What It Takes to Be Banned for Life from a Sport

Written by  on January 26, 2015 

That’s what got Pete Rose kicked out of baseball in 1989, and a handful of Chicago White Sox players banned after they lost the 1919 World Series on purpose.

In another infamous scandal, Brooklyn basketball player Connie Hawkins was banned — some say unjustly — from the NBA eight years after he was linked to point-shaver Jack Molinas, ESPN reported.

That doesn’t happen as much anymore thanks to stricter gambling regulations, said Richard Davies, who teaches sports history at the University of Nevada in Reno.

On Sunday, a Spanish soccer fan threw a banana at a black soccer player on the opposing team, Barcelona — a racist taunt that got the fan banned for life from the stadium, ESPN reported.

Unfortunately, it’s an all-too common taunt at games in Spain, where African-American players are often greeted by monkey chants from the stands.

“It didn’t happen because attitudes toward African Americans were different,” he said. “If there is any kind of unusual money coming in, they’re going to notify the FBI. “Jackie Robinson didn’t break the color ban until 1947. Major League Baseball suspended Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott twice — in 1993 and in 1996 — for making racist remarks about African Americans and for condoning Adolf Hitler. Betters have to be assured that the game is on the up-and-up and not rigged.”

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. Schott wasn’t banned for life, but she ended up selling the team in 1999.

But today, racism is in the spotlight when it comes to lifetime sports bans.

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Decades ago, there weren’t as many bans related to racism, Davies said, maybe because there weren’t many black athletes in professional sports.

Common crimes that drew bans or sanctions in the sports world years ago were gambling and fixing games.

Back then, many sports bans related to gambling. The Boston Red Sox didn’t have a black player until 1959.”

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Last year, a Greek soccer player was banned from the national team for life after giving a Nazi salute on the field.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling on Tuesday after Sterling fessed up to racist rants caught on tape — the latest in a string of racially fueled missteps by sports figures resulting in lifetime suspensions.

“The sports books have to be very careful,” Davies said

Max Lyons

Max Lyons

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