When Richard realized he was bleeding, he rushed Laycoe, striking him. Using multiple sticks, Richard broke one on Laycoe's back. Richard even struck an official.
Boston police officers were intent on charging Richard but left without incident after learning that the issue would be handled by NHL president, Clarence Campbell. Campbell suspended Richard for the remainder of the season and the playoffs, sparking massive protest.
The aftermath would be apparent the next night, though, when Campbell boldly appeared at the Canadiens vs. Red Wings match. A tear gas bomb went off and all 50-60,000 people poured outside.
Consequences: 16 people were arrested and fined $25 each (a week's salary back then), eight policeman and 25 fans were injured. Damages totaled around $100,000.
Up next, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water ...
No. 2: Soviet Union vs. Hungary, Dec. 6, 1956
The "Blood in the Water" match was a water polo game between Hungary and the USSR at the 1956 Olympics.
Taking place around the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, it was played in front of a crowd who despised the Soviets at the time. The Hungarians planned to distract the Russians by taunting them with personal insults.
Things got even rougher in the water. Kicks and punches were exchanged shortly after the taunts began. Ervin Zádor of Hungary was goading opponent Valentin Prokopov when Prokopov struck him, causing him to bleed around the eye.
Zádor left the pool, and his bleeding was the last straw for a crowd already maddened by the match within its larger context. Many enraged spectators jumped down to the water's edge, shook their fists, shouted abuse and spat at the Russians. To avoid a riot, police dispersed the crowd with only one minute to go.
Consequences: Hungary was awarded the win and went on to earn gold.
Our last sports brawl shows that soccer is much more than just a game ...
No. 1: The Football War, June 1969
The Football War -- also known as the Soccer War -- was a brief but violent war fought by El Salvador and Honduras. It was caused by political conflicts between the two countries, namely regarding immigration issues.
The imminent war coincided with the inflamed rioting during a North American qualifying round for the 1970 FIFA World Cup. In the midst of the mounting tensions, the teams engaged in a three-game elimination match as a preliminary to the World Cup.
There was already unrest during the first game, but the rioting was almost volcanic during the second match in San Salvador; causing the casual observer to conclude that the ensuing bloodbath was caused solely by resentments over soccer, thus dubbing the conflict the "Soccer" or "Football" War.
Consequences: Both sides of the Football War suffered extensive casualties. Some 20,000 Hondurans and another 80,000 Salvadorans were displaced due to the battle.
Amazingly, even with all of sports' dangers and risks, we still love to see what will happen next.
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