A look at some previous lifetime bans from professional team sports leagues

Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter isn't the first person to receive a lifetime ban from a professional sports league in North America.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the ban Wednesday after a league probe found Porter disclosed confidential information to sports bettors and wagered on games.

There have been other bans, from the so-called Chicago Black Sox to Pete Rose to Donald Sterling:


One of the most infamous examples came out of the 1919 World Series, when several Chicago White Sox players were accused ot taking money from gamblers to intentionally lose to the Cincinnati Reds. Eight players involved in the scandal were acquitted at trial but were nonetheless banned for life by MLB Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis.

Then there is Pete Rose, who agreed to a lifetime ban in 1989 after an investigation for Major League Baseball by lawyer John Dowd found the all-time hit leader placed bets on the Reds to win from 1985-87 while playing for and managing the team.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in 2023 he has no intention of altering Rose’s ban.


The NFL has had a number of indefinite suspensions that effectively ended careers.

Among them are receiver Justin Blackmon of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the fifth overall pick in the 2012 draft. He was suspended indefinitely in November 2013 after repeated violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy. Similar cases include LaRon Landry and Rolando McLain.

Running back Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely after a video surfaced showing him assaulting his girlfriend. No team wanted him afterward.

Merle Hapes, a New York Giants fullback, was suspended in a betting scandal involving the 1946 championship game. He and a teammate reported being offered a bribe to fix the game against the Chicago Bears, who won. Commissioner Bert Bell later suspended Hapes indefinitely for “acts detrimental to the NFL and pro football.” The suspension was lifted by Bell in December 1954, but Hapes never returned.


Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling became the first person banned by Silver in 2014 for violating NBA rules.

Sterling was forced to sell the Clippers, was banned for life from any association with the league and fined $2.5 million for racist comments that were recorded by his girlfriend for posting pictures of herself with black athletes Magic Johnson and Matt Kemp.

In the 1950s, a number of players were banned from the NBA because of point-shaving allegations tied to their college days and the 1980s-90s saw a handful, including Chris Washburn and Roy Tarpley, over substance abuse allegations.


In 1948, NHL President Clarence Campbell banned the New York Rangers’ Billy Taylor and the Boston Bruins’ Don Gallinger for betting on hockey games. Both were reinstated in 1970.

A century ago, Montreal's Billy Coutu was banned for life for assaulting two referees in a hallway after Ottawa won the 1927 Stanley Cup championship with a Game 4 victory. He was reinstated several years later but never played in the NHL again.


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