The Pro Darts World Is Being Rocked By This ‘Despicable’ Player’s Fake Coughing Fits

Where do you stand on #coughgate?

I’ll admit this at the outset: I know nothing about darts. I’ve learned the rules a time or two but promptly forgotten them, and I sure as hell didn’t know there was a “dart world” outside of dingy bars.  

But this I do know: Dart player Justin Pipe is a dick

The British darter, a word I’ve just made up, is getting blasted in the “dart world” for the shenanigans he pulled at a recent World Darts Championship match. As his opponent, Ernie Smith, was preparing to throw a dart, Pipe walked up behind him and started coughing. Here are some responses from people who pay attention to this sport.

“Every time I see it I think, ‘How desperate are you?’ It looks absolutely despicable behavior by a professional darts player,” player-turned-pundit Wayne Mardle said during the broadcast. 

Both Mardle and his co-commentator, John Part, said it didn’t matter if Smith heard the coughing. “The point is that when you feel the need to cough, you go for the water,” Part said.” There was no effort to go for the water there. Bernie kind of paused. He might have heard it. If he did, he was very diplomatic.”

To make matters worse, Pipe is a world-ranked player and Smith is an unranked upstart who told a hometown paper before the match that he was “pretty nervous.” For shame, Pipe.

Pipe, of course, is denying that he did anything wrong. “I would never do something to put another player off and Bernie didn’t say anything to me on the night. As far as I’m aware there is no issue from his side and this has been blown out of all proportion,” he said in a statement after the match.

Clearly, he’s lying. But, in a dramatic twist that I didn’t see coming, he’s also now my favorite player in the “dart world.” You gotta love a villain.

h/t: For The Win