Teammates are supposed to be able to rely on each other to help out their fellow player in the world of professional sports. Being a teammate is like getting ready to go into battle, as each player has the other’s back. Without this type of loyalty and trust, no team is able to succeed. Sometimes, however, there are really bad teammates that are found on even the most successful of teams. These teammates are seen as terrible usually for selfish reasons like money or personal fame. Occasionally, there are some weirder stories that lead to one receiving the bad teammate reputation, stories that are much worse than any issue that could be had on the field.
One of the worst things a player can do to his teammate is get involved in their personal life and affairs. It is fine to call out a player for their conduct on the field, but intruding into their off the field life is typically an idea that is bound to end poorly. Specifically, messing around with another person’s wife is low for the typical person, but even worse for professional athletes that are held to a much higher standard than the average joe. While this type of thing can be seen in almost every professional organization, it has usually been quite tame for the NFL and MLB. It is typically the NBA and NHL that have problems with teammates going after their significant others. Nevertheless, there are still stories of this behavior coming from both baseball and football players. And some stories have surprising endings that no one would expect. Here are a few players who have breached their teammates’ trust to get with their wives.
10 Fritz Peterson
The first story that appears on this list was documented way back in 1973. On March 5th, in Ft. Lauderdale during Spring Training, 31-year-old pitcher Fritz Peterson called a press conference to alert the media that he was living with a new family other than his own. The crazy part was that the new family that he was living with was the wife of fellow pitcher Mike Kekich and her two daughters. He stated that this had been happening for months and that he only disclosed the information because too many people knew about the situation.
While it may have looked much worse at the time, the move paid off for Peterson as he and Kekich’s wife ended up happy together for years after the announcement. After disclosing this information to the media, everyone had expected Kekich to speak, condemning Peterson for this apparent bad act. The media at the stadium got one heck of a surprise when Kekich called a press conference the same day...
9 Mike Kekich
Mike Kekich is next on the list because while Peterson had started a new relationship with his former family, he, instead of announcing he was demanding a trade or upset with Peterson, stated that he was now living with Peterson’s wife and her two sons. The 27-year-old pitcher had pulled off the first ever wife swap with his teammate. Both claimed it wasn't a “wife swap,” however or that either have ill will towards each other for the change. Unfortunately for Kekich, he and Peterson’s former wife ended up getting separated after the swap had been announced and he was a little bitter over how good Peterson and his ex-wife got along.
This story remains one of the strangest in all of baseball history and will live in infamy as one of the first ever wife swaps in professional sports. This decision will also be remembered as one of the few times it's been okay to mess with a teammate’s wife, with little to no negative repercussions.
8 DeMarco Murray
DeMarco Murray has had quite a career trajectory during his time in the NFL. He went from being a star with the Dallas Cowboys, to the most coveted free agent running back in football, to a flop with the Philadelphia Eagles and he's now working to get his career back on track with the Tennessee Titans. Looking away from his success on the field, Murray has recently had some offseason issues that he has had to work out. One of the oddest stories to emerge about Murray, however, came way back in 2014 before his career took off. In December of that year, a former teammate of Murray at the University of Oklahoma came out and claimed that the running back slept with his wife and that he was going to file for a divorce.
His former teammate, Brennan Clay, was a running back that was mentored by Murray at Oklahoma. Clay claims to have not known of any relationship between the two until coming across his wife’s old cell phones.Those phones contained multiple inappropriate messages between Murray and Clay’s wife. Clay changed his statement, eventually apologizing to Murray, claiming that he had made a mistake in a tweet and that his wife did not sleep with Murray. Despite the denials, there was a lot of smoke for a few weeks and we may never know what really happened between Murray and Clay’s wife, if anything at all.
7 Rafael Palmeiro
Rafael Palmeiro can be considered one of the sleaziest athletes to play any sport. In spite of that legacy, he is also one of the best baseball players to ever play the game, being one of the rare players to rack up over 3,000 career hits. Despite this great success, it will be difficult to find someone who thinks of Palmeiro as a fair and honest player worthy of going into the Hall of Fame. Not surprisingly, Palmeiro was not seen as a good teammate by anyone he ever really played with. Whether it be for his selfish attitude or blatant lying to Congress under oath about his steroid use, Palmeiro has not made many friends over the years. Palmeiro has also been accused of sleeping with a teammate’s significant others, to top of the list of his negative impact.
The first rumors started in 1988 when Palmeiro was traded away from the Cubs to the Rangers. The Cubs got a fair return in the dealm but the year after, it was reported that the reason for the trade was because Palmeiro had a relationship with star Ryne Sandberg’s wife. Many argue that the true reason for Palmeiro’s trade was that he wasn’t showing much power at that point, but there isn't much evidence supporting that. If this rumor is true, Palmeiro is more of a jerk than many people could've imagined.
6 Joe Horn
Joe Horn is mostly remembered as one of the best wide receivers to ever play for the New Orleans Saints. Before they became Super Bowl contenders and the darlings of the NFL, the Saints were one of the worst teams in the league. Horn led those teams as their number one receiver, but was also known for his antics on and off the field, most notably when he pulled out a cellphone from underneath the goal posts to celebrate scoring a touchdown. Horn has also been accused of infidelity with his former teammates, but with another interesting twist.
