13 Bizarre Ways Pro Athletes Got Fined
Brett Favre texted pics of his junk and a Jets coach tripped an opposing player. Both are creative ways to earn a fine in pro sports, but we found 11 more.
By Zack Zeigler
Brett Favre received a $50,000 fine for sexting pics of his favorite halfback (don’t make us spell it out for you) to a woman who wasn’t his wife and Jets assistant coach Sal Alosi landed his team a $100,000 fine for intentionally tripping the Dolphins’ Nolan Carroll. For their actions, we’ve gotta say thanks. We almost forgot pro athletes and coaches get in trouble for more than bad mouthing officials, showing up late to practice, or missing flights. And while both Favre and Alosi get points for creativity in earning their penalties, we learned that there’s no shortage of innovative ways the pros find to forfeit chunks of their salary, like…
Insulting Mormons — Former Bulls forward Dennis Rodman was fined $50K by the league during the 1997 NBA Finals for his comments following a loss in Utah. “It’s difficult to get in sync with all of the f*cking Mormons out here,” Rodman told the press. Later, coach Phil Jackson cleared up any confusion: “To Dennis, a Mormon may just be a nickname for people from Utah.” Ah, makes sense. Thanks, P.J.
Kicking a cameraman in the nuts — Another one from Rodman: He was docked $25K, suspended for 11 games, and lost roughly $1 million in salary in 1997 after falling into the crowd and punting a courtside cameraman in the stones during a game against the T-Wolves.
Tweeting during a game — The NBA and NFL have strict rules for using social media. It’s banned 45 minute before NBA games, 90 minutes before NFL games, and extends through the post-game press conferences for both. While a slew of players “forget” the rule, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco got the harshest reminders; both men got a $25,000 bill for their short-term memory lapse.
Beating up your coach — Latrell Sprewell wasn’t happy when Warriors coach P.J. Carlesimo was riding him about lazy passes during a practice in 1997. So he did what any pro would do — he attacked and threatened to kill his coach. Probably not the best thing to do to earn more playing time, but the perfect remedy if you have too much money. Sprewell lost his shoe contract with Converse and $6.4 million after a 68-game suspension.
Using your skate like a cutting knife — Islanders forward Chris Simon earned a 30-game suspension and lost about $300,000 in salary for stomping on Pittsburgh’s Jarkko Ruutu leg in 2007. That beat Simon’s previous record of a 25-game suspension he received in ’06 for using his hockey stick like a Louisville Slugger.
Wearing the wrong wristbands — You probably know Barry Bonds as the guy who claims he never, ever willingly used steroids. (Um, riiiiight, Barry.) But the league did nail him to the wall in 2006 for … a uniform infraction. The size of the logo on Bonds’ wristband didn’t comply with the league’s apparel guidelines, which cost him $5,000.
Packing rubber balls in your bat — Seven players in MLB history have been busted for using a corked bat, but the Reds’ Chris Sabo is batting leadoff with a seven-game suspension without pay for packing his with rubber balls back in 1996; it cost Cincy $25K as a team and Sabo gave up roughly $70,000 in salary.
Pretending to moon the crowd — Randy Moss barely stuck around long enough to mess things up during his second stint in Minnesota (well, he was fined $25,000 for refusing to speak to the media), but in his first go around with the Vikings he gave us by plenty to remember him by with his “fake mooning” of the Green Bay crowd after scoring a TD in 2005. The act cost him $10,000. Moss wasn’t too broken up about it: “It ain’t nothing but 10 grand. What’s 10 grand to me?”
Spying on your opponents — The New England Patriots were caught videotaping the Jets in hopes of swiping their defensive signals in 2007. The Pats were slapped with a $250,000 fine and were forced to forfeit a first-round draft pick. Head coach Bill Belichick received a staggering $500,00 fine.
Spitting on a little girl — In 1991 as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, Charles Barkley was hearing it from a Nets fans at the Meadowlands. He spotted the guy and tried to spit on him, but there was a problem. “I was tired, and I didn’t have enough foam in my mouth. It went everywhere,” Chuck said. “Everywhere” happened to be on an eight-year-old girl. Oops. Barkley received a one-game suspension and a $10,000 fine. Another incident: In 2006, Terrell Owens pulled a Barkley and hocked one in the face of Atlanta’s DeAngelo Hall. There was plenty of foam in T.O.’s spit, and he was taxed $35,000 when he was caught.
Brawling with fans — In a 2004 showdown between the Pacers and Pistons, Indiana’s Ron Artest gave Detroit center Ben Wallace a hard foul. Benches cleared and there was a scuffle, but all hell broke loose after a fan hit Artest with a cup of Diet Coke. Artest bolted into the stands and started throwing haymakers. When the dust settled, nine players were banned for 140 games, but Ron saw the worst of it; he lost nearly $7 million and was suspended for of 73 games, including the playoffs.