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Sports Scandals: 5 Athletes Who Tarnished Their Reputation

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Sports scandals provide a glimpse into a professional athlete’s life, albeit in the most horrific and bizarre circumstances. These athletes receive a lot of praise for their skills and talents, and fans expect nothing but the best. 

For this reason, when sports stars’ naughty behavior is exposed, most fans are shocked. Unfortunately, any misgivings are scrutinized, and some damage their reputation. In this article, we look at some of the biggest sports scandals among black athletes.  

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Danny Almonte’s Age Controversy

Biography of Danny Almonte. Video by Acr tv News

In 2001, Dominican Republican baseball player Danny Almonte was at the heart of one of the biggest sports scandals in the Little League World Series. His physique and abilities caught everyone’s attention because he was unusually bigger and better than the rest. 

At the time, he was reported to be 12 years old, but some coaches, including Bob Laterza, who played against him, described his 76mph ball speed as “physically impossible for a 12-year-old.” 

Investigations later revealed that the baseballer was 14 years old, two years older than the maximum age allowed to compete in the league. The President of the Hispanic Youth Little League, Rolando Paulino, was banned, as was Almonte’s father, Felipe.  

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Kobe Bryant’s Sexual Assault

The late Kobe Bryant was a darling on the basketball court. Although he was vocal and said things that rubbed people the wrong way, many interpreted it as a hunger and drive to be the best. In 2003, a sexual assault allegation put his career on the line. 

A hotel employee said the basketballer took advantage of her in a hotel room in California. During the court case, she refused to testify, and the charges were dropped. Both parties settled matters out of court. Bryant always maintained his innocence and claimed that the sex was consensual. 

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Reggie Bush’s Improper Benefit

Reggie Bush talks about the controversy that led to the loss of his Heisman Trophy. Video by I AM ATHLETE

Reggie Bush was starting his career in the National Football League (NFL) when reports emerged that he’d broken the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules. He received financial benefits while playing for the University of South Carolina (USC). 

That goes against the rules that college athletes can’t benefit from their work or popularity. During the period when the scandal broke, Bush had received the Heisman Trophy, awarded to the best college football player. In 2012, the former footballer voluntarily returned his Heisman Trophy.

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Tiger Woods Infidelity

Tiger Woods at the Quicken Loans National golf tournament. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-2.0

After more than a decade of dominating golf, no one would have thought that Tiger Woods’ career would come down crashing. In one of the messiest sports scandals of the 21st century, Woods was hounded by reporters not for his golfing excellence but for his infidelity. 

After crashing his car outside his Florida mansion, U.S publications slowly uncovered his affair with a woman identified as Rachel Uchitel. This led to 12 other women coming out to reveal they’d been secretly involved with the golfer. 

Before the end of 2009, Woods announced an indefinite break from the sport to deal with his problems. In 2010, the pair divorced, but reports indicate they are co-parenting their two children. 

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O.J Simpson’s Murder Trial

The former footballer provided American viewers with one of the most craziest dramas on television. In 1994, he was the prime suspect in the death of his wife. When police showed up to arrest him, O.J. Simpsons put them through a car chase before he surrendered. 

For the next 11 months, Americans followed a case of one of the most popular footballers of the time. With every shred of evidence presented, it seemed like O.J.’s fate was sealed, except that he was finally acquitted of his wife’s murder, much to the disbelief of many people. 

In a twist of events, O.J. Simpson was convicted in 2013 for a different crime: kidnapping, armed robbery, and assault.

Athletes provide us with a way to escape the busy world. However, whenever they’re out of sight, some are involved in shameful behaviours that can ruin their careers. These are some of the biggest sports scandals the world has witnessed. 

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