After the 2000 season in New Orleans, rumors spread like wildfire that offensive lineman Willie Roaf’s wife had a daughter that was not Roaf’s at all. The rumors claimed that Horn had impregnated Roaf’s wife during the season and that the baby was really his. The rumors went on for months and even coaches were asking Saints Head Coach Jim Haslett what the situation was. Following that, the rumors were filled with silence on both sides until Roaf came out and declared his daughter to be his biologically. Horn also said that he's made mistakes, but this was one mistake that he did not make. While it has been settled that Horn did not father a daughter with Roaf’s wife, the affair itself is another story entirely.
5 Avisail Garcia
A more contemporary example of cheating happened in 2013 with the Detroit Tigers. This was a year of lot of hope for the Tigers, as they were expected to contend for the World Series. Prince Fielder had been signed to a nine-year deal worth over $200 million to play with the Tigers, they had Miguel Cabrera in his prime and Detroit’s number one prospect, Avisail Garcia, was on his way to the majors. Little did the Tigers know, all three of these players would become part of a huge clubhouse drama involving Fielder’s wife.
According to sources, Garcia was sleeping with Fielder’s wife after he arrived in the majors that season and the affair carried on for months. It was not that much of a secret and Cabrera found out what was going on between the two. In an effort to reconcile the problem, Cabrera called out Garcia in the locker room and this caused a fight between Fielder and Garcia to break out in which Cabrera re-aggravated an injury. After this incident, the Tigers quickly traded Garcia in a three-team deal and Fielder was then traded that offseason, so that both sides could get a change of scenery. Despite the change, Garcia hasn’t lived up to his Miguel Cabrera comparison and Fielder has had career low numbers for the Texas Rangers.
4 Golden Tate
The case of Golden Tate is one that has not officially been solved yet. Tate was a young receiver with the Seattle Seahawks during the 2014 season and was one of Russell Wilson’s favorite target. Tate had really grasped all of his potential in that year and had looked to be a centerpiece of the future Seattle offense. That all changed when Tate left via free agency to join the Detroit Lions. That also conceivably changed when Tate was accused of having an affair with Wilson’s now ex-wife, Ashton Meem.
The rumors of extramarital affairs came after Wilson filed for divorce from Meem in 2014. Searching for reasons why the two were ending things, reporters claimed that they had sources saying that Tate was sleeping with Wilson’s wife while they were still together, causing Wilson to file for divorce. This has been denied, however, especially by Tate who has even taken to writing personal essays defending himself from the allegations. Wilson did not jump to protect Tate though, continuing to fuel the fire that there was something more going on between the Seahawks receiver and his ex-wife. Wilson ended up just fine though, as he has since been remarried to music sensation Ciara.
3 Dave Martinez
The Cubs had a lot of problems with affairs during the end of the 1980s. Already discussed in this article is the rumor that Rafael Palmeiro was sleeping with Cubs’ star Ryne Sandberg’s wife, and possibly others, but there are similar allegations that have been placed against former outfielder Dave Martinez. Martinez was a star with the Cubs but was traded during the 1988 season for inexplicable reasons while having another strong, productive season in Chicago.
Later, it has been reported that just like Palmeiro, Martinez was having an intimate affair with Sandberg’s wife, Cindy. According to the sources, the Cubs, in a desperate attempt to keep the club chemistry from failing and keep their star second baseman happy, traded Martinez to Montreal. While none of these reports have been confirmed, there are even more former players and coaches that have reportedly slept with Cindy Sandberg. It is widely believed that Sandberg retired and was divorced because of this promiscuous behavior. And, in an ironic twist of fate, both players, Martinez and Sandberg later interviewed for the Cubs’ managerial position and did not get the job.
2 Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick has been a big subject of the media recently because of his stance on racism and refusal to stand for the national anthem, but this isn’t the first time he has been part of a huge media controversy. Years ago, when he was the starting quarterback with the 49ers, Kaepernick was living high on top of the world in San Francisco and apparently the fame got to his head, as he crossed some boundaries with former teammate Aldon Smith. Smith was the starting linebacker in San Francisco at the time and was in a serious relationship with MTV star Nessa. That was until Kaepernick entered the scene.
According to the rumors, Kaepernick began a relationship with Nessa while the two were still dating and Smith was one of his teammates. This cultivated with Smith and Kaepernick both getting into a fight on the field during practice. This issue was settled with Smith making Nessa his ex and Kaepernick beginning to date the star. Both players have gone downhill since this event, as Smith was also dumped by the 49ers and is now suspended with the Raiders while Kaepernick has lost his edge and is now the backup quarterback in San Francisco.
1 Rick Manning
The number one example of messing with a teammate’s wife comes from the Cleveland Indians in 1977. The Indians had a super star center fielder in Rick Manning already tearing up the majors. That year, another star was ready to bloom in the form of pitcher Dennis Eckersley. Eckersley made the All-Star game that season and was well on the rise to becoming Cleveland’s new ace. Eckersley and Manning were good friends on the field and roommates off of it that year, but that all changed when the team discovered that Manning was sleeping with Eckersley’s wife behind his back.
The team found out before Eckersley did and they ended up in a sticky locker room situation if both players remained on the roster. The Indians made a fateful decision, choosing to trade Eckersley away and keep Manning. This ended up being a terrible mistake for the Indians organization. Soon after the trade, Manning dropped off in his production and the players the Indians acquired for Eckersley did not amount to anything in the major leagues. Eckersley, of course, would move past the situation and end up becoming one of the greatest pitchers to ever play the game. So not only did this affair cause a great deal of turmoil, it also caused one of the worst trades in MLB history.