Sick, Sad World of Sports: The grim side of athletics

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Hello, and welcome to the Sick, Sad World of Sports, a reminder that sports figures are human, and as such, are no more or less prone to fallibility than the rest of us. Everyone makes mistakes, but often fans overlook a misdemeanor or even a felony, because sports are supposed to be an escape.

It’s a place where people can shut off their brains for a couple of hours a day, and simply be happy tracking a ball. Never mind those fans brawling in the concourse, the sex offender taking the mound, or the supporters who let the direction of “their” organization affect their livelihoods.

Have a mental illness? Not on the court you don’t; that’s just called being soft, and if you have a breakdown, hopefully you possess enough value that your employers check you into rehab instead of flat-out waiving your ass.

So each month Deadspin will be running what is essentially an incident blotter for sports. Coaches, players, fans, owners, schools — anyone tangentially tied to the industry is fair game to remind folks just how desensitized they are. Ideally, this both serves a journalistic purpose and pulls at your macabre strings.

Some of the stories are horrible (so trigger warning), some are sad, and a couple are IDIOT OF THE MONTH-worthy, but all serve to tear down the facade that perfectly produced highlight packages are nature’s antidepressants. I would say enjoy, but that’s not the point of this exercise, so… enter at your own risk?

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The Las Vegas Raiders released NFL defensive end Chandler Jones after he was arrested Sept. 29 for violating a domestic violence temporary protective order. An unnamed woman alleged her ex-boyfriend Jones showed up at her residence without shoes on, rambling incoherently, shoved her when she tried to stop him from going into her room, and then took his dog, and left.

In the week leading up to the arrest, Jones took to Twitter Live to accuse the team of hospitalizing him against his will, among other claims, in the 25-minute video.

Read more here, and here.

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The former Michigan State coach was fired by the school in late September after allegations that he masturbated while on the phone with a sexual assault survivor and activist. He’s now suing the university, which has come under fire for how it handled a situation it knew about since December.

Tucker’s lawyers have denied the allegations, and the coach is now suing the school over his termination.

Read more here, and here.

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Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Brevin Randle was suspended indefinitely by the school after he stomped on the neck of an opposing UTEP offensive lineman during a game in late September.

Read more.

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Screenshot: Stew Peters/Twitter

Two conservative commentators called for the public execution and hanging of Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift over the alleged couple’s separate vaccine endorsements. The clip made the rounds on X before it was eventually removed Sept. 29.

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An 11-year-old football player in Apopka, Fla., is facing an attempted murder charge for allegedly shooting two teammates following an argument Oct. 2. The report states the back and forth spilled into the parking lot after practice, at which point the alleged shooter grabbed a gun from his mother’s car, and fired off one round that hit both teammates.

The victims are expected to be OK.

Read more.

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A couple of Raiders fans exchanged words during a game between Las Vegas and the Los Angeles Chargers on Oct. 1 before the altercation turned violent, and one of the participant’s friends jumped in to jump the woman who was already getting her ass handed to her.

Read more.

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A mass shooting on the campus of Morgan State University injured five people in Baltimore and led to the school canceling its homecoming football game and all other related festivities. The school now plans to build a wall around campus as a response.

Read more here and here.

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The Title IX lawsuit against Baylor, former coach Art Briles, and former athletic director Ian McCaw is moving closer to trial, a federal judge announced Oct.4. The case concerns the alleged mishandling of sexual violence reports. Briles was most recently seen on the Oklahoma Sooners’ football field after his son-in-law, a coach at OU, invited him down following the team’s win over SMU on Sept. 9.

Read more here and here.

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Former Indianapolis Colt Sergio Brown was taken into custody Oct. 11 in connection with his mother’s death. Questions initially arose after family members filed missing persons reports for both Sergio and his mother Myrtle Brown, leading investigators to find Myrtle’s body in a nearby creek. A Ring camera also caught Sergio burning clothes in his mother’s clothes.

Reports expect Brown to be charged with first-degree murder.

Read more here and here.

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Giants and Seahawks fans brawled at MetLife Stadium during New York’s 24-3 loss to Seattle during the Monday Night Football game Oct. 2. One tweet alleged one participant suffered a broken bone while another had multiple teeth knocked out.

