Most Famous Brawls in Sports History

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In sports, it is inevitable that all that competitiveness will, sometimes, boil over, resulting in violent altercations. Usually, this behavior stays relatively tame — some pushing and shoving, at most. Occasionally, players get so fed up with their opponent that they launch into a full-on brawl.

24/7 Tempo reviewed historical sports reporting to compile a list of the most famous sports brawls of all-time. The fights, some of which are decades old, crossed the line from slight disagreements to serious fisticuffs.

Many of these fights are between old rivals. The teams on this list that were involved in a serious brawl, like the Yankees and Red Sox, have decades of bad blood. Each new meeting between the teams can add more fuel to the fire. Many of these fights also stem from a personal animosity that builds between players and eventually explodes into a heated confrontation involving both benches. These are the biggest personal feuds in sports history.

Pro athletes are tough and generally come out of these brawls with just some bumps and bruises. A few infamous fights, however, have left players seriously injured, sometimes ending their athletic careers. Other scraps began because a team took exception with their opponents’ style of play. These types of brawls seldom happen, but when they do they leave a stain on the organization and league as a whole. While the leagues try to clean up this behavior, some teams still cross the line all too often. These are the teams that play the dirtiest.