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).