs the likes of the Jacksonville Jaguars as well as the Premier League’s Fulham F.C. However, he has no moral compass or common sense in managing these enterprises (via Florida Times-Union).
Khan inflicted Urban Meyer on his team’s fans in 2021 and watched them burn. Then in 2022, he raised the ticket prices of Fulham’s games to an outrageous amount that alienated many supporters. Khan is all about the bottom line and doesn’t care about the results on the field.
McGregor is the most lucrative MMA fighter in the history of the sport. The UFC maintains one set of rules for the Irishman and another for everybody else. They recognize that he’s a massive cash cow and don’t want to risk offending him because of his marketability.
However, McGregor is also an appalling human and has made a bunch of questionable decisions. The UFC failed to suspend the fighter when he faced sexual assault allegations or multiple arrests for minor offenses. There’s no moral compass when the dollar sign light is on (via NZ Herald).
When an athlete signs a contract with a new team, it’s down to the latter how much they choose to use them. Barcelona didn’t see the best of Dembele because he had terrible luck with injuries. The Frenchman failed to stay fit and spent a lot of time receiving injury treatment.
That’s a gamble every franchise takes when they buy a new player. But they decided that they wanted him to leave and threatened legal action if his agent didn’t force an exit. Dembele and his representation laughed because this was ridiculous and had zero hope of standing up in court (via Guardian).
It’s difficult to know where to begin with Snyder because the man doesn’t have a moral compass. The Washington owner rules his franchise with the chaotic mindset of a Roman Emperor. Unfortunately, Snyder is more like Caligula or Nero than Marcus Aurelius and is one of the league’s most hated figures.
Several former cheerleaders accused him of sexual harassment after nude videos leaked. Allegedly, he created a toxic work culture over his two decades in charge of the franchise. He ruined the team’s competitiveness on the field with several ruinous decisions (via New York Post).
When the Dolphins fired coach Brian Flores, he poured a can of gasoline on the floor and lit a match on the way out. The head coach revealed some startling truths about their season. Allegedly, the front office instructed him to tank and lose several games but Flores refused to do this (via CNN).
Furthermore, he claimed that the team offered him money to stay quiet after he lost his job. He also said that three franchises showed racially dubious practices in their hiring processes as they lied to him. Miami received a massive NFL punishment for their lack of a moral compass.
Diaz is one of the UFC’s biggest stars but found himself at odds with the promotion. He reached the final fight of his contract and made it clear that he wasn’t planning on re-signing. Then, the UFC put him on ice and tried to force him to take an appalling matchup against up-and-coming prospect Khamzat Chimaev (via SB Nation).
The Stockton fighter planned a massive boxing match with YouTube sensation Jake Paul. But the UFC wanted to tarnish his image by inflicting a horrible beating in his final appearance. Meanwhile, a clause enabled them to extend his deal if he rejected the bout. It was ethically disgraceful but brilliant business on their part.
De Jong is one of the most exciting young midfield talents on the planet but Barcelona tried to sell him in 2022. That’s because the team found itself in a financial hole and had an urgent need to create revenue streams. When nobody bid an appropriate amount they changed tactics and showed a lack of moral compass.
In short, they attempted to bully De Jong into accepting the terms of his former, less lucrative contract. They claimed that the terms of the new one weren’t legal but De Jong refused to budge. It was an audacious and scandalous effort from the club and it’s a wonder that he wanted to stay (via Mirror).
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that repeated blows to the head cause long-term damage. However, the NFL tried its best to cover this up for as long as possible. They downplayed the dangers of the sport and repressed medical studies that proved CTE was real.
This showed a lack of moral compass because they exploited young men who didn’t understand the risk. Then they endured horrific health effects in their later life. Now the NFL is dealing with hundreds of lawsuits because of the lives they have destroyed (via FSP).
European soccer clubs don’t follow the franchise model like U.S. teams. It would be an unthinkable travesty if an owner dreamed of relocating their club to another city. However, a greedy group of owners decided to break away from their national leagues and create a new, glamorous competition.
12 European teams agreed to the schism but their fans protested furiously. In the end, the plan fell apart because the fallout was too toxic. Supporters proved that they had the power to make or prevent change from happening. This was crucial because their club owners don’t have a single moral compass (via The Athletic).
The Browns made one of the most desperate and controversial decisions in recent NFL history when they signed Watson. They opted to bring the quarterback to Cleveland despite the toxic cloud of ongoing sexual harassment accusations. The Browns even manipulated his contract because they expected a suspension.
Another wild aspect is that a whole host of NFL franchises including the Dolphins had a strong interest in the QB. It didn’t matter that he settled many civil suits with his alleged victims. They saw a strong arm and lost all sense of a moral compass on the way (via Breitbart).