After the Miami Heat's 87-86 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, sports fans should have been talking about the Heat's struggles against top-flight opponents (1-9 against the NBA's top teams this season) and its crunch-time woes. Instead, the commentary was all about an ill-advised remark from coach Erik Spoelstra about the team's postgame mood. "There are a couple of guys crying in the locker room right now," he said.
The offhand comment spurred a media firestorm as journalists scrambled to find out which player was crying and the Twitterverse laughed at Miami's expense. That was followed by the inevitable backlash, summed up by Dwight Howard's comment that "if they were crying about [the loss] it means they really care about winning."
We're not here to pass judgment on CryGate (Spoelstra's term, not ours). But the publicity was the latest example of the unspoken rule about male athletes and crying: If you win and shed a few tears, it's heart-warming. But if you lose, it's stomach-turning and side-splitting. Below, examples of athletes who have followed this rule—and those who have broken it: