When Teammates Attack
The loyalty lines are pretty clear in sports: same jersey, same team.
You’re all in this together and working for a common goal, but just because you sweat, bleed and live together about half the calendar year doesn’t mean there won’t be issues.
Like a group of siblings, teams will have conflicts. One player will get too rough, another will take offense, and then slammo—someone gets blindsided with a fistful of brotherly love.
The following are instances when teammates become heated, camaraderie burns to ash and things get out of hand. This is when teammates attack.
Australian Soccer Player Kicks Teammate While He’s Down
Australian Rules football: No rules, just fights.
I kid, there are rules in this game, but it’s unlikely any rule or official would’ve stopped Carlton footballer Setanta Ó hAilpín from punching and kicking teammate Cameron Cloke like a mongrel dog while the man was on the ground.
The two Carlton FC players got into a scuffle during an intra-club match in 2009, which escalated dramatically the moment Ó hAilpín landed a wild punch on Cloke’s jaw.
Cloke fell to the pitch, where Ó hAilpín proceeded to give him a kick between his legs. It was cruel and unusual, and it earned him an indefinite suspension from the team as the league figured out how best to deal with this kind of teammate-on-teammate attack.
Bill Romanowski Ends Teammate’s Career
Bill Romanowski very well may be the king of poor sportsmanship, and the crowning jewel of his roided-up misdeeds on the football field was a vicious assault of teammate Marcus Williams.
The two men were scrimmaging on a Raiders practice field in 2003 when Romanowski became enraged with the manner in which Williams, a wideout, was blocking him.
The safety began tangling with Williams, knocked his helmet off and crunch—struck him in the eye with a wild uppercut.
The punch "just crushed [Williams’] eye" and he fell to the ground, according to former Raider Ryan Prince. Romanowski reportedly stood over Williams yelling, “Don’t you ever (bleep)ing hold me!”
Romanowski's punch shattered Williams’ eye socket, leaving him with double vision and brain damage, according to his lawyer. He never played professional football again.
Dynamo Kiev Players Are Inseparable
The phrase “It was a knock-down, drag-out fight” was invented for brawls like the one between Frank Temile and Dmitry Korkishko.
The ruck between the two Dynamo Kiev B players started when Korkishko slap-punched Temile on the face after an angry exchange of words. Naturally, the Nigerian responded with a wild belt to his teammate's head and the two tumbled to the ground.
Teammates literally had to pull Temile off Korkishko and carry him away, making for the only example of good teamwork seen in this video.
Steve Downie Knocks out Akim Aliu’s Teeth
After refusing to participate in a rookie hazing ritual, Windsor Spitfire new guy Akim Aliu received a cross-check from hell courtesy of team captain Steve Downie.
Downie skated up behind the 16-year-old during practice, tapped him on the shoulder and proceeded to check Aliu square in the mouth when the rookie turned around. The cross-check chipped three of Aliu’s teeth and sent him to the team’s locker room for treatment.
Aliu returned to the ice with a vengeance, and this video shows the ensuing throwdown. Feel that warmth? That’s just the hot glowing embers of brotherly love.
Tony Allen and O.J. Mayo: Fights on Plane
Don’t take out a faulty loan from Tony Allen, lest the Memphis Grizzlies swingman take out his due interest on your face.
Allen was on a team plane ride playing cards with teammates when wagers began being made. The game was called “Boo-Ray” and Allen reportedly won somewhere between “$1,000 and $1,500” off of teammate O.J. Mayo, who became increasingly salty when Allen asked him to pay up.
In true poor-sport fashion, Mayo continued to harass Allen over holding him to his debt, and an altercation broke out. Allen punched Mayo, and teammates were forced to intervene.
It wasn't Finding Nemo, but the incident made for plenty of in-flight entertainment.
The Newcastle Knuckle-Fest
If losing is bad, then losing by a wide margin is worse than the worst.
Newcastle teammates Lee Bower and Kieron Dyer showed just how far the frustration of losing can push a club when the two men began fighting in the middle of a match against Aston Villa.
With their side down 3-0 at home, the two teammates exchanged haymakers until they were separated by—of all people—Aston Villa players.
“We are teammates and we have disagreements,” Dyer told the media in a public apology. “But we should not be fighting in front of 50,000 people.”
