Sport fans are truly blessed to have the opportunity to watch so many spectacular athletes in numerous sports. No matter what sport you are into primarily, it is still absolutely intriguing to see how talented and driven athletes are and for that, there is a lot of respect bestowed upon them. It is important to note that even if an athlete excels immensely in a sport, that does not necessarily mean that they are good people. In fact, some of the world’s best athletes are actually complete jerks and should not be role models at all to younger fans. Yet, a lot of the time, the negative facts about these athletes are ignored.
With that said in this article, we will be looking at fifteen athletes who are still beloved even though they are complete jerks. In all of these cases, these are athletes who have completely transformed the sports that they play, but that does not excuse them from getting heat for their terrible actions. Some of examples of what qualifies these athletes as jerks range from lying to even physical or other abuse. It truly is disappointing when some of our favourite athletes partake in atrocious actions, but at the end of the day, it displays that they possess flaws. The people on this have them in extreme ways however and should not be forgiven so quickly.
Nonetheless, let’s take a look at the 15 athletes who are still beloved by their fans, even though they are complete jerks.
15 Hope Solo
Hope Solo should be viewed as a great inspiration to all girls from the United States because she was the main reason why they were so successful in Olympic play. Solo was the key member of the United States’ soccer team that made many fans become far more intrigued by women’s soccer. She was a spectacular individual for the game because of this.
Yet, as her career progressed and she received more time in the limelight, her genuine personality became known to the public. It is absolutely apparent that Solo has anger issues because she has been arrested for assault and even has been accused of assaulting her nephew and significant other. Solo has never been viewed the same after this and it is clear that she is a jerk at the end of the day.
14 Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez can be classified as one of the best MLB players in the history of the game. He was the perfect example of a five tool player during his prime years with the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and most famously the New York Yankees. When looking at Rodriguez in terms of skill, he will always be remembered as a power hitter. He is fourth all time on the home run list and was just four short of 700.
Although Alex Rodriguez was a superstar baseball player, the majority of baseball fans will have issues with him. First and most importantly, he was an avid steroid user and lied numerous times about it. Yet, instead of staying humble during this time, he was and still is a very arrogant and smug human being. He also seems to lack basic ethics when it comes to his personal life, as he cheated on his wife as well.
13 Sean Avery
Sean Avery took the hockey definition of an agitator to a whole other level during his tenure in the NHL. Avery will forever be remembered as an absolute pest on the ice and having the NHL create an entire rule because of the way he screened Martin Brodeur during the playoffs. The annoying traits of Avery were what made him succeed in the NHL and kept him around for over a decade.
The main issue that everyone seems to have with Sean Avery is that he has a very big mouth and is open to insulting people. During his career, he made a “sloppy seconds” comment to the media about Dion Phaneuf dating his ex-girlfriend and insulted other players in numerous ways. Avery also is an incredibly pretentious individual who believes he has a strong understanding in fashion and writing and belittles those who do not.
12 Terrell Owens
During his prime as an NFL player, Terrell Owens was easily one of the best wide receivers in the entire league. Owens had the ability to make sensational catches and continuously register dozens of touchdowns. In fact, Owens is currently third on the all time touchdowns list and a six time Pro Bowler. Yet Owens will always be remembered for never winning a Super Bowl as well.
Although Terrell Owens was an amazing football player, he also possessed a very arrogant attitude and has received a lot of negative criticism for it. Owens has been noted to be an abysmal teammate and had riffs with many of his quarterbacks, including Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo. Also, how can we not forget the idiotic interview he had while working out in his driveway and the fact he can barely afford all the children he has had.
11 Eric Lindros
During the 1990s, Eric Lindros was by far the most dominant player in the NHL because he not only had immense size but he also was a capable franchise goal scorer. Lindros was the main reason why the Philadelphia Flyers were such a good team during the 1990s and 2000s. It is hard to believe that they never managed to win a Stanley Cup with Lindros, but that is mainly because of his concussion issues.
Eric Lindros was a very fun player to watch and made the NHL even more fascinating, but he was incredibly unprofessional through the entirety of his career. From the very beginning, Lindros showed how much of a diva he was and refused to play for his draft team, the Quebec Nordiques. Also, he literally sat out an entire season, during his prime years with the Flyers because he felt he was underpaid.
10 Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best soccer players in the world currently and because of this is the face of the Real Madrid franchise. This is the main reason why he was heavily pursued when he was a free agent and signed the biggest contract in FIFA history at the time. While he does much work for children (which is redeeming) he has shown another side of himself as well.
Although Cristiano Ronaldo is an extremely talented soccer player, it is apparent that he is not a very good human being on the field. Ronaldo is one of the biggest complainers in all of soccer and consistently flops around the field anytime he is touched. He also has been deemed as an atrocious presence in the locker room and as a one dimensional player. Not many people in the soccer world like him because of this.
9 Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper has turned the Washington Nationals into a winning franchise because of how amazing of a baseball player he is. Harper is still in his early twenties and is continuing to dominate the MLB because of his power and fielding ability. At age 25, Harper has already played in five all star games and even won the 2015 National League MVP award.
Bryce Harper definitely has a bright career ahead of him, but his unbearable personality cannot be ignored by fans. Harper has already started numerous fights with his own teammates in Washington, including his infamous one with Jonathan Papelbon. Harper also has a very loud mouth and has openly talked about what teams he would like to play for when he becomes a free agent in 2018/19. Harper is the ultimate jerk in baseball.
