There are many different reasons for an athlete to fake an injury. It's possible that a player might want to avoid a confrontation with a more skilled rival. Or the actor might be hoping to ascribe fault for the "injury" to an opposing player. It's also possible that the athlete might simply want to buy some time to catch his breath, or that the sportsman is seeking a way to halt the opponent's momentum. Whatever the reasons are though, it doesn't change the fact that faking an injury is exactly that: fake. And anything maliciously deceptive should be considered a deplorable practice whether or not the rules specifically penalize the act.
Unfortunately, athletes often get away with faking an injury, sometimes even escaping with an undeserved victory. Other times, however, fate is kind and allows justice to rule with the faker being penalized in one way or another. A healthy mix of both types of outcomes, the following ten cases are the most infuriating incidents of athletes faking (or allegedly faking) sports injuries:
10 Roberto Rojas / Football
9 Chris Bosh / Basketball
8 Aaron Tipoti / American Football
7 Mike Ribeiro / Hockey
6 Charles Rowan / MMA
5 Brian Walker / Baseball
4 Mick Pennisi / Basketball
3 David Villa / Football
2 Victoria Azarenka / Tennis
1 Paul Pierce / Basketball
This case of alleged injury faking is so infamous that almost any basketball fan knows exactly what event the phrase "wheelchair incident" refers to. It took place in Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals contested by the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. Pierce seemed to be leading the Celtics to victory when suddenly, his teammate, Kendrick Perkins hit Pierce, causing him to fall to the ground and clutch his knee in apparent agony. Boston fans were horrified; without team captain Pierce, beating the Lakers seemed impossible. It didn't help assuage fears that Pierce continued to cringe as he was carried off the court to be rolled away in a wheelchair. But surprisingly, just a few short minutes later, a hopping and pumped up Pierce emerged from the locker room as if nothing had happened. In fact, upon being subbed in, Paul sunk two three-pointers and played with no hint of a limp. The Celtics later described the injury as a sprained MCL, which Pierce managed to heroically play through. Boston haters, however, have a sharply different version of the events that took place.
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