No way that happened… right?
What are the craziest protests in the history of sports? There are certainly ones of note and others that have led to action, but the actual list will leave you dumbfounded.
allows them to be broadcast all over the globe and is why they are often targets of protestors
It’s no secret that sports are the most popular form of entertainment in the world. Their popularity allows them to be broadcast all over the globe and is why they are often targets of protestors willing to face severe punishment for interfering with standard proceedings.
Without further ado, these are the wildest protests in the history of sports.
The craziest sports protests of all time
#5: The 2023 Grand National
The Grand National is a steeplechase horse race held in the United Kingdom every year. It has a long and storied history and is for many a tradition unlike any other.
The 2023 Grand National, however, was made to face a different reality than those of years past as a horde of animal rights protestors stormed the 4.3-mile course in Liverpool to protest abuse against horses. Over 100 demonstrators were arrested and the race was delayed 14 minutes.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals called for a review of the race’s place in the country after three horses died during the three-day spectacle this year. Animal Aid is also campaigning for the race and those similar to it to be banned, although the British Horseracing Authority said the “actions of a small number of people” won’t derail the race’s “huge and enduring international appeal.”
#4: World Snooker Championship 2023
Snooker is a popular game played on a billiards table. The goal is to pot each of the 22 balls using the cue ball in a predetermined order, and the match ends when a player hits a certain number of frames.
a woman also tried to glue herself to a table
At the 2023 World Championships, play was interrupted when a distressed onlooker jumped onto the table during a match between Robert Milkins and Joe Perry and covered it in orange powder. A woman also tried to glue herself to a table where Mark Allen and Fan Zhengyi were playing but was unsuccessful.
Climate change group Just Stop Oil later claimed responsibility for the interference at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. Both of the protestors, who were arrested in the aftermath, were wearing Just Stop Oil shirts during the ordeal.
#3: 2010 tennis ball protest
A November 2010 soccer match between FC Luzern and FC Basel was forced to be delayed after fans chucked thousands of tennis balls onto the pitch after the game had started. Players were forced to return to the dressing rooms until the field had been cleared.
The reason for the protest? And, appropriately, the use of tennis balls? Local fans were upset that Swiss television had moved the match kickoff from 3pm to 12:45pm so that it could also broadcast Swiss countryman Roger Federer’s clash with Serbian Novak Djokovic at the ATP Basel tournament.
Seems a little extreme for trying to get the best of both worlds. Don’t mess with a soccer fan’s routine, I guess.
#2: Northern Ireland’s 2014 fashion statement
Armagh, a town in Northern Ireland, is home to a soccer team known as Dromintee St Patrick’s GAC or, simply, Dromintee. The club’s 2014 match against Crossmaglen Rangers was forever memorialized in the books because players ditched their usual shorts for a pair of jeans on matchday.
the players wanted to attend the wedding of a fellow teammate
How come, you might be asking? Friendship. The players wanted to attend the wedding of a fellow teammate, but would not have had enough men to field a team, and a failure to do so resulted in a 48-week suspension.
Even though Gaelic soccer is amateur, the players turned up for the match, but made sure they did so on their own terms. Crossmaglen raced ahead to a 7-1 lead, at which time its players were called to the sideline and put through a training session. The Dromindee members kicked the ball around with one another until the match ended.
#1: 2022 goalpost restraint
The English Premier League is widely considered to be the best and most competitive soccer division in the entire world. The attention paid to every game gave another Just Stop Oil protestor exactly the platform they were looking for in a 2022 match between Newcastle and Everton.
The climate change activist known as “Louis” stormed onto the pitch in the 57th minute and tied themselves by the neck to the goalpost. Just a few days before, a demonstrator named “Kai” pulled the same stunt during a match between Liverpool and Arsenal, which also caused the match to be delayed. A two-for-one on the craziest sports protests ever.
“Sorry to have interrupted your game, but no one listens unless we do crazy s— like this,” Just Stop Oil tweeted on behalf of Kai. “This beautiful game, like your lives, will be disrupted by increasingly extreme weather events in the years to come.”
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