A History of Sports Champions With Rap Sheets

Eric Cantona

Sport: Soccer
Team(s): Montpellier, Leeds United, Manchester United
Champion: 1989-90 Coupe de France, 1991-92 Football League First Division, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97 Premier League
Offense: Assault
Sentence: Two weeks

Eric Cantona is a winner. Just look above to see all those titles he has to his name. Needless to say, Cantona has a competitive spirit and during a January 25, 1995 match against Crystal Palace, the midfielder's patience was tested after he was sent off by the ref for a kick on defender Richard Shaw. As he was heading towards the tunnel, the fans heckled Cantona and he reached his boiling point.  He directed a kick and a few punches into the crowd, focusing on one particular individual named Matthew Simmons. 

Cantona was arrested for assault and eventually sentenced to prison for two weeks. Cantona appealed and instead received 120 hours of community service. Then, after much insistence from the Football Association, Manchester United suspended for four months and fined him £20,000. But that wasn't enough for the Football Association because they turned around and suspended Cantona for an additional four months and fined him another £10,000, claiming his actions were "a stain on our game." 

In 2011, Cantona admitted that his attack on Simmons was "a great feeling" and "a great memory" that he did for the fans. Well, that's an interesting way of looking at it. 

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