Crossing The Line: 10 Most Outrageous Verbal Attacks In Sports History

By: 11.05.10  •  48 Comments

AttackerMike Tyson

Victim — Lennox Lewis, his children and probably Jim Gray

Offense — “Iron” Mike Tyson was once known as the baddest man on the planet – he still might be – but buddy was also one of the craziest. Leave it to Jim Gray to be at the center of another controversial moment in sports history. After putting Lou Savarese out of his misery in June 2000, Tyson praised Allah profusely and proceeded to launch into one of the greatest talking tirades of all time. Some quotes became part of songs, but the money quote came in the form of devouring his former sparring partner’s unborn children. If those aren’t fighting words, then Mike threatening to take everyone’s manhood at the weigh-in certainly was. Unfortunately, Tyson’s bark was far worse than his bite – no pun – because Lewis channeled his inner-Joe Jackson on the night of April 6, 2002.

Attacker — Marge Schott

Victim — Black Athletes

Offense: Bosses say what they want and former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott was the biggest boss of them all. As an old battleaxe of a woman who bore a striking resemblance to her pet St. Bernard, Schott never considered biting her tongue and found herself in a boiling cauldron when she once allegedly referred to two of the team’s superstars – one supposedly being Eric Davis – as her “million-dollar niggers” and also allegedly made disparaging remarks about Jews (she thought Hitler was “good” for Nazi Germany) and Japanese. Her punishment? Six months suspension and a mere drop in the bucket of $25k as a fine.

Attacker — Fuzzy Zoeller

Victim — Tiger Woods

Offense — Oh my, where to begin. Golf’s country club image took a 9 iron to the nuts in 1997 when reporters asked Fuzzy Zoeller what he thought of then rising star Tiger Woods. Referring to Woods as a “boy”? Check. Suggesting that when Tiger wins the Master’s, he shouldn’t serve chicken at the celebratory dinner? Oooh, check. Toss in references to collared greens and watermelon as he walks away from the throng of reporters? Hat trick! There’s a possibility that Fuzzy still explains to visiting friends that he said nothing wrong, making the statement while sitting in a rocking chair and gazing out towards a yard whose perimeter has lawn jockeys. Here’s the visual evidence:

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