All Time Petty Moments in Sport

We all love the glory of sport, the highs, the victories and the triumphs but in spite of many of these high performing athletes operating at the top of their field, there is a phenomenal level of pettiness in a lot of these competitions.

Take the Italian Open for instance, it wrapped up last week with Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep taking home a (reduced) pay packet due to the financial hit the tournament took because of COVID.

Under normal circumstances the men’s tournament winner would receive more prize money than his female counterpart and just because the sums were reduced this season, apparently doesn’t mean the players would receive an equal share.

The difference between the two winners? A measly sum of €10… that’s right, TEN euros or one large and one small coffee at your average Italian café.

Maybe there’s a legitimate justification for that difference (although I have my doubts), but it set a new standard for pettiness in professional sport.

Here are some entries from other competitions around the world, be it random petty actions or other moments of going for the lowest possible act.

Football Players Grabbing the Ball & Walking it Away from a Throw In

Admittedly this is a minor thing in the big picture but is there anything more lowbrow than a footballer playing silly buggers when an opponent is trying to take a throw in?

Also, on the list is yelling at the ball kids on the side of the pitch, what good does that achieve?

Arguing with a Substitution

Sometimes you wonder who is running certain clubs with the influence players have over transfer decisions, team setups and more.

Some can even influence in-game substitutions, leading to some all time dick-measuring contests as a player refuses to be substituted.

Check out Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa facing off with Maurizio Sarri in the Carabao Cup Final

While itt’s nearly impossible to take some players off the pitch but when a footballer on several hundred thousand pounds per week doesn’t get along with the manager, they are happy to bide their time on the bench.

Just ask Gareth Bale.

Actually, that whole Zidane v Bale saga brought out some ultra-pettiness that set new levels of trolling.

Celebrating in Front of their Old Fans

We all know how passionate some football fans are so players love to give it back when given the opportunity.

Emmanuel Adebayor left Arsenal under some heated circumstances to join Manchester City and the fans let their frustrations with the forward be known.

Adebayor ran 120 yards to celebrate in front of the visiting fans in his first game against them at the Etihad in the ultimate middle finger to his former club.

Formula One Team Orders & Drivers Disobeying Team Orders

At some point, we really need to decide if Formula 1 is going to be a team sport or an individual one because right now, the world title and constructor’s championship are clearly not on the same footing.

It seems like a couple of times per year a certain (German) driver is copping some heat for disobeying team orders to further his own individual world championship ambitions.

And said (German) driver doesn’t mind incurring the wrath of his “teammate” (we use that term VERY loosely) with him when he overtakes them for the race victory.

Can you sense a theme about who might be guilty of thinking about himself?

Under Arm Bowling

Do we really need to go into more depth about why this is a bad move?


Yes, it’s legal by the laws of the game but is it really worth being known as “that guy (or girl)”?

Not Shaking Hands

Ok in the current climate some might say this is fair game but tradition in boxing and MMA is to touch gloves before fighting.

Some believe it is bad karma to not touch gloves and there is some evidence to support that theory, just as Ronda Rousey.

Tennis Tantrums

Just remember, when you lose a Grand Slam Final, it’s always someone else’s fault, not yours!

Remember when Serena Williams stole the focus from Naomi Osaka’s first US Open victory?

We could easily include Nick Kyrgios as well but he’s having a good year so we’ll let this one slide.

AFL Clubs Complaining About Alternate Jerseys

Eddie McGuire is now possibly more well known for his hatred of Port Adelaide’s prison bar jersey than his work on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

For some reason another club having a similar strip might confuse people?

It’s a petty hill to die on if he so chooses.

Some AFL fans can get really precious about wearing anything other than their primary strip, remember the controversy about Richmond possibly having to play the 2017 Grand Final in their away jersey?

Not to mention certain clubs whose idea of a clash strip is just inverting the colours of the hoops of stripes… THAT DOESN’T SOLVE THE PROBLEM!

But let’s remember the AFL is a special case and certain teams just can’t seem to grasp the concept of different colours… even though just about every other code have been able to get their heads around it.

AFL Players Pushing and Shoving At Every Stoppage

For some reason at the start of every Aussie Rules match, the players all pair off with an opponent and insist on some random pushing and shoving.

Maybe they need to warm up, maybe they are just getting cold in the southern states but it certainly does look familiar to something else we’ve seen before.

The only time that sort of needling ever seemed to work was on Alistair Lynch in the 2004 Grand Final.

The Last Dance

Michael Jordan basically just decided that he needed to remind everyone how good he was with the release of The Last Dance and in the process, reminded everyone just how ruthless and competitive he could be.

Or as some called it, petty.

Would you expect anything different from the guy who did this for his Hall of Fame speech?

Complaining About the Haka before a Bledisloe

The Bledisloe Cup gets underway in a few weeks and the barbs always get slung across the Tasman, especially when it comes to New Zealand’s pre-match Haka.

Fomer Wallabies player Greg Martin loves to generate some headlines claiming it gives them an unfair advantage but as we have seen, there is always a way to come up with a creative response.

How can you complain about this? It’s awesome.

Going off on Twitter After a Game

Some athletes love to go on Twitter to tell us just how good they are, one of the most famous ones to do so is 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman.

Sure he went to Stanford University and is a smart guy but you would think by now that posting something like this is asking for trouble, especially towards a retired player.

It’s never a good sign when in your next game, a Super Bowl no less, you get burned for a huge gain.

US Sport Championship Parades

It’s basically just a gigantic middle finger to whoever you defeated on the way to the title and these American athlete’s love to get petty when they are full of confidence (and alcohol) after a big game.

Of course some coaches take that sort of petty to a whole new level like Bill Belichick, reading the Philadelphia parade route to his team… the night before the game would be played.