Top 10 Jarring NFL Scandals of All Time

Professional sports are the most entertaining form of reality television and there is no doubt about it.  Every week there is news of trades, injuries, tragedies and other stories that catch our viewers’ eyes. Trades, injuries, The list goes on and on so there’s no point in list every single news that hits sports  news. And when nothing is happening and everything is dull, there is still the matter of games, coaches being fired, players being suspended for a variety of reasons and the all important, “Where is the this team going to play in?”

There are many “scandals” that have taken place over the course of the existence of the NFL. Many happened long before most of us were even born or were old enough to read about what had taken place. Others have had a ringside seat to some of the best scandals this side of the OJ Simpson Trial.

This article examines top 10 jarring NFL scandals of all time. To make this list of all-time scandals, players, coaches and performers  had to stand out for doing something crazy–not just a DUI or assault case. Think big when reading this article.

1. Big Ben’s Sexual Relations:

Pittsburg Steeler’s quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is famous and well liked, but behind every hero there is a story. In 2008, allegations emerged in Lake Tahoe regarding allegations of sexual assault. Roethlisberger was suspended for 6 games, which was then reduced to 4 in 2010. The 2008 case was sidelined by more allegations in March of 2010 in Milledgeville, Georgia.


2. Eddie DeBartolo Jr.: Extortion:

This owner is the most disliked in the history of NFL and for good reason. He and the Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards got into trouble with the law for extortion and for failing to report a felony when getting a river boat casino license. He received a $1 million fine and was put on a 2 year probation, as a result.


3. OJ Simpson Murder Trial:

The OJ Simpson murder trial was by far the most disgraceful scandal to every hit NFL. The football star was tried on two counts of murder following the 1994 death of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her boyfriend Ronald Goldman. It was the most publicized criminal trial in American history, being shown throughout North America on television networks. After a lengthy trial that lasted 9 months, Simpson was acquitted.

This was the least of his problems. The Brown and Goldman families sued Simpson for damages in a civil trial. The jury found there to be a preponderance of evidence against him to lead a civil trial.

Time Magazine said it all: “An American Tragedy” with a mugshot of O.J on the cover.


4. Lawrence Taylor Sex Scandal:

Lawrence Taylor is one of the best known defensive players in the history of the NFL. He’s ranked on top by former players, coaches and media critics. Although he is on top on TV, he is considered to be at the bottom in real life. He is drenched in controversy time and time again. He’s admitted to using drugs throughout his career, being suspended several times for failing drug tests. He was also jailed 3 times for drug possession. In 2011, he came  under scrutiny yet again for sexual misconduct against a 16 year old. But this is not all, Mike Wallace revealed that Taylor hired prostitutes and spent thousands of dollars a day on narcotics. WOW!


5. Super Bowl XXXIII:

Atlanta Falcons’ defensive back Eugene Robinson was arrested for soliciting a prostitute for $40 in Miami. The prostitute was actually an undercover cop. What was disgraceful about the whole scandal was that Robinson was the recipient of the Bart Starr Award from a Christian group Athletes in Action. He was even a bigger let down in the game, missing tackles and throwing an interception.


6. Bounty Scandal:

Gregg Williams made a speech instructing the Saints’ defense to target specific party of the different players’ bodies in order to maim. This was during a game against the San Francisco 49ers in January of 2011. What was worse about the speech was that Williams offered players a bribe to go with the instructions. He and Sean Payton were both suspended from playing for this orchestration.

7. Packman Jones:

In 2 years, this man was able to get himself tossed out of 2 teams. Not only did he get into a fistfight but shot and paralyzed his manager as well. This is not all, there were other incidents as well that you may have not heard about. He kicked his bodyguard’s but. Well, at least he found his home, in pro wrestling.


8. Chris Henry:

This man is a joke. On numerous occasions he stated that he did not like scandals. What does he do? Well let’s see…. In 1 year, he got arrested for marijuana possession, was arrested for DUI and for concealing a firearm. This was not all…he also gave booze to 16 year old girls. Does he really not like scandals?


9. Janet Jackson & equipment malfunction:

This was a very publicized case during the halftime show of Super Bowl 38. Justin Timberlake accidentally ripped off part of Jackson’s clothes, revealing a nipple. This was referred to a wardrobe malfunction. There are consequences to such actions: CBS was fined $550,000 for not censoring it and MTV was banned permanently from NFL.


10. Namath VS. Kolber:

How many of you remember what happened in December of 2003 when Namath told a side-liner  Suzy Kolber, that he wanted to kiss her and he couldn’t care less about the team? She took it as a compliment, but many viewers did not realize something odd. Namath was drugged and he would later call it an incident due to his intoxication. He entered an alcohol treatment centre to treat his addiction. I don’t see the incident as something bad, but it looks like Namath wanted to do something right in the end and got media attention as well.

By Alex Noudelman

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