Read more.

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An incident between rival fans at the Miami Dolphins-New England Patriots game in Foxborough. Mass., on Sept. 17 resulted in the death of a New Hampshire man. Fast forward a few weeks and local authorities applied for criminal complaints alleging assault and battery, and disorderly conduct against three Rhode Island men.

Read more.

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A youth football coach was shot multiple times Oct. 10 in St. Louis after a father of a team member allegedly opened fire over an issue with his son’s playing time. The coach Shaquille Latimore was in critical but stable condition as of Oct. 11, and the alleged shooter, Daryl Clemmons, later turned himself in to authorities. He was charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action.

Latimore’s mother, SeKimo, said her son typically coaches 7- to 8-year-old boys.

Clemmons did not have an attorney release a statement on his behalf by the time of filing.

Read more.

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Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling revealed one-time teammate Tim Wakefield had brain cancer. Wakefield, who died from the disease a few days after Shilling’s announcement, had not come public with the diagnosis. In the fallout of Shilling’s misstep, X users discovered concerning pro-Nazi language in some of the pitcher’s recent rants.


Read more here and here.

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Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer recently settled a civil case with a woman he allegedly consensually choked and hit, and took to social media to victim blame, and shame the woman. Experts were quick to point out that a settlement does not mean he “won” the case.

Read more.

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Multiple skirmishes broke out at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 9 between LA faithful and Diamondbacks fans during Game 2 of the NLDS.

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Fans of the LaLiga club Getafe CF were condemned for chanting “Greenwood, die” at their own player, on-loan forward Mason Greenwood, among other “derogatory and intolerant” chants, that weren’t all directed toward Greenwood, in late September.

Read more.

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LaLiga powerhouse Barcelona FC was charged with suspected bribery in late September for $7 million in payments made to companies linked to former vice president of the refereeing committee, José María Enríquez Negreira, according to court documents. The investigation is wide-ranging, with Spanish authorities raiding the refereeing committee at the Royal Spanish Football Federation in relation to the case.

Read more.

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A US court is set to rule on whether the Cristiano Ronaldo case involving an alleged sexual assault in 2009 can go back to civil court after new documents regarding the incident were leaked. The case was the second time the Portuguese soccer star has been accused of sexual assault.

Ronaldo has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and claimed the sex was consensual.

Read more.

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Former Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales, ousted for kissing women’s team Jenni Hermoso during the Women’s World Cup medal ceremony, continued his defiance, calling the incident an “anecdote” during a court hearing in Spain on Oct. 4.

Read more.

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Four PSG players were suspended for one game in early October after using homophobic chants during a celebration over rival Marseilles. Randal Kolo Muani, Ousmane Dembele, Achraf Hakimi, and Layvin Kurzawa joined PSG fans, who kicked off the offensive cries.

Read more.

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Two soccer players on the Polish league team Legia Warsaw were detained in early October after Netherlands authorities detained Josué Pesqueira of Portugal and Radovan Pankov of Serbia for allegedly injuring a steward following a Europa Conference League match at AZ Alkmaar. The incident took place amid scuffles between supporters and police.

Josué and Pesqueira were later released, and rejoined the club.

Read more.

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Juve midfielder Nicolo Fagioli is under investigation for illegal betting activity. Under the Italian Soccer Federation code of conduct, players found to have bet on certain leagues face a three-year ban, with a minimum fine of €25,000 (approximately $26,300 USD).

Read more.

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Arterio Morris was charged with rape Sept. 29, and later kicked off the Kansas men’s basketball team. An 18-year-old Missouri woman reported an alleged rape in the dorm housing the program a month earlier. Morris was suspended following the incident until his dismissal following his arrest.

Read more.

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The NBA announced the suspension of Los Angeles Clipper guard Josh Primo for four games Spet. 29. The punishment is related to multiple incidents in which Primo exposed himself to a female member of the San Antonio Spurs organization. The Spurs released Primo in late October 2022.

