In part one, I looked at four sports scandals that tarnished an athlete or changed policies of sport. Since there are so many scandals in the sports world, here are two more scandals that shook the sports world. (Once again there is no rank to these scandals because each has a unique lasting impact.)
Pete Rose Gambling on Baseball
The all time hits leader in MLB history and one of the greatest baseball players of all time still hasn’t been elected to the hall of fame despite his successful career. While managing the Cincinnati Reds, Rose was accused on gambling on games and after investigation was banned from baseball. Rose continually denied the allegations until 2004, when he finally admitted that he bet on games while also managing a team. The MLB placed Rose on the permanent ban list in 1989 which makes him ineligible from joining the Hall of Fame until the ban is lifted. Also because of the ban, the Cincinnati Reds cannot retire the number 14 that Rose wore during his playing days. It’s been 21 years since Rose bet on baseball and his ban has yet to be lifted. This scandal had such a brutal outcome for Rose because instead of being remembered for his amazing career, he will be remembered by many as the man that bet on baseball. He disgraced the MLB and his ban was warranted but isn’t 21 years of being banned from the game you love enough punishment? Rose’s actions were inexcusable and were rightfully punished but he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. From all accounts it seems that Pete Rose has learned from his mistake and that he regrets what he has done. Hopefully we will see Rose in the Hall of Fame in the near future because it’s impossible to exclude one of the best players of all time.
Muhammad Ali and the Vietnam War
Ok, so maybe this isn’t as much of a scandal as a political protest but it involves the greatest boxer of all time, so it belongs. Muhammad Ali was eligible to be drafted into the United States Army in 1966 but he refused to fight to be drafted because fighting in the war was against his religious beliefs as a Muslim. In 1967 during his induction to the United States Army, Ali refused to step forward at the call of his name, which is a felony. Ali was arrested that day and because of the arrest the New York Athletics Commission and the boxing commission stripped Ali of his champion title and suspended his boxing license, making him ineligible to fight. This is why this is such an important scandal. Ali had his title and boxing license revoked for speaking his mind and following his religious beliefs. This scandal was such an important issue that Ali took his case to Supreme Court in Clay v. United States. The ban from boxing ended up being a positive for Ali because it allowed him tour the country, going to various college campuses to speak out against the Vietnam War. Ali became a spokesman for everyone who was opposed to the war and with his charismatic and outspoken personality; you couldn’t pick a more perfect spokesman. Ali was eventually allowed to fight again in 1970, setting up “the fight of the century” against Joe Frazier. Although this scandal won’t be remembered as a sports scandal, the fact that Ali had his license revoked cannot be forgotten, especially because that would never happen today.