Video: Shanel Harrison punches opponent in the face during Finnish league game, gets fired

American forward Shanel Harrison’s career at Tapiolan Honka in the Finnish league has ended early following this incident yesterday.

Player who got punched in the face was Niina Laaksonen, who did not return to the game.

Said incident happened with three minutes left in the game with Harrison’s team trailing by six points. Based on the play-by-play this was the culmination of both players going at each other for the whole game – they combined for five fouls against each other before the punch.

Honka today announced that contract with Harrison has been terminated, not even waiting on what disciplinary action will be taken against her by the league who announced she was suspended after that game.

  • AnOski

    Interesting. An American team would rarely if ever cut a player for something like this. Not sure which approach is better.

    • A spectator

      I think the approach where you cut a player if they turn to violence during a sports match is always the best approach. If you don’t, it just tells them they can get away with it, reguardless of the ‘disciplinary action’ which may follow.

    • StefaniaBelmondo

      Also, she was probably playing on a one-year deal, not making too much money. It’s not that big of a decision to buy out the last two months of the contract.

      Better for the team to just cut their losses, distance themselves from the behavior and move on.

      It’s a little different story if you owe someone $40 million over the next few years and cannot easily find a replacement.

    • E K

      All they care about in America is money. That’s why they would never cut a player. Latrell Sprewell chokes his cost and wins his appeal from a ban from the NBA. NBA, MLB, NFL, NCAA, you name it, they only act tough enough to no hurt the bottom line….$$$$$$

    • me_again

      If they were a star, you’re right they’d never be cut. If they were just an average player or lower, they would be dropped. I’ll bet that’s the way of the world and not just in the US. Stars get special treatment.

  • bick

    This rises to the level of assault and referral to the district attorney. A sucker punch that hard can not only end a players career, but permanent physical injury. “The Punch” by Kermit Washington was reactionary. This was worse and intentional.

  • Brian Turner

    How about some jail time?

    • PlayerEx

      Well,hit like that is against the law here in Finland. We have one case from ice-hockey that is in the hands of prosecutor at the moment. The team of Harrison made a decision that they will send Harrison back to home to learn how to behave….

      • Arrimine

        Thanks a lot.

      • FOLK103

        finland is one shitty country

      • eric

        How about teaching those white girls some manners and respect, you cannot say whatever you want to black people, be respectful and you will not get KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT!! THIS IS NOT THE 40′,50’s, and 60’s Talk disrespectful get knocked out or killed..

    • eric

      you dont put a person in jail for that you idiots, that is the only thing white people can say when it comes to black people, put them in jail,put them in jail> u dont even know what the girl said to her for Shanel Harrison to knock her ass out..Because if she said the N word to Shanel, then she deserve to get knocked out..

  • Jimmy L Aldrich

    Finish her!!!

  • jason grenier

    Cowardly move. She deserves to be let go. See ya!!!

  • Nick Kennedy

    Watch the first of the video. One of the players charged an opponent an ended on the floor. It seems the charging player was Harrison. Here in the states we use terms like “reactionary” to down play these kind of acts. In the 50’s when I played in high school just bumping or putting your hand on another was a foul. We could play a whole game without fouling out. Seems some sports are trying to be like the NFL.

    • residentwithkids

      Not only was she the one charging but she also flopped when she ran into the other player. Pulling a sucker punch like that on the other end of the floor is such a BS cowardly move. They should press charges.

      • E K

        While it’s not tolerated in basketball, and as a result, uncalled for, it’s not unusual is some sports, like hockey. Cowardly, I wouldn’t say so, but basketball is not cutthroat enough to justify it. Hockey, different story.

        • YoureNotThatImportant

          It is cowardly. Trying to make a case that it’s not cowardly by comparing the same action in a completely unrelated sport is illogical. Apples to apples…c’mon.

          • E K

            Don’t agree. Aggression is a part of sport and it’s impossible to control. These aren’t pansies. The key tho, is to keep the aggression contained within the objective of the game. Now, while sucker punching should not be tolerated, it happens ALL THE TIME in various sports. Anger caused it. Not cowardice. You may not see it when you watch your avg event, but cheap shots are a dime a dozen, in football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer. You just need to pay attention to notice it. When you see players constantly bumping each other as they are walking back to their side, they are doing that on purpose 75% of the time.

            • rw

              completely disagree. It was cowardly. It was someone just waiting for the others attention to be turned to gain the upper hand and strike. E K is just a wanna be know it all with lots of opinions but no facts. Cowardly act by a low life that should be in prison.

            • James Richy

              This has nothing to do with sport. That is such a weak excuse. This is immaturity, blind aggression and stupidity. Not to mention criminal.

            • alexb

              that was a straight up sucker punch dude, what were you watching? The timing was deliberate as well. Her opponent was running behind her and the attention would be on the ball being brought up the side. Perfect time for a sucker punch. Player running forward into punch equals more impact. Calculated sucker punch. If she was pissed about something that happened on the other end of the floor, drop hands right there. The comparison with hockey is null and void. In hockey there is no sucker punching because all fights happen with the dropping of the gloves by both parties. Not applicable to what I just saw. Disgrace to the U.S.

  • E K

    Hockey players around the world are saying “Now that is a foul”.

    Hockey players are very critical of other sports, even football, when they call fouls that don’t draw blood.

    • Guest

      False. Fouls that cause injury or cause a player to leave the game and not come back are just as horrendous as fouls which “draw blood”. Even hockey players know this.

    • me_again

      Intent to injure not blood, is where most athletes draw the line.

  • rmahone

    Typical B*ck Gh*tto move……she deserves some serious jail time

    • isolveit123

      Jail time for the punch or just for being black…?
      She deserved to be fired for what she did and she was…
      But that’s not what you want to punish,
      is it?

      So many of you hate black people, and use opportunities like these to cowardly
      show your true feelings. My guess is that you don’t even watch women’s basketball and simply came here to spew your racism. Here’s something to think about, if you treat someone like they are beneath you, sooner or later they will usually prove you right. With that I hope for your sake that your true colors are well hidden from those near you, I’d almost hate to see you in the next video.

  • panz4ever

    Ghetto is as ghetto does…lowlife plain and simple.

  • me_again

    It looks to me that they BOTH should be kicked out and one should actually be arrested. Laaksonen took out TWO players in this short clip alone. Clearly Harrison was way, way out of line and should be arrested for assault. I want to feel bad for Laaksonen but I suspect she might have a little instigator in her.

    • Michelle

      Sorry but i have to be completely honest. Laaksonen bumbed Harrison while she tried to cut trough the lane. This is not a foul and Harrison flopped on that play big time. She fell on the ground like she was hit by a truck or something.
      The other player that fell on the ground was going to the basket and was probably fouled by the other player but Laaksonen box out was pretty legal, no foul there. So saying that she should be kicked out of this game is complete nonsense…

      • me_again

        Complete nonsense? The quality or length of the video doesn’t lend one to make such an absolute statement. I have a hard time believing that Harrison is such a scumbag that she suckered punch somebody after flopping and not getting a call. I have no problem thinking Harrison should be arrested for her actions, not just kicked out and fired, but I find it a reach to think she just decided to sucker punch somebody at this point in the game because she didn’t a call on a flop.

  • James Richy

    3 months in jail, and a lifetime ban from the sport.

  • Arrimine

    In California, this would be 6 months in County + $2,000 fine, community service and enrollment in a Batterer’s Program.