David Ortiz was shot in the back on Sunday night in the Dominican Republic by an as yet unidentified man. The former Boston Red Sox World Series winner was rushed to surgery and, of this writing, is in stable condition.
According to reports, Ortiz was ambushed by a man who dismounted from a motorcycle and shot the ex-baseball star. Ortiz is not the first, and probably not the last, sports star to be attacked by fans or random persons.
Over the years, a number of athletes have been attacked by fans during or after their careers ended. Whether it is due to fame or animosity from rival supporters, it is something that has become a sometimes occurrence.
In the wake of news of Ortiz being the latest victim of violence post-sports career, here is a look at some other notable moments when athletes were attacked.
Monica Seles – 1993
Tennis star Monica Seles was a victim of violence on the courts of Hamburg. Seles was the world’s No. 1 ranked player in April 1993 when she was stabbed by a crazed fan.
Seles was in the middle of a match against Magdalena Maleeva when lunatic fan, Gunter Parche, ran from the stands and stabbed Seles in between the shoulder blades.
Parche was a Stefi Graf fan and angry that Seles had unseated her as the best women’s player in the world.
Andres Escobar – 1994
Just over a year after Seles’ stabbing, Colombian football player Andres Escobar was fatally shot in his homeland. Escobar was the centre-back for Colombia’s high-powered national team and many believed the country could bring home the 1994 World Cup trophy.
The team failed to do so, and Escobar was slated by fans after he scored an own goal against the United States.
Five days after Colombia’s elimination from the World Cup, he was shot to death in the parking lot of a night club. It is firmly believed by many that the murder of Escobar was a direct result of his own goal.
Tom Gamboa – 2002
Baseball fans were shocked when Kansas City Royals first base coach Tom Gamboa was brutally attacked by a father-son duo during a game against the Chicago White Sox at Comisky Park in 2002.
Ridiculously, the son was just 15-years old. The young man grabbed Gamboa’s legs as his father, William Ligue Jr, punched the coach.
Gamboa suffered permanent hearing loss while Ligue merely received 30 months of probation after pleading guilty.
Sporting Lisbon – 2018
In May 2018, as Portuguese football team Sporting Lisbon were preparing for a training session ahead of the Portuguese Cup Final, a group of rabid supporters attacked the team in their dressing room.
What made the incident even more sickening was the attackers were Sporting Lisbon supporters. Many of the club’s highest profile players left the team after the cup final.
Jack Grealish – 2019
In March 2019, city rivals Birmingham City and Aston Villa played in the English Championship.
Birmingham City fan Paul Mitchell was worked up into such a frenzy by the derby that he jumped onto the pitch, ran toward the players, and punched Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish in the back of the head.
His lawyer later released a statement that read: “He cannot explain what came over him. He is certainly remorseful today.” Mitchell served jail time for the incident.