A Brief History
On September 28, 2008, the first Formula One night race was held, the Singapore Grand Prix. The high-profile international auto race was won by Fernando Alonso driving for the Renault F1 team. Later, it was discovered that Alonso’s teammate, Nelson Piquet Jr., had been ordered by team managers to deliberately cause a crash to help Alonso win the race.
This race would not be the first or the last time pro sports events were “fixed,” either by cheating or by deliberately losing in order to affect betting outcomes. Some other examples include the 1919 “Black Sox Scandal,” during which Chicago White Sox players threw the World Series; in 2007 when an NBA referee steered point spread for himself and gamblers; in 2016, during Kobe Bryant’s last game, Utah allowed him to run up 60 points and lost the game; and in 2017, the Houston Astros stole signs and tipped off batters to win the pennant and World Series.
Question for students (and subscribers): What pro sports do you think are fixed? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Moldea, Dan. Interference: How Organized Crime Influences Professional Football. William Morrow & Co, 1989.
Zimniuch, Fran. Crooked: A History of Cheating in Sports. Taylor Trade Publishing, 2009.
The featured image in this article, a photograph by Oahiyeel of Lewis Hamilton at the 2008 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix at turn 21 of the Marina Bay Street Circuit, has been released into the public domain worldwide by the copyright holder of this work.
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