There are few things that cause as much intrigue or debate than a good conspiracy theory. These usually involve allegations of government cover-ups and shady backroom operations, but the world of sport is not free from these theories either. Sports may seem innocent and transparent, but the amount of money and power that is involved inevitably means that there are some dark secrets that are floating around. Some of these theories seem a little far-fetched and are probably concocted by those sat at home in tin foil hats, whilst one or two are not beyond the realm of possibility.
12. Rigged by Riggs – The Battle of the Sexes
In 1973, Billy Riggs played against Margaret Court and Billie Jean King, and these were called “The Battle of the Sexes.” Riggs was in his 50s, but was a former number one tennis champion and held six major titles in his career. In a televised match, Riggs defeated Court, the best female player at the time, 6-2, 6-1. A few months later Riggs played Billie Jean King, with the winner set to earn $100,000. King would win in straight sets; with most claiming that it was a case of age versus youth (King was 26 years younger). Some were also skeptical because Riggs did not struggle against Court, and there were also rumors of his gambling debts. This led skeptics to believe he threw the match to settle these debts with the mob. Many also accuse these skeptics of being sexist and not wanting to admit he was beaten fair and square.