1] The late Howard Cosell, famed Monday Night Football commentator, attracted a firestorm of criticism for calling a Washington Redskins wide receiver a "little monkey" during a 1983 telecast. Cosell left the MNF booth at the end of that season.
2] Aging Los Angeles Dodgers executive Al Campanis, who came up under general manager Branch Rickey, the man who integrated baseball with Jackie Robinson in 1947, saw his long career come to an immediate end in 1987 when he appeared on ABC's "Nightline" and confusedly compared black players' inability to acquire baseball managerial jobs with an inability to swim.
3] A clearly inebriated Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder saw his 12-year run on the hugely popular CBS football pregame show "The NFL Today" disintegrate when he gave an interview to a local Washington, D.C., television station in 1988 in which he said black athletes were dominating pro sports because of superior athletic genes developed from decades of breeding by white slave owners.
4] Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker was haunted for the rest of his career by an interview he gave to Sports Illustrated in 1999 in which he was quoted as criticizing foreigners, homosexuals, and New York City.
5] And just last season, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper was nationally lambasted for using the "N-word" ["Narishkeit"? "Neveileh"?] during a drunken tirade at a Kenny Chesney concert that was caught on film. For weeks there was speculation that Cooper's NFL career was over.
[Though he apologized repeatedly, many players and sports commentators felt Cooper could no longer go on playing in the league. However, he went on to have his most successful year as a pro and signed a new five-year deal with the Eagles in February.]
As King Solomon said it best - שומר פיו ולשונו, שומר מצרות נפשו.