8 Sidney Crosby
Sidney Crosby has such a storied career and it is easy to believe that it is nowhere close to being over. Crosby has led the Pittsburgh Penguins to three Stanley Cup championships during his tenure and has numerous personal accolades, including two Conn Smythe Trophies and two Hart Memorial Awards as well. There is so much Crosby has accomplished and hockey fans should be excited to see what is next.
Although Crosby is a once in a generation type of player, there are many qualities that make him hated. On the ice, Crosby continuously complains to the referees any time he is knocked down and can always be caught diving. Also, Crosby always refuses to man up to his childish actions and will never drop the gloves. Crosby is a spectacular hockey player, but it is very easy to despise him.
7 Brett Favre
During his tenure with the Green Bay Packers, Brett Favre was the face of the franchise and led the Packers to a lot of success. Favre’s rise to success in the NFL is a very inspiring one because many did not think he would ever be a starter when he was on the Atlanta Falcons. Yet, after given the chance with the Packers, he became a Hall of Fame quarterback and one of the best of all time.
Brett Favre will always be respected for his turnaround in Green Bay, but for everyone else, this man is aggravating. Favre is by far one of the most dramatic football players in the history of the NFL because of his numerous “retirements.” Also, Favre will forever be remembered for sending nude pictures of himself to a woman who did not want any part of seeing him. Favre is just a walking punchline because of his lack of common sense.
6 Roger Clemens
Roger Clemens was one of the most dominant pitchers in the MLB not only in his generation, but the entirety of MLB baseball’s history. Clemens started his career with the Boston Red Sox and almost led the Sox to a World Series championship a handful of times, but fell just short. Clemens also dominated the league with the Blue Jays, Yankees, and Astros, where managed to win two World Series’ championships.
Although Clemens was one of the top pitchers of his time, he truly can be deemed as a vile human when it comes to his ethics. From a baseball standpoint, Clemens cheated throughout the majority of his career. What makes this even worse is that when he was caught, he lied numerous times about it while under oath. Also, Clemens was known for having an affair with now deceased Mindy McCready. Overall, he is a bad person in all regards.
5 Floyd Mayweather
50-0! Floyd Mayweather, who retired from boxing after his spirited bout with Conor McGregor this summer, will forever be deemed as one of the top boxers in the history of the sport. Although he does have the longest undefeated streak of all time in the sport, he simply cannot compare to all that Muhammad Ali brought to boxing, which makes him fall just short.
No one can belittle the immense talent that Floyd Mayweather had as a boxer, but man he is a jerk in real life. Mayweather has one of the biggest egos in all of pop culture by far, which in turns makes him extremely arrogant. Mayweather also definitely has a touch of little man syndrome. This was perfectly demonstrated by the fact that he beat up his ex girlfriend and was sentenced to 90 days in prison. But hey, at least he gets to cash in to large sums of money.
4 Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger, also known as Big Ben, was one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL during his prime. Roethlisberger has led the Pittsburgh Steelers to two Super Bowl Championships during his tenure with them and has been nothing short of dominant. Although his game has shown signs of declining, he still is a valuable asset to the team.
Although Ben Roethlisberger has a very storied football career, he is one of the biggest jerks in all of sports. This can be perfectly proven by the fact that he has been accused of assaulting women not just once, but twice. The stories behind Roethlisberger’s allegations are incredibly gruesome as well. He allegedly followed one of the women into a club bathroom and assaulted her. That is just despicable.
3 Patrick Kane
Patrick Kane very likely will go down as the best player to ever play in the NHL from the United States. Kane is already a three time Stanley Cup winner with the Chicago Blackhawks and has also won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s top player. Kane is also one of the most fascinating players to watch in the NHL because of how talented he is with the puck.
Although Kane is a spectacular hockey player, he is one of the worst people in sports today. Kane has found himself part of many legal issues, including the infamous moment when he beat up an elderly cab driver for not giving him back proper change. Also, Kane has been accused of assaulting women numerous times during his career and has gotten away with it. It is easy to lose respect for a man like that, but Chicago fans love him anyway.
2 Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant will forever go down as one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history and was the franchise player of the Los Angeles Lakers during the entirety of his career. Kobe’s skill was primarily from his insane shooting ability. In fact, Bryant managed to get over 60 points in a game multiple times during his career, including his final one. He truly was unbelievable.
However, like everyone else on this list, Kobe Bryant is an absolute jerk when it comes to life off the court. Kobe’s biggest fault in life definitely comes from his interpersonal relationships with women. Kobe was accused of assault during the early 2000s and although he was deemed innocent, there are definitely some lingering questions from the incident. Also, it is important to note that Kobe did admit to having relations with the woman while being married. That is a massive hit regardless of whether he is innocent or guilty.
1 Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds is currently considered to be the greatest power hitter in MLB history because of he is the all time leader in home runs. There were not many players better than Bonds when he was in his prime with the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants because he was the perfect mix of not only hitting, but also fielding and speed. He was the ultimate threat on the field.
Barry Bonds is not so great however because he lied about his steroid use and still will not admit to it to this day. This is ridiculous because it is apparent that he was taking some heavy doses when you see his dramatic transformation over his career. His ability to lie for this long is truly incredible and still leaves a sour taste in MLB fans’ mouths. Besides being an absolute liar, Bonds also has been physically abusive to his significant others. A liar and an abuser? Way to finish off the list, Barry.