Andrew Alderson

Andrew Alderson is a sport writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Top 10: Outrageous sporting quotes

Kiwi caddie Steve Williams produced the golfing equivalent of taking to Tiger Woods with a one wood on the 18th at Augusta by calling his former boss a "black a***hole". Andrew Alderson looks at a top 10 of scandalous sporting quotes.

10. Charles Barkley

The basketballer was king of the sound bite during his illustrious career, producing irreverent gems such as "We don't need refs but I guess white guys need something to do" and "You know it's going to hell when the best rapper out there is white and the best golfer is black", in reference to Eminem and Tiger Woods. Yet Barkley drew the most ire from middle America when he suggested "I am not a role model" in a Nike basketball commercial.

9. Kit Fawcett

The 21-year-old found infamy when he claimed the All Blacks hoped to "score more off the field than on" ahead of his sole tour - to South Africa - in 1976. He played two tests and 11 matches but was never selected for New Zealand again, eventually playing out his career overseas from 1979. No word on how successful he was.

8. Sean Avery

In 2008, ice hockey player Sean Avery left his vile mark on the NHL when he became aware that two of his ex-girlfriends were allegedly dating fellow players. He declared: "It's become a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds." The NHL deemed the comment "not conducive" to their image. Avery received a six-game suspension.

7. Bobby Riggs

In 1973, 55-year-old Bobby Riggs, a former Wimbledon and US Open singles champion, challenged the world's best women players in singles. He beat Margaret Court in May and then, before a September meeting with Billie Jean King at the Houston Astrodome, said: "She's one of the superstars ... but she doesn't stand a chance against me, women's tennis is so far beneath men's tennis." Riggs lost 6-4 6-3 6-3. King pocketed the $100,000 prize.

6. Fuzzy Zoeller

Tiger Woods was on the receiving end again in 1997 when he won his first major, the Masters, at Augusta. Veteran Fuzzy Zoeller congratulated Woods but, remembering the incumbent champion decides the menu for the following year's Champions Dinner, told media to advise Woods not to serve "fried chicken" - a dish derogatorily associated in the United States with black people. It was Zoeller who got fried instead.

5. Darren Lockyer

The Brisbane Broncos and Kangaroos star put up a verbal bomb that he had to catch in 2004 when his sport was in damage control over Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs rape allegations at Coffs Harbour. Lockyer told a public function in Brisbane: "St George, they won 11 premierships with one Raper [the immortal Saints loose forward Johnny]. Imagine how many Canterbury will win."

4. Tony Greig

England cricket captain Tony Greig ensured West Indies' motivation to succeed in the test series of 1976 was undiminished by saying: "You must remember that the West Indians, if they get on top, are magnificent cricketers. But if they're down, they grovel, and I intend to make them grovel." Ouch. The word "grovel" had sinister connotations for West Indians, many of whom had slave ancestors. England lost the five test series 3-0.

3. Dennis Conner

The Big Boat America's Cup challenge of 1988 between Michael Fay's KZ1 monohull and America's Stars and Stripes catamaran, skippered by Dennis Conner, descended into acrimony at the final media conference. The win brought out the worst in Conner, who whined in New Zealand designer Bruce Farr's ear: "You need to get the chip off your shoulder, you're full of s***, you're a loser, get lost, get off the stage."

2. Mike Tyson

In a 2000 interview, long before his Lennox Lewis match-up two years later, Mike Tyson spoke about Lewis and expressed a desire to "eat his children". Another reference, "I want your heart", also didn't enthral organisers. It followed a chunk of Evander Holyfield's ear being found in the ring after Tyson's third round disqualification in "The Sound and the Fury" match-up of 1997, two years after his release from prison for rape.

1. Ron Atkinson

Referring to the underwhelming performance of French defender Marcel Desailly in a football match for Chelsea in 2004, former player, Manchester United manager and television pundit Ron Atkinson said: "He's what is known in some schools as a f***ing lazy, thick n**ger." Atkinson's diatribe was picked up by microphones that were meant to be switched off post-broadcast. He was sacked the next day.

- Herald on Sunday

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