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By RanterX

15 Biggest Sports Scandals of 2014

Adrian Peterson
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As 2014 turns its final pages and we move on to 2015, it's time to reflect on the year that was. There were plenty of happy, exciting, and heart-warming stories this past year, but sadly even more unfortunate stories than usual. The sports world was rocked in 2014 by numerous headlines we all hated to see. Here are the 15 Biggest Sports Scandals of 2014.

15. Ray Rice Assault Case

Ray Rice Janay Palmer
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15. Ray Rice Assault Case

Ray Rice Janay Palmer
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The former Ravens running back was arrested on February 15 and charged with assault after a physical altercation with his fiancé Janay Palmer inside an elevator at a hotel in Atlantic City. TMZ posted video of Rice dragging an apparently unconscious Palmer out of the elevator. Additional video from inside the elevator was released on September 8, showing Rice punching and knocking Palmer unconscious.

14. Donald Sterling's Racist Comments

Donald Sterling V Stiviano
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14. Donald Sterling's Racist Comments

Donald Sterling V Stiviano
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In April, TMZ released a recording of a phone conversation between the Clippers owner and a “female friend” of his, V. Stiviano. Sterling was irate over a photo she had posted on Instagram, posing with Magic Johnson. He told her, “the little I ask you is – not to bring them to my games.” NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life and fined him \$2.5 million.

13. Adrian Peterson Child Abuse Charges

Adrian Peterson
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13. Adrian Peterson Child Abuse Charges

Adrian Peterson
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On September 12, Peterson was indicted by a grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child. Photos were released revealing the running back’s four-year-old son with slash-like wounds on his body. Peterson allegedly used a tree branch to beat his young son. Peterson was placed on the NFL’s Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list after accepting a plea deal in November.

12. Atlanta Hawks Owner's Racist Email

Bruce Levenson
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12. Atlanta Hawks Owner's Racist Email

Bruce Levenson
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In July, Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson self-reported an email he wrote to the team’s co-owners that he deemed “inappropriate and offensive.” Levenson’s email stated his theory that “…the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a significant ticket base.”

11. University of North Carolina Academic Fraud

UNC Football Field
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11. University of North Carolina Academic Fraud

UNC Football Field
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An estimated 3,100 students took fake “paper classes” that required no attendance and only a single research paper to pass the class. Nearly half of these students were athletes, who were funneled into the class in order to help retain their eligibility. The papers were graded without regard to the quality of the work and students generally received A’s or B’s.

10. Kevin Ward Jr. Killed By Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart
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10. Kevin Ward Jr. Killed By Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart
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Before anything is said on the matter, let me clear up that no matter what actually happened, it’s a terribly sad tragedy for all parties involved. Ward, a 20-year-old NASCAR driver, was killed after being struck by Tony Stewart’s car. Ward got out of his car following a crash, walked onto the track and started screaming at Stewart. Ward was clipped by Stewart’s tire and later passed away. Stewart claims the incident was “100% an accident.”

9. Michael Phelps DUI and Suspension

Michael Phelps
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9. Michael Phelps DUI and Suspension

Michael Phelps
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The winningest athlete in Olympic history was arrested in September for driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding. As a result, USA swimming suspended Phelps for six months. Police said Phelps was driving 84 mph in a 45 mph zone and had a blood alcohol level of 0.14 percent.

8. Jameis Winston Steals Crab Legs

Jameis Winston
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

8. Jameis Winston Steals Crab Legs

Jameis Winston
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback hasn’t quite figured out how to act off the field. There’s your understatement of the century. Winston first was accused of sexually assaulting a fellow Florida State student, charges that have since been dropped. In April, Winston was issued a citation for stealing crab legs from a Publix store. Surveillance footage is available of the theft.

7. Luiz Suarez Bites Again

Luis Suarez
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7. Luiz Suarez Bites Again

Luis Suarez
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Suarez is a tremendous soccer player, but is far from free of controversy. During a 2014 World Cup game against Italy, Suarez bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder, the third player he has bitten in his career. His frightening biting tendencies have earned Suarez the nickname, “The Cannibal of Ajax.”

6. Redskins Team Name Controversy

Daniel Snyder
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6. Redskins Team Name Controversy

Daniel Snyder
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Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder refuses amid many growing protests to change the Redskins team name that has been deemed derogatory by many. Whether it’s the right call to change the team name or not, has been argued about all year and some protests even broke out prior to Redskins road games.

5. Alex Rodriguez Suspension Upheld

Alex Rodriguez
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5. Alex Rodriguez Suspension Upheld

Alex Rodriguez
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Nobody likes A-Rod at this point. The man has been the center of controversy for years and I’m sure baseball and its fans enjoyed the year off from the third baseman in 2014. Rodriguez was named in the Biogenesis scandal and was later suspended for 211 games, including the entire 2014 season. A-Rod appealed, but the suspension was upheld in January.

4. Russian Olympians Doping

Sochi Olympics
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4. Russian Olympians Doping

Sochi Olympics
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Host countries almost always do better at the Olympics, but that was especially the case with Russia in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. An investigative documentary reported that up to 99% of Russian Olympic athletes were doping and the Russian Athletics Federation covered up the positive tests.

3. DeMarco Murray Breaks Bro Code

DeMarco Murray
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3. DeMarco Murray Breaks Bro Code

DeMarco Murray
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According to DeMarco Murray’s former Oklahoma teammate Brennan Clay, Murray and Clay’s wife had an affair, effectively destroying and ending their marriage. A string of tweets posted by Clay describe the incident and his feelings toward both Murray and his wife. An MVP candidate on the field and the furthest thing from it off it.

2. FIFA Accepting Bribes

Sepp Blatter Meets Mahmoud Abbas In West Bank
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2. FIFA Accepting Bribes

Sepp Blatter Meets Mahmoud Abbas In West Bank
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FIFA has been known as one of the more corrupt organizations out there, and they certainly didn’t help raise their reputation in 2014. In June, Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper detailed allegations about bribes exchanged in order to secure Qatar as the host of the 2022 World Cup.

1. Roger Goodell and the NFL Get It Wrong

Roger Goodell
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1. Roger Goodell and the NFL Get It Wrong

Roger Goodell
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We are still not entirely sure of all the facts on this one, but what we do know is that the NFL, and Roger Goodell especially, royally messed up the handling of the Ray Rice scandal. Rice was initially suspended only two games and only when video of the incident became public did Goodell act like domestic violence was a serious matter.

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