15 Athletes You Didn't Realize Were Rednecks

According to comedian Jeff Foxworthy and other experts on the topic, there are plenty of reasons why someone might be a redneck. From cut sleeved shirts to having a deer stand in your backyard, there are plenty of reasons an individual might be a "hick" at heart.

Although a term of endearment for some people in today's society, being labeled a redneck isn't always a good thing. In fact, it could mean someone is not only behind the times, but it could be an insult about a lack of education.

Being a redneck isn't reserved for someone who lives in the middle of nowhere with their mama, and has a pick-up truck on blocks. No, rednecks come in different shapes and sizes. They could be massive, mountains of muscle who fight in the UFC, or they could be retired NFL players who love to hunt deer with a bow and arrow.

In 2017, rednecks come in different varieties, and despite the millions of dollars they receive from playing professional sports, it doesn't seem to make their necks any less red. As they say, you can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy.

You might be a redneck if...

15 Philip Rivers

via grantland.com

Philip Rivers is a 'good ol' boy' from Decatur, Alabama. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Rivers has kept that same down-home attitude despite earning millions of dollars each NFL season with the Chargers. Rivers is quite fond of wearing cowboy boots, and is more interested in driving his old pickup truck than investing in a flashy Ferrari or Porsche. Rivers also dresses modestly, and fans won't catch him in fancy suits. Western shirts, pearl snap buttons and Wrangler jeans are Rivers' favourite items. The quarterback did make a major transportation upgrade in 2017 that was uncharacteristic, however. When the Chargers moved to Los Angeles, Rivers decided to continue living in San Diego, because he didn't want to take his children out of their schools. Instead, he paid $200,000 to customize an SUV into a video room for his commute to the Chargers' practice facility.

14 Carey Price

via hockeygods.com

Carey Price is a sports star, but that doesn't mean he isn't a major redneck. Born in Vancouver, Price grew up in a small town called Anahim Lake. The remote British Colombia town in the northern region of the province is home to just 1,500 people. It was Price's upbringing in the area that helped him focus on his hockey training. It also allowed him to grow up hunting, fishing and participating in other outdoor activities. In 2012, he drew criticism for tweeting a photo of himself and another hunter with a dead coyote. Around that same period, Price's social media activity was regularly hunting related. His Twitter page even described him as a: "part-time goalie, full-time redneck". At the 2015 NHL Awards, the night he won the Vezina Trophy for posting a 1.96 GAA, Price's tuxedo had a camouflage motif. As one writer said, Price is a "hick at heart".

13 Adam LaRoche

via twitter.com

Adam LaRoche made headlines in 2016 for retiring from baseball. The reason he retired made headlines, despite the player coming off a down year at the plate. LaRoche quit the game due to the Chicago White Sox management no longer allowing his son, Drake, into the clubhouse during spring training. What was lost over the media's reporting on the story was LaRoche's stance on his son skipping school. Three years prior to his retirement, LaRoche explained he and his wife didn't like "traditional school". What resulted was LaRoche taking Drake on the road with him during the Major League Baseball season, because the child would "learn more in the clubhouse" than in school. After retiring, LaRoche returned to his ranch where he spends even more time with Drake. He now runs the E3 Meat Company and in a 2016 article on American Cowboy, LaRoche was called a "redneck renaissance man".

12 Jay Briscoe

via wikipedia.org

For Jay and Mark Briscoe (the fantastic Briscoe Brothers wrestling tag team), being a redneck isn't a gimmick. The brothers grew up on their father's chicken farm in Sandy Fork, Delaware. In May 2013, the Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Champion at the time, Jay Briscoe made headlines for his homophobic remarks on Twitter. In one tweet, Briscoe showed he was anti-gay, and ready to commit violent acts. Briscoe's tweet read: "The Delaware Senate passed a bill yesterday that allows same sex couples to get married. If that makes you happy, then congratulations!!!!!! ... try and teach my kids that there's nothing wrong with that and..." I don't even want to write the rest, as it's pretty terrible. His remarks were embarrassing for both ROH and all of wrestling. Briscoe was stripped of the ROH title a month later in storyline.