Steve Blake vs. John Gilchrist
A University of Maryland basketball practice turned into a one-on-one street fight after Steve Blake and John Gilchrist became a touch too physical.
Blake appeared to be relatively relaxed before getting caught by a Gilchrist hand to the chin while attempting to grab a rebound.
The glancing blow appeared to be an accident, but Blake immediately knuckled up and began throwing fists at his teammate. The incident was stopped before any real harm could be caused, although Gilchrist did appear to catch Blake with a sobering right jab to the face before the two were separated.
LeGarrette Blount Punches Teammate for Change of Pace
In the name of mixing up his targets, LeGarrette Blount decided to unleash his fists of fury on one of his Titans teammates at a night practice in 2010.
The remarkably high contact walk-through scrimmage turned chippy, and Blount’s helmet ended up on the ground.
The running back decided the man responsible for this travesty was teammate Eric Bakhtiari, so he threw a punch, completely unconcerned with the fact the man was wearing a helmet with a face mask.
Even still, Blount’s punch looked very powerful, and probably would’ve caused Byron Hout-like damage had his target not been wearing protective gear.
Renaldo Balkman: The Hardwood Strangler
Does Renaldo Balkman have to choke a man?
No, but that didn’t stop the Petron Blaze ballplayer from wrapping his hands around the throat of teammate Arwind Santos as if he were twisting a chicken neck.
Balkman’s choke-attack came after several in-your-face confrontations with game officials, who didn’t particularly care for the overly physical manner in which he approached them.
Same team, Renaldo. Same team.
Arizona Battle Each Other at Bowl Game
They ended up winning the game, but the 2013 New Mexico Bowl got off to a rocky start for the Arizona Wildcats football team.
The Wildcats were down 21-0 to Nevada by the end of the first quarter, and defensive tackle Tevin Hood and linebacker Cody Ippolito apparently blamed one another for the defense’s problems.
The fight began with Hood swinging at Ippolito on the sidelines, who was a bit distracted until his teammate in the thermal face-stocking was right on top of him. A national television audience watched the meltdown unfold, and the two threw several whiffed punches until they were separated by teammates.
Something about the fight must’ve awoken Arizona, because the team shored up its defense, stormed back and won the game with two touchdowns in the final minute.
Mississippi State Stadium Scrap
Of all the different kinds of interpersonal tensions in the world, roommate drama is one of the most combustible.
For Mississippi State basketball players Renardo Sidney and Elgin Bailey, their roomie drama exploded in front of ESPNU cameras at the Diamond Head Classic in 2010.
The players were watching a game from the stands when tempers flared and an altercation led to blows being exchanged. No word on what caused the incident, but one of them probably left some dirty dishes in the sink.
French Runners Get Down with Fisticuffs
More contact occurs in competitive running than the sport is given credit for, but rarely have we seen things ratcheted up to this level on the track.
French runners Mehdi Baala and Mahiedine Mekhissi are not great friends, and although they run for the same country, it doesn’t keep them from throwing victories—or fists—in each others' faces.
Ahmad Brooks Goes Full Roadhouse
According to the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks used a bottle to assail teammate Lamar Divens in June.
The two were allegedly arguing over car keys outside Brooks’ home in San Jose when things escalated and Brooks struck Divens on the head three times with a beer bottle and punched him once in the face.
An arrest warrant for Brooks was issued but has been suspended as charges are still pending.
Ibrahimovic Smacks Boateng Like He Stole Something
No bad blood was involved in this teammate attack, but good Lord does Zlatan Ibrahimovic slap the gravy out of Prince Boateng after this goal.
There’s celebrating a teammate’s goal, and then there’s celebrating a teammate’s goal Ibrahimovic-style—which can lead to a concussion.
That being said, slapping has been his cup of tea these days.
Michael Westbrook: Teammate Destroyer
After hearing teammate Stephen Davis mocking him with homophobic slurs during a camp workout in 1997, Washington Redskins wide receiver Michael Westbrook lost his mind and attacked.
Neither player was wearing pads or a helmet, and the beatdown that ensued was entirely one-sided, with Westbrook kneeling over Davis and pounding him repeatedly in the face as cameras rolled.
The wideout was fined $50,000 for the incident and apologized for the act. Mind you, that’s $25,000 less than Roy Hibbert was fined for using insensitive terms during a playoffs press conference in 2013.
How things have changed.