Most Confrontational Sports Interviews Ever

There comes a time in even the best of relationships when passion and some anger boils over. If this can happen between loved ones, imagine when a player or a coach decides that he is done with putting up with the media. And then imagine when this decision comes in the middle of said player or coach being interviewed by a media personality. 

The results range from comedy of epic proportions to the participants nearly throwing punches. From Tim McCarver and Deion Sanders to Jim Rome and Jim Everett, here are 10 of the most confrontational sports interviews ever with an awesome bonus at the end.

I enjoyed putting this together as much as you will enjoy reading/watching it. So without further ado, check it out.

Note: Warning some strong language

Floyd Mayweather and Brian Kenny Interviews


For some reason, Mayweather finds a way to spar with some of the most random personalities outside of the boxing ring. His continual issues with former ESPN personality Brian Kenny adds a ton of intrigue into the controversial boxer’s thought process. Above, you will see two different interviews in which Mayweather and Kenny get so heated that it was a good thing that the two were separated by geography.

Mike Tyson Curses at Russ Salzberg 

Tyson most definitely wasn’t on his meds in this interview. WWOR’s Russ Salzberg did absolutely nothing wrong in this conversation, but ask a couple questions of Tyson. Instead of responding like an intelligent and mature adult, Tyson resorted to cursing and throwing down some strong language in this live interview. This was all in response to an upcoming fight against then heavyweight contender Francois Botha back in 1999.

Tim McCarver and Deion Sanders

While not technically an interview, this needed to be in here. Deion Sanders wasn’t too happy with McCarver questioning his devotion to both the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Falcons after the talented athlete played both a football and baseball game on the same day. Just think about how amazing of an accomplishment that was in the first place. In any event, Sanders took to the broadcaster in the locker room, throwing three buckets of ice water on to McCarver in front of pretty much the entire world. As McCarver stated to Sanders at the time, “you are a real man Deion, I will say that.”

Bobby Knight

Check out the 56 second mark of the video embedded above. It shows the always great Bobby Knight telling a then young Jeremy Schaap that he has a long way to go before being as good as his father, Dick. This is one circumstance in which Knight was 100 percent justified. Dick Schaap was one of the greatest reporters of all-time, period.

Here are the rest of Knight’s confrontations with reporters over what was an entertaining career as a college basketball head coach with Indiana and Texas Tech.


I personally love when Knight takes to the court in Bloomington and tells the fans the following…

When my time on Earth is gone, and my activities here are past, I want them to bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass.

That was utterly brilliant and it defined Knight’s relationship with the media to a T.

Pete Rose and Jim Gray

Poor Pete Rose. All he was attempting to do here was enjoy being honored as a member of MLB’s All-Century Team back in 1999. Jim Gray, who left a lot to be desired from an overall respect standpoint in this interview, kept on hounding Rose about his suspension from MLB for life. Rose was definitely justified in being upset in this sound bite.

Bobby Bonilla and local New York Media Personality

Talk about nearly coming to blows. After approaching Bonilla in the locker room, a local New York reporter decided it made sense to troll the hot-headed former star of the Mets. What ensued was a verbal spat that would make an Eight Mile freestyle battle look like an episode of Mister Rogers Neighborhood. At one point, the local reporter even told Bonilla that he would have a problem if the outfielder touched him. Luckily, nothing came of this from a physical standpoint.

Jim Calhoun Post-Game Presser

Talk about eating a reporter live at a press conference. After former UCONN head coach Jim Calhoun was asked about being the highest-paid state employee when Connecticut was running on a $2 billion deficit (still have no idea why it matters), Calhoun used his education to completely destroy the reporter. It even got to a point when other journalists started to heckle the guy who brought up the ridiculous point to Calhoun. This is some epic stuff right here.

Mike Gundy Goes off on Media’s Criticism of a Player

Don’t mess with an angry Mike Guny. That’s pretty much all I have for you here. Just watch.

Floyd Mayweather and Larry Merchant

“I wish I were 50 years younger and I would kick your ass.” That has to be about the best response a media personality has thrown back at an athlete in the history of sports. Once again, Mayweather acting the part of a fool in the media. Anyone surprised?

Jim Rome and Jim Everett

Jim Rome might be a very good media personality, but he was asking to get his butt kicked on live television. And Jim Everett was more than happy to follow through with the threat. You really think ESPN would have gone to commercial here, especially after Everett made it clear he would go after Rome if the latter continued to call him Chris Everett in reference to a female tennis player. What ensued was likely the best athlete-media spat in the history of television.

Bonus: Chris Berman’s Tirade During Monday Night Football (Warning strong language) 

No one was supposed to see this. And it paints a picture of Chris Berman that many of us really never thought was possible. While not technically an interview, we decided to go ahead and give you all the pleasure of watching this angry rant.

Photo: CBS Sports