During a in March 1991 overtime game, a courtside fan had been yelling racial slurs at Charles Barkley. Eventually, Barkley had enough of the insults and turned to spit at the heckler.
He missed his target, hitting a nearby young girl. Barkley claims the miss occurred because he didn’t "get enough foam.”
Barkley was suspended without pay and forced to pay a $10,000 fine. The press had a field day with the incident.
Barkley quickly apologized to the girl and her family. He provided them with tickets to future games and kept in touch.
After his career was finished, he commented on the issue. "I was fairly controversial, I guess, but I regret only one thing — the spitting incident. But you know what? It taught me a valuable lesson. It taught me that I was getting way too intense during the game. It let me know I wanted to win way too bad. I had to calm down. I wanted to win at all costs. Instead of playing the game the right way and respecting the game, I only thought about winning." (AP Photo)