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Mikey Williams, a Memphis basketball recruit, must stand trial on six felony gun charges. Williams is away from the team until the case is sorted out. The charges stem from an incident alleging he fired a gun at a car with as many as six people inside following an argument outside his home in San Diego on March 27.

Williams and his attorney Troy P. Owens declined to comment as they left the courthouse Oct. 11. Williams has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Read more.

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Las Angeles Sparks forward Derarica Hamby filed a discrimination lawsuit against the WNBA, and the Las Vegas Aces on Sept. 22, alleging mistreatment during her pregnancy. The league investigated the allegations after Hamby aired them on social media in January, and it concluded with Aces coach Becky Hammon serving a two-game suspension to start the season.

Hamby said the club falsely accused her of signing a two-year contract while knowingly pregnant.

The WNBA later released a statement:

“The league conducted a thorough investigation of the allegations and levied appropriate discipline based on its findings.”

Read more.

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Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges turned himself in to North Carolina authorities Oct. 13 after an arrest warrant was issued over violation of a protection order. The incident allegedly involves the same woman that Bridges was previously accused of abusing. The report from the most recent incident alleges Bridges threw billiard balls at the woman’s car, with their children in the vehicle, following a custody exchange.

Bridges missed all of last season while the previous case played and was suspended 30 games by the league, with credit 20 games served. He pleaded no contest in the June 2022 case, and is currently on probation for three years, among other mandates, including the protection order.

Bridges did not release a statement by the time of filing.

Read more.

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NBA free agent Kai Jone was released by the Charlotte Hornets on Oct. 11 after a string of concerning social media posts, and a trade request. In the videos, the 2021 first-round pick is visibly sweating, and acting erratically, and calls out teammates Lonzo Ball, and Brandon Miller, as well as Hornets minority owner Michael Jordan, and Los Angeles Laker LeBron James.

Read more.

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Johnny Druskinis was removed from the Michigan men’s hockey team Oct. 4 after he was caught vandalizing a Jewish resource center. Wolverine women’s lacrosse player Megan Minturn accompanied Druskinis and was suspended from the team for her role.

A surveillance video posted by the Ann Arbor Police Department shows Druskinis allegedly spray painting a dick, and Minturn adding her initials next to the offensive image.

Read more.

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The NHL banned Pride tape for the 2023-24 season, saying in a memo sent to teams the first week of October that the tape is in line with its stances on other theme nights. On-ice player uniforms and gear for games, warmups, and official team practices cannot be altered to reflect theme nights, according to reports, and that includes Pride, Hockey Fights Cancer, or military appreciation celebrations.

The league banned Pride warmup sweaters a season ago, sparking backlash from LGBTQ+ activists, and this recent announcement renewed that criticism.

Read more.

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Former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya pleaded guilty to a drunk-driving charge Sept. 24. He was nearly double the legal limit in his native New Zealand at the time of the DUI citation in August, according to reports.

“I want to apologize to the community, my family, and my team for the decision I made to get behind the wheel after drinking at a dinner,” Adesanya said in a statement. “I am disappointed with my decision to drive, it was wrong. I know that people might follow me and I want them to know I do not think this behavior is acceptable.”

Read more.

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Christopher “Reid” Mikuta was indicted on rape charges Sept. 20 in Aubrun. The documents accuse the former Auburn swimmer of having sex with someone “who was incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated.” Mikuta was second-team All-SEC at Auburn the past two seasons but is no longer a student at the university.

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A former Air Force golf coach bet $9,259 on 253 occasions, six of them Air Force football games, per a report released by the NCAA sanctions committee announcing the unnamed coach’s punishment. The report states that he created an account using a then-girlfriend’s identification, and his own personal email.

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Graphic: AEW

An AEW storyline came under fire Oct. 10 after a storyline featured antisemitic taunts toward a Jewish wrestler involving a roll of quarters. The episode aired three days after Israel was attacked by Hamas terrorists.

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Audrey Dahlgren, a former reporter for WLNS in East Lansing, was fired for attacking Brenda Tracy, Mel Tucker’s accuser in the sexual harassment case against the former Michigan State head coach, on Oct. 10. Reports said station manager Marci Daniels also called Tracy to apologize.

Read more.

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