Open mouth. Insert foot. Sports celebrities have been following those dangerous instructions forever. Late Reds owner Marge Schott once used the n-word and said Adolf Hitler was "good at the beginning.'' Late Dodgers executive Al Campanis suggested that blacks didn't have the "necessities'' to be managers. Former NBA star Tim Hardaway said he hated gay people. The latest to join the club is Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen for saying he loves and admires Fidel Castro because the Cuban leader has stayed alive all these years. Here is a look at some members of the loudmouth club.
When you think about it, it’s stunning that the former college basketball coaching great now makes his living talking into a microphone for ESPN. This is a guy who once, in answer to a question, tried to compare getting bad calls in a game to being raped — and his answer could not have been more inappropriate. He once brought a whip to a postgame news conference and talked about how it was a great motivator. These are just two of the more infamous quotes from a man who bullies, intimidates and belittles others regularly with his words.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The boxing great certainly is never at a loss for words and might be the most outrageous trash-talker in sports. Sometimes his words are funny, but far too often Mayweather loses control and lets his trash talk venture into racist remarks. He once offended Filipinos with a rant directed at fellow boxer Manny Pacquiao. He has used "gay'' as an insult. Recently he said on Twitter that Knicks guard Jeremy Lin "is a good player but all the hype is because he's Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don't get the same praise.''Mayweather is the classic example of guy so full of himself that he doesn’t think before he speaks.
Guillen's comments about Fidel Castro weren't the first time the manager has gotten into hot water for saying something inappropriate. In 2006, the then-White Sox manager used a gay slur while talking about then-Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti. In typical Ozzie fashion, he apologized to homosexuals for the slur but not to Mariotti.
The former NHL player is known more for the things he says than for his hockey career. That career is full of controversial remarks. The most famous was when he made a derogatory comment about an ex-girlfriend, actor Elisha Cuthbert, when he learned she was dating another NHL player, Dion Phaneuf. The league was so disgusted by Avery's remark that it suspended him for six games.
I like Barkley, an NBA analyst on TNT, and a big reason why is that he says what's on his mind. That's what makes him a great analyst. It's also what's going to get him fired someday. It's not that he lacks a filter between his head and mouth. It’s that he doesn't care to use it. He doesn't care what comes out of this mouth. He will criticize anyone at any time about anything. He has never said anything hurtful, like Ozzie Guillen and Marge Schott did, but TNT ought to put Barkley on a seven-second delay to save him from himself. And us.
The former scariest man alive once said to a future opponent: "Lennox Lewis, I'm coming for you, man. My style is impetuous. My defense is impregnable, and I'm just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat his children. Praise be to Allah! My main objective is to be professional but to kill him. I want to rip out his heart and feed it to him. I want to kill people. I want to rip their stomachs out and eat their children.'' Yikes! Tyson seems to be a kind and gentle person these days, but you still never know what he might say.
The longtime Hockey Night in Canada analyst is hockey’s version of Charles Barkley except with a mean streak. Cherry, whose "Coach’s Corner'' segment is one of the most-watched programs on Canadian television, seems to have an ax to grind against French-Canadians, Europeans and, really, everyone not born in Ontario. It's amazing he has survived for the past 30 years, and there are constant rumors the NHL will pull its rights from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. because of Cherry.
The former major-league pitcher doesn't like foreigners. He doesn't like gay people. He has a problem with single moms. He doesn't like walking down the street in New York and not hearing anyone speaking English. How do we know all this? He said so … in a national magazine. Rocker, who had a brief stint in the Rays organization, is such a loose cannon that it really is no surprise he once stuck up for Ozzie Guillen’s use of a gay slur.
The NBC hockey analyst is America's version of Don Cherry. He blabs and blabs and blabs, and sometimes you wonder if he is even thinking about what he is saying. He seems to say controversial things just to be controversial. Recently he was forced to apologize for calling Penguins star Sidney Crosby "a punk'' on Philadelphia radio. Like Charles Barkley, Milbury seems to be going down a path that will eventually get him fired for saying the wrong thing about the wrong person.
The conservative talk show host usually has his hand in the political arena when he puts his foot in his mouth, but his abrasive tone once made an appearance in the sports world. As an analyst for ESPN's Sunday morning NFL pregame show in 2003, Limbaugh suggested the media wanted then-Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb to be successful and treated him kindly because he is black. Limbaugh resigned almost immediately.