In the testosterone driven world of professional athletics it should probably come as no surprise that sports stars are caught up in sex scandals on what seems like a weekly basis. Unlike the average person though the athlete takes hits to both their private life and also their public image. In a world which is more driven by image than ever, one slip can cause an image which was cultivated over years, even decades, to fall apart in an instant.
Some athletes can recover from these scandals and become even more famous and revered for their accomplishments than they were before. For other however the sex scandal becomes something they cannot shake and it weighs them down into a level of mediocrity which they are never able to escape from. Part of the problem is on us as the fan. We put athletes up on a pedestal and treat them as heroes or people of high morals which is not always true. By doing this we set them up for the fall, a fall made all the harder because of the legions of people who look up to them.
Part of the problem athletes face is that in news bad always outweighs the good. A certain athlete could organize charity golf tournaments, feed the homeless and donate millions to charity, but one transgression will get more attention on the athlete than the other three good deeds combined. There is a fascination to a story where an athlete gets caught with his (or her) pants down which we as a viewing public just cannot look away from.
This list will feature 10 of the most famous, hilarious and horrifying sex scandals involving athletes in history. The list could easily be 20, 50 or even 100 scandals, and you can be that by this time next year there will be enough new juice to fill a whole new list.
10. Ryan Giggs sleeps with his brother’s wife
It is probably not a hyperbolic statement to say that plenty of athletes have affairs. If you are going to have an affair though there are probably more suitable, and less destructive, targets than the wife of your brother. Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs had his world rocked in 2011 what British papers ignored a gagging order to publish the story that Giggs had been involved in a long affair with his brother’s wife Natasha. When the story was fully revealed it turned out that affair had been an ongoing deal for over eight years and the fall out ripped the family, and Giggs’ credibility, to pieces.
9. Nazi Orgy
Max Mosley is not an athlete and he is not particularly well known in the US, but his sex scandal is so weird it has to make the list. Mosley was the head of the FIA, the group his is in charge of the money machine that is Formula One racing. This was until 2008 when a British newspaper somehow got hold of a video which showed Mosley having the time of his life with five prostitutes. On its own this is bad enough, but when you consider that it was alleged that the girls in the video were wearing death camp uniforms as Mosely yelled at them in German to whip him until he bleeds, it was quite the scandal for the son of a former fascist leader.
8. Kazuhito Tadano, Gay Adult Film Star
The Cleveland Indians should probably have done a little more homework before signing Japanese pitcher Kazuhito Tadano in 2003. It was soon discovered that the pitcher had taken part in a gay porn film while struggling for money in college back in Japan. The scene involved Tadano wearing a dog leash and getting worked over by the hands of another man. The American media was about as forgiving and progressive as you would expect with a scene like this and the Indians immediately sent the pitcher down to double-A ball while they tried to put out the fire. The revelation ruined any chance Tadano had of making it in the majors and he was sent home to Japan in quick order.
7. Ronaldo and the transvestites
Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo once had a very interesting night when back in his home country having a break from scoring goals in Italy for AC Milan. The superstar striker was doing his thing in a Rio club, using his fame to make the women come to him. At the end of the night a very drunk Ronaldo took three of the women beck to a presumably very classy pay-by-the-hour hotel room, only to find out they were not actually women at all. When Ronaldo discovered that the girls were actually guys he did what any rich athlete would do and attempted to pay them to leave. When they decided that wasn’t enough, the hotel owner called the cops and Ronaldo was left with egg on his face.
6. Eugene Robinson
The night before Super Bowl XXXIII was the night where the Bart Starr Award for high moral character was given out that year. The recipient of the award was Atlanta Falcons cornerback Eugene Robinson who was all set to put together a big performance in the Super Bowl the next day. Unfortunately the “high character” Robinson decided to celebrate the award by picking up a hooker later that evening. Unfortunately for Robinson, that hooker turned out to be an undercover cop who arrested him after he offered $40 for oral sex. While all this was going on Robinson’s wife, and presumably most of the team, was asleep at the hotel. Robinson played about as well as you would expect in the Super Bowl, letting his teammates down as the team lost 34-19.
5. Vikings sex cruise
In Minnesota it seems like there is nothing like a full blown orgy to take the sting out of a losing start to the season. The Vikings began the 2005 NFL season with a 1-3 record heading into the early season bye week. Lake Minnetonka then became the place to be as Vikings players flew in hookers from as far afield as Atlanta and Florida for a little bye week pick me up. The party featured everything from sex toys to public fellatio to all out sex all over the party boat. If players had put as much effort into cleaning up after the party as they did on making it the most scandalous NFL water adventure of all time, then maybe four of them would not have faced legal problems as a result of their party.
4. Jameis Winston
Jameis Winston is likely to be the number one overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. This is despite the fact that the former Heisman Trophy winner is still being followed around by a sexual assault allegation which haunted most of his final season at Florida State. This scandal is interesting because it pits the rumors about someone, and allegations of a possible cover up within the university, with a player’s unquestioned ability and potential on the field. Winston’s accuser recently filed a civil case against the quarterback, suggesting that this situation is far from over as the draft gets ever closer.
3. Brett Favre
Favre was coming to the end of his brilliant NFL career when his scandal broke. During his brief stint with the Jets, Favre had something of a crush on sideline reporter Jenn Sterger. Despite Sterger having turned down the advances of the former Packer on more than one occasion Favre pushed on anyway. He deluged Sterger with a slew of dirty voicemails and pictures of his junk, because everyone knows that is how you get a classy girl into bed. Numerous dong shots later Favre was fined $50,000 by the NFL and was still no closer to getting into Sterger’s pants.
2. Darren Sharper
The most recently convicted entry on this list is former All-Star safety Darren Sharper. Sharper seemed to have it all when he left the NFL and had a long and lucrative career in front of him as a TV analyst. Instead Sharper is facing nine years in prison as he was uncovered as a serial rapist in at least four different states. Sharper was able to go unchallenged for so long as he used a prescription medicine he was in possession of as a date rape drug to knock out and have sex with woman after woman all over the country.
1. Tiger Woods
Tiger has to be number one on this list because of the esteem in which he was held before his personal sex scandal broke. He was one of the most beloved and respected men in golf. He bridged a race and class divide which no golfer before, or since, has been able to do. He broke down boundary after boundary and looked odds on to become the single greatest player, with the greatest list of achievements, which the sport had ever seen. One badly timed car accident however opened the lid on a Pandora’s Box full of women, dozens of them, who Woods had cheated on his wife with. Tiger’s reputation and game have never recovered from the scandal.
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