11 John Rocker

via vice.com

In 1999, Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker made headlines across the United States after making a variety of disparaging remarks about New York City and the people that live there. The initial interview ran in Sports Illustrated and opened everyone's eyes to the redneck's antiquated beliefs. In the article, the Georgia redneck compared New York City to Beirut and stated the thing he hated most about the city were the foreigners. It is no surprise the former Atlanta Braves baseball player is an ardent Donald Trump supporter. In 2013, Rocker once again made headlines as he stated the Holocaust would not have occurred if the Jewish community in Germany had guns to protect themselves. Rocker hasn't only insulting New Yorkers or made false claims about gun control, but he has dogged teammates as well. In 2001, Rocker was traded to the Cleveland Indians. 

10 Jordy Nelson

via oddsandendzones.com

Jordy Nelson is as blue collar as they come. He grew up on a Kansas farm and he still cuts his hair into a crew cut. A Pro Bowl wide receiver and Super Bowl Champion with the Green Bay Packers, Nelson has racked up over 490 career receptions and more than 60 touchdowns. Nelson may be one of the greatest receivers in Green Bay Packers' history, but he still returns to Kansas each summer to work the land with his tractor. At one time, Nelson said he needed a bigger truck with a large bed to haul items around. Items like a snow blower for those snowy Wisconsin days. Nelson's love of big trucks landed him a deal with Chevy, who sponsor the big game wide receiver with a free Silverado.

9 Madison Bumgarner

via themercurynews.com

According to the King of Rednecks, comedian Jeff Foxworthy, San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner is a redneck perfect 10. Bumgarner is from a North Carolina town nicknamed "Bumtown". It isn't due to the number of homeless people who make their way through the area, rather it's due to the amount of people with the surname Bumgarner. With so many people with the same last name, you would think they are all related; but that isn't necessarily the case. Bumgarner is so country, he drives from North Carolina to Giants spring training camp in Arizona with his quarter horses in a trailer the entire way. Back home at his North Carolina ranch, Bumgarner is hands-on with everything. Including scaring his MLB employers by regularly chopping down trees with an axe. The Giants front office would prefer him to just hire someone to cut down the trees, but Bumgarner wouldn't hear of it.

8 Bryant Reeves

via tulsaworld.com

Nicknamed "Big Country" due to his 7ft, 275lb size, Bryant Reeves was a mountain of a man. A two-time Big 8 Player of the Year, and NBA All-Rookie second team, Reeves had a respectable six-year career in the Association. Reeves looked like a big country boy who had just walked off the farm and into the basketball gym. He was tall, but had no muscle tone. His red flat top didn't help him lose the redneck look either. Despite playing well in the beginning of his NBA career, Reeves' play declined. Since retiring, he has been called one of the biggest NBA flops of all-time. He recorded a career low in points per game during his final season with the Vancouver Grizzlies (8.3) and retired as weight problems caught up with him. Today, Reeves has taken his redneck look and rediscovered his country roots. He runs a very successful commercial cattle ranch in Oklahoma.

7 John Daly

via golfwrx.com

John Daly is a golf legend, but that doesn't mean he isn't a redneck. Nor does that mean he is someone the PGA wants to celebrate over and over again. Daly has done things his own way, that is for sure. He grew up in two of the most redneck states in the US, Arkansas and Missouri, and even went to the University of Arkansas. He dropped out before completing his degree to turn pro on the golf circuit. Daly was well-known as the PGA's hardest partying golfer during his heyday. At one time, it was said the most important thing to the golfer was getting drunk each day. Daly currently spends his time during Masters weekend driving his RV to a Hooters restaurant near Augusta. There, he sells his own merchandise to golf fans who still want to see the former two-time major championship winner.

