Sport Sport Focus Australia’s Hall of Shame: our worst sporting moments

Australia’s Hall of Shame: our worst sporting moments

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Tennis star Nick Kyrgios sent the Australian and international sporting world into a frenzy last week with his inappropriate sledge to opponent Stan Wawrinka during a match.

The 20-year-old firebrand showed scant regard for the welfare of Wawrinka’s reported girlfriend Donna Vekic, 19, and his friend Thanasi Kokkinakis, when he told the Swiss champion: “Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend, sorry to tell you that.”

Nick Kyrgios’ incredible Wawrinka sledge
Why Donna Vekic is Kyrgios’ real victim
Good grace: we look at the best losers in sport

While Kyrgios’ sledge was abhorrent, it’s not the first act of bad sportsmanship by an Aussie.

10. Dennis Lillee kicks but Miandad swings

Lillee didn’t come out of this one smelling like roses. In fact, he came out with a much more sour fragrance.

After moving across Javed Miandad’s line when the Pakistani was attempting a run, he aimed a kick in the batsman’s direction while the umpire was between them.

If that wasn’t poor enough, Lillee almost runs a mile the other way when Miandad threatens to throw a little willow his way.

9. Leigh Matthews king-hits Neville Bruns

The Hawthorn great is widely considered as the best player the game has ever seen. His coaching record stacks up, too, after four premierships with Brisbane and Collingwood. So it’s only right that he is lauded by footy fans.

However, in 1985, Matthews tainted his career in the eyes of some when he brutally broke the jaw of Geelong player Neville Bruns with a bludgeoning round-arm.

As a result, Matthews was charged with assault by police and given a three-week suspension, while he was also deregistered for a month.

8. ‘Fabulous’ Phil Carman’s umpire head-butt

Phil Carman was one of the first AFL footballers to wear white boots on the field and his disciplinary record was just as eye-catching.

Before he joined Collingwood he famously rubbed Adelaide legend Graeme Cornes’ face into the mud in front of Norwood’s members, but it’s what he did for Essendon that was most shocking.

When remonstrating with a boundary umpire, Carman head-butted him, earning himself a 20-week suspension.

7. Kevin Muscat destroys youngster’s knee

The Melbourne Victory coach and distinguished Socceroo was a fine player, a fearsome addition to any side.

But he’s always been defined by his aggressive nature and heinous tackling. His career was littered with horrible challenges on unsuspecting players.

And it was in his final year with Melbourne Victory that ‘Kev’ produced his worst sporting act. His crude scissor-tackle on then-Melbourne Heart youngster Adrian Zahra kept him sidelined for over a year.

6. Lleyton Hewitt caught in race row

Maybe there is a way out of the muddy mire for Nick Kyrgios? His new mentor hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in a 2001 US Open match with American James Blake.

Hewitt suggested a black linesman was purposefully making decisions in favour of Blake, who is also black.

“Look at him and you tell me what the similarity is,” complained Hewitt. The tennis star defended his comments but was booed by the crowd.

5. ‘I think you’ve got to take the boy off’

Former Collingwood reserves player John Bourke received a whopping 10-year suspension for pushing an umpire over during a 1985 match.

The umpire was reporting Bourke for kneeing when he lost his temper and shoved the official.

To make things worse, he jumped the fence and threw a spectator to the ground in what can only be described as madness. His penalty was later slashed to six years.

4. Kyrgios’ sexual insult in Montreal

It was the sledge that embarrassed Kyrgios, outraged the world and offended Vekic, Wawrinka and Kokkinakis.

“Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend, sorry to tell you that,” the controversial star said.

He was hit with maximum fine – $US10,000 – by the ATP and received condemnation from every corner of the community. Most notably, tennis royalty in Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer slammed the young man for his words.

3. John Hopoate’s finger problem

Hoppa’s, ahem, entry into this list calls into question conduct concerning his back-end digital proficiency.

Hopoate was suspended from rugby league for 12 weeks for sticking his finger into the backside of an opposition player.

He became a boxer after his league career ended, with his fingers, thankfully, covered by tightly drawn gloves.

2. The under-arm ball

Often it will be said that sides do ‘whatever it takes’ to claim victory. But sometimes it’s just not cricket.

On this occasion, New Zealand needed a six off the final ball to win a one-day international against Australia at the MCG in 1981.

Australia captain Greg Chappell instructed his brother, Trevor, to deliver an under-arm ball so a six was not possible – and he did.

The Aussies won but it was hollow. And we’re still hearing about it from our friends across the ditch to this day…

1. Peter Filandia’s ballsy move

Filandia’s conduct needs no real accompaniment. The plain facts are alarming enough – it’s as bad as it gets.

In a VFL game, the captain and assistant coach of Port Melbourne bit the scrotum of opponent Chad Davis. Filandia, who had an 83-game AFL career for Essendon and Sydney, was disgraced.

He received a 10-match ban and the best thing to come out of it was the Fairfax headline “Ball tearing terror”.

Photo: Getty
Peter Filandia in his Sydney days, before he grabbed the VFL by the balls. Photo: Getty

What did we miss? Which rankings did we get wrong? Let us know below …

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