Unforgettable Ejections in Sports

The NBA world was sent into a frenzy on Tuesday after Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis was wrongfully ejected in the second half of Game 1 against the Los Angeles Clippers. 

Porzingis rushed into a scrum to protect his teammates but was immediately tossed for the game for doing well… basically nothing. 

The call drew heavy criticism from LeBron James and others on Twitter, while it also inspired us to dive back through the archives to find some of the great send-offs from over the years.

From the Malice at the Palace right down to a good old fashioned John McEnroe tantrim, here’s a look at the most Unforgettable Ejections in Sports. 

I Love to Have a Laugh with (Tim) Duncan

Referee Joey Crawford is kinda like the Karen of the NBA.

Laughter and fun? Against the rules, especially when it’s at the expense of authority.

Perhaps the most incredible part of this whole five-minute sequence though is the fact the Gregg Popovich refrains from completely blowing his lid on the sidelines.

John McEnroe’s Three Famous Strikes

A McEnroe blowup? Plenty to choose from, but perhaps his most memorable ejection came during the 1990 Australian Open.

It started with intimidating the lineswoman, followed by racquet abuse and a couple of quality sledges directed at the chair umpire.  

This was truly a piece of theatre when you think about it. From rage to acceptance, what an emotional rollercoaster.

The Pine Tar Incident

Arguments between players, managers and umpires are often exaggerated to completely obnoxious levels in baseball.

George Brett proved our point back in 1983 when his game-winning home run against the Yankees was ruled an out due to the illegal use of pine tar on his bat.

For those that don’t know, pine tar is legal to help improve a batter’s grip – but only if it is applied to the lower 18 inches of the bat.

In another Oscar-worthy performance, Brett remains cool and calm on the bench right up until the point where he’s ruled out. That’s when chaos ensues.

Malice at the Palace

At the time this was a very scary moment for the folks in Detroit, but boy has it aged like a fine wine.

The players brawling, Ron Artest laying on the god damn table before taking to the stands, shower after shower of beer and popcorn, what else could you want?

When it was all said and done, 10 players copped a suspension.

Oh Danny Boy…

There are funny ejections, and then there are straight up cowardly acts.

Danny Williams falls into the latter category after his king hit on Mark O’Neil against the Tigers in 2004.

As far as famous sin bins go, this one is right up there.

Beer Garden?

Here’s another one close to home.

Sydney Blue Sox manager Jason Pospishil made worldwide headlines following a controversial call at third base back in 2015 after he picked up the bag and lobbed it over the fence into the beer garden.

Pretty tough act to follow.

Ball Don’t Lie

Of course the undisputed king of ejections is on this list.

Rasheed Wallace was ejected an NBA record 29 times during his career, the most famous of which came in 2012 during a verbal outburst against the Suns that left us with three famous words: Ball Don’t Lie!

Yo Adrian

Adrian Morley decided to channel his inner Rocky Balboa in the first 12 seconds of Great Britain’s Test match against Australia in 2003.

Following a vicious hit on Robbie Kerns, Morley saw red for a second time in the form of the referee’s card.

Newcastle’s Friendly Fire 

The list of memorable football red cards is a lengthy one, but there’s one that often goes forgotten: Newcastle teammates Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer fighting each other.

Both players threw hands midway through a Premier League match in 2005 after an on-field squabble. Red cards were issued to bother players, leaving Newcastle with only eight men on the pitch. 

Ben Flower

Ben Flower’s king hit on Lance Hohaia in the 2014 Super Rugby League Grand Final remains one of the most disgraceful acts committed on a field.

It’s another for the ‘cowardly’ category that really needs no further explanation.

The Headbutt Heard Around the World

Zinedine Zidane was the catalyst for France’s run to the World Cup final back in 2006, but the pressure finally got to the man from Marseille when he launched into a headbutt on Italy’s Marco Materazzi.

Sent off with his tail between his legs, Zidane announced his retirement immediately after.

Suh’s Stomp 

Ndamukong Suh developed a reputation as the dirtiest player in the game after stomping on the arm of former Packers centre Evan Dietrich-Smith. 

Suh was immediately ejected and is somehow still allowed to play in the NFL

Big Diesel Throws Down

Shaq was ejected 10 times in his 19-year career and there were a couple of noteworthy moments worth highlighting.  

The first was an ejection against the Jazz in 2004 for ‘dunking too hard’ on Andrei Kirilenko.

The second, was the time he nearly killed Brad Miller with a flying fist.

Odor v Bautista

As stated earlier, baseball fights tend to be a whole lot of nothing.

Or at least that was the case until Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor clocked Jose Bautista during a wild skirmish in 2016.

Both players were tossed from the game with Odor serving an eight-game suspension.  

Myles’ Melee

The Browns and Steelers have always been rivals, but everything in the past pales in comparison to Myles Garrett’s helmet swing on Mason Rudolph last year.

If the season actually goes ahead, Part 2 should be a real treat.

The Bertuzzi-Moore Incident

Ice hockey is rough enough without cheap shots off the puck.

Fighting and rough housing is common in the NHL and many, many acts have verged on borderline criminal assault charges over the years.

The most infamous one occurred during 2004 where Vancouver Canuck Todd Bertuzzi tried to instigate a fight with the Avalanche’s Steve Moore by punching him in the back of the head. 

Moore fell unconscious and hit the ice hard before several of Bertuzzi’s teammates piled on top. 

Moore suffered three fractured neck vertebrae and a concussion, enough to call an end to his career.

Bertuzzi was obviously ejected from the game and severed a very soft 20 game suspension. 

Nelly Yoa

We’ve saved the best for last.

World-renowned footballer Nelly Yoa was famously ejected from the bathroom at the 2018 Brownlow Medal ceremony after sneaking in alongside Alastair Clarkson!

If you don’t know who this bloke is, get Googling.

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