Sports' Habitual Line-Crossers

Giancarlo Ferrari-King@@GiancarloKingFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2014

Sports' Habitual Line-Crossers

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    You can be called a lot of egregious things in this world, but being dubbed a habitual line-stepper may be one of the worse.

    Charlie Murphy called Rick James one during his segment on Chappelle's Show, and after that, the term stuck like glue on Ms. Lippy's face.

    Going all Christopher Columbus on this list, it's time to explore some of sports' greatest habitual line-crossers.

    Remember folks, no one is safe.

    So without further delay, let the chaos ensue.

Luis Suarez

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Had it not been for Germany's destruction of Brazil, Uruguay striker Luis Suarez biting an Italian player would have been the most memorable moment from the 2014 World Cup.

    Suarez has earned the right to wear the habitual line-crosser crown when it comes to sinking his teeth into other human beings.

    A real True Blood enthusiast, the Liverpool star has already been punished for this offense.

    He is a repeat offender who has made this type of behavior a nasty habit.

    Come on, Luis, it's time to get back to racking up goals with your culverin-like foot and leave the biting to stray dogs or myriad nocturnal animals.

Ndamukong Suh

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is no stranger to the NFL's lofty fines.

    About halfway through the 2013 season, he already had owed the league $139,375 in disciplinary fees.

    A constant line-crosser, Suh was even voted as the NFL's dirtiest player by the Sporting News back in 2012.

    For whatever reason, he always end up in the commissioner's doghouse, which basically means he's made a living of writing checks with the NFL's name brandished on the front of them.

Alex Rodriguez

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    USA TODAY Sports

    When Alex Rodriguez was accused of using steroids, he reached out to the public and came clean.

    Trying to generate a reason for why he used the juice, Rodriguez blamed youth and the culture of baseball at the time for his behavior.

    Even if you couldn't find it in your heart to forgive A-Rod, at least you could take some sort of comfort in the fact that it was in the past.

    Just a few years later, Biogenesis emerged from the shadows like Alec Baldwin in 1994 and put Rodriguez back in the spotlight.

    After receiving a 162-game suspension and going to war with Major League Baseball's Players Union, the man who once was one of the game's most revered players is now left with a tattered legacy.

J.R. Smith

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Keeping things in a New York state of mind, let's switch over to another Big Apple star who has been a habitual line-crosser.

    New York Knicks scoring guard J.R. Smith used the 2013-14 NBA season as a platform to display his infatuation with untying fellow players' shoes at the free-throw line.

    After he was caught twice, the NBA dished out a $50,000 fine, which turned a classic Internet moment into a "Wow, he got tapped for $50 grand?" one.

    Going by ESPN writer Brian Windhorst's count, Smith has been fined $910,000 over his career.

    People waste money on a lot of things, but generating about a million bucks in fines is simply outrageous.

Ryan Braun

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The use of steroids in baseball has cast a dark cloud over the sport.

    It feels like some of the game's biggest and brightest stars have all used illegal substances at some point during their career.

    Aside from Alex Rodriguez, Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun was the biggest name to garner a suspension from the whole Biogenesis mess.

    A line-crosser in every sense of the word, Braun's suspension last season came on the heels of him getting another positive test overturned just a year prior.

    Braun broke everyone's heart when he lied about using banned substances, including Green Bay Packers quarterback—and former business associate—Aaron Rodgers.

    All there's left to say in my best Keyshawn Johnson voice is, "Come on, man!"

Mark Cuban

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Owning a sports team has to be Mecca for any true fan.

    You can say whatever you want on social media, but the majority of us would be out there acting like Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban if we had the chance.

    Cuban doesn't care about the rules. He says what he wants and signs checks over to the NBA like he was paying with Monopoly money.'s Tim MacMahon wrote that Cuban has been fined 20 times for a lump-sum total of $1.9 million.

    The best part about Cuban getting a fine is that he donates the same amount of loot to a charity of his choice.

    Who knew there could be a line-crosser who actually helps the people?

Johnny Manziel

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    AARON JOSEFCZYK/Associated Press

    These days, if you flip on the tube or check social media, it's all about Johnny Manziel.

    Whether he's being asked to leave Nike camp because of a simple misunderstanding, per Kipp Adams of 247Sports, or he's seen partying around the country, people can't get enough of Johnny being Johnny.

    Despite not playing a single down in the National Football League, Manziel has managed to become the most talked-about professional athlete not named LeBron James.

    Look, Manziel isn't a bad guy. He isn't even a criminal. He's just a kid who's been partying hard in a world where social media runs amok.

    Still, his antics have reportedly managed to irk Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, per ESPN's Chris Mortensen (h/t

    Is it too early to throw in a hashtag #Free Johnny Football?

Marshall Henderson

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    Do you remember when former Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson was one of the most exciting scorers in all of college hoops?

    Unfortunately, being one of the game's most thrilling players on offense doesn't mean you're immune to being a line-crosser.

    Throughout his collegiate career, Henderson continually found ways to get suspended.

    When he wasn't driving to the hoop with his wiry frame or emitting bravado into the air, he always seemed to be getting in trouble with the program.

James Harrison

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    David Kohl/Associated Press

    Every time linebacker James Harrison ran onto the field, fans would collectively hold their breath. 

    The guy was a walking NFL fine. Like Ndamukong Suh, Harrison has been sending priority checks to the league's front office for years.

    Back during his prime with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Harrison was straight up obliterating people like it was normal—while burning through stacks of cash at the same time.

    At a certain point, people have to understand that's just how he plays the game.

    One of the most consistent line-crossers in NFL history, Harrison will always be remembered for his obsession with walloping fellow players.

Hall of Fame: Rasheed Wallace

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    We have reached the point in our journey where it's time to unveil one guy who has already been enshrined in the line-crosser Hall of Fame—I wish it was a real thing.

    That man is none other than NBA legend Rasheed Wallace.

    Sheed, as they call him, still holds the record for the most technical fouls in league history, per James Herbert of

    Wallace also paid a hefty amount of fines over his career thanks to his constant jawing with referees and players. 

    Let us never forget Sheed's infamous words: "Ball don't lie."