Sports fans can be very forgiving. Just look at the Chicago Cubs, who fill Wrigley Field every year despite last winning the World Series 106 years ago.
When athletes bet on sporting events, however, all of that changes. Otherwise compassionate fans who would be willing to look the other way in most cases have been known to permanently turn their backs on athletes who bet, or who get in on gambling schemes that can affect the outcome of a game.
Why is this? Michael Vick operated an illegal dogfighting ring, but that didn't stop him from signing a one-year contract with the New York Jets for $5 million in March. And in January 2013, Allen Barra wrote a feature for Salon called "Bonds, Clemens must be forgiven," in which he advocated a "forgive-and-forget" policy toward athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs. But for athletes who bet, clemency seems to be a rare commodity.
Robert Carter, a sports gambling consultant known as Incarcerated Bob despite not actually being incarcerated, gave his opinion of why sports fans are less forgiving of athletes who bet on games than those who commit other infractions.
"Fans don't want to watch a game thinking an athlete has money on it," the popular Twitter personality said. "Especially with basketball and football, because of how a point spread can be manipulated. If an athlete is betting, you feel like 'I'm watching this game that could be fixed.' ... Fans are outraged by that."
CNBC.com takes a look at some notorious moments in sports betting. Some of those involved bounced back to success, others were never forgiven.
—By CNBC's Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 2 April 2014
"Money Talks" takes viewers inside the world of Steve Stevens, a sports handicapper who runs VIP Sports out of Las Vegas. Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CNBC.