Football had a dark day, with news of the apparent suicide of Junior Seau breaking just a few hours after four New Orleans Saints players were suspended—including Jonathan Vilma for the entire season—for their roles in the bounty scandal. While this was a big and tragic day in sports, it’s hardly the first time multiple massive headlines have hit in the same 24-hour span. Whether random or related, they can leave us shocked and awed. With that in mind, here are six days fans, and humans in general, will never forget.
September 28, 1920
What Happened: “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and Eddie Cicotte confessed to a Chicago grand jury that they took part in a conspiracy to throw games in the 1919 World Series.
Why It Matters: While Babe Ruth’s hitting style bashed away the dead ball era, the Black Sox scandal marked the end of another: the era when it was actually possible to fix a World Series game. Yes, we now have doping and other forms of cheating, but you’ll see that again around the same time that a Yanks-Sawx game ends in under an hour.
October 16, 1968
What Happened: The black gloves of Tommie Smith and John Carlos in Mexico City dominate one of the most iconic images in sports. After winning the gold and bronze medals in the 200 meters, the Americans climbed the podium and raised their fists to protest human rights abuses against people of color around the world.
What Else Happened: Outspoken black consciousness activist Dr. Walter Rodney was banned from re-entering Jamaica after a trip to Quebec. The government’s decision caused the Rodney Riots, during which several people were killed.
Why It Matters: The two events revealed the spectrum of black resistance in the 1960s, from visual protest to violent outburst. Decades later, Smith and Carlos would receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for their actions. Rodney would die in a car bombing while running for office.