6 Brock Lesnar

via thesharpe.com

Brock Lesnar grew up in the small South Dakota town of Webster. As of 2016, it had fewer than 1,900 people living there. Milking cows and living remotely never left Lesnar's blood, which is why he gravitated toward that lifestyle after gaining fame and fortune. The MMA and WWE star grew up milking cows on his family's dairy and as a well-paid athlete he has bought his own farm to live on. Lesnar and wife Sable first lived on a farm in Minnesota. Despite being incredibly rural, it wasn't rural enough for the grappler. Lesnar moved his family to an even more remote area of Maryfield, Saskatchewan. The most recent census revealed just 347 people living there. Lesnar is also an avid gun collector and active member of the National Rifle Association. Despite living in Canada, Lesnar went on a rant about Canada's "third world country" healthcare system in 2010.

5 Clint Mathis

via twitter.com

Clint Mathis had the unenviable nickname of "Cletus" thanks to his Georgia upbringing. The former US men's national team soccer player had quite the colourful career. It took him all over the world, something many Georgia rednecks never get to do. Mathis played in the US, Germany and Greece during his club career; and featured for the USMNT during the 2002 World Cup in South Korea. The striker was also fond of wearing black boots, a Harley Davidson t-shirt and backwards baseball cap during his early 2000s run with the MetroStars. Mathis' goal scoring landed him a move to German team Hannover 96 in 2004. He later fell out with coach Ewald Lienen after scoring a late winning goal, and mocking his coach for not starting him in the game. Yes, Mathis was quite the American cowboy during his time playing soccer in Germany.

4 Tank Abbott

via fightland.com

Tank Abbott made a name for himself as a barroom brawler in Huntington, California. Abbott severely beat up the son of a California detective while working at a liquor store during his 20s. He spent time in jail, and began pursuing a career in fighting following his release. Abbott only started fighting in mix martial arts after applying and being accepted to fight at UFC 6. The UFC of the 1990s was far different than today's MMA scene. Due to his tough pit fighter reputation, Abbott was able to land a position with WCW during the Monday Night Wars after making a name for himself in UFC. In 2016, Abbott attempted to step into the octagon once more. However, he couldn't pass the medical to fight. If you happen to sit next to him at a bar, quietly get up and leave before he fights you.

3 Karl Malone

via outdoorlife.com

The Utah Jazz great loves his cowboy boots. The former NBA star has been called a "black redneck" by Charles Barkley due to his footwear choice. But it isn't just cowboy boots that make Malone a redneck. The two-time NBA MVP has been an advocate for gun ownership and loves to pack heat when walking through the woods. Malone is an avid hunter and in 2014, he showed off his hunting prowess by killing a bear with a compound bow. Not only does Malone love boots and hunting, but he owned his own trucking company during the early 1990s. He sold the company after 18 months, but it helped build his reputation as the "Mailman". More recently, Malone has had his hand in a few different business ventures, including a hunting guide business, a deer farm and tree harvesting.

2 Jeremy Mayfield

via wbtv.com

Jeremy Mayfield was a somewhat successful NASCAR driver during the 1990s and 2000s. However, the Owensboro, Kentucky-native's career and life began to unravel when he was suspended for violating NASCAR's substance abuse policy in 2009. It isn't wise to take something and then get behind the wheel at 200 miles per hour, even if you are making all left-hand turns. In 2011, Mayfield made headlines when his five dogs attacked a mail carrier. In the end, the Kentucky raised racer was ordered to pay $1 million in damages to the mail carrier. Months later police searched Mayfield's home and found stashes of over 50 guns and stolen merchandise. Some NASCAR experts have speculated that Mayfield's racing performances may have been hindered by his substance use.

1 Bo Jackson

via gohunting.com

Bo knows bowhunting, is the slogan for goHunt, a company that is endorsed by Bo Jackson. Since retiring fully from both baseball and football, Jackson has taken up hunting. He loves to use a bow and arrow, and he showcased some of his skills in ESPN's 30 for 30: You Don't Know Bo. Jackson is also an avid firearm hunter, and once killed a bear with a .45 handgun. In 2012, Jackson was a guest on Relentless Pursuit, a television show on the Sportsman Channel. During the episode, the former sports great joined host Tim Wells on a hunt for deer. Jackson even did a little cooking for the TV crew after getting a deer. Bo does know bowhunting, and he can even skin and cook a buck.

More in Entertainment