It’s easy to get in trouble when you’re a professional athlete. All you have to do is get photographed having a drink with friends and you’ll find yourself all over Twitter or the front page of a newspaper in your local market. Patrick Kane, for example, won three Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks and, as any person in their early-20s would do, celebrated by getting black out drunk (at least after the first Stanley Cup) and having the time of his life. Heck, 60% of the adult population does that on a Saturday night and then returns to work on Monday morning as if nothing ever happened. For whatever reason, we hold athletes to higher standards – and we expect that, instead of enjoying one stress-free night of partying, they should be in the gym working to improve.
Yet, even if you agree about the absurdity of holding athletes to higher standards, you can’t deny the joy or entertainment value in seeing candid photos of their extracurricular activities (you did click on this link, after all). In fact, in this list, we not only have photos of athletes doing inappropriate things in public, but also some accidentally-inappropriate-looking photos that the athletes in question most certainly want wiped from the Internet. But that’s the beauty – and tragedy – of the Internet; once something is uploaded, it’s impossible to remove it.
15. Ryan Locthe
If you don’t remember Ryan Lochte, consider yourself lucky. The famed 33 year old American swimmer is incredibly talented – he’s won ten medals in the Olympics – but is about as dull as a rock. Despite his incredible success in the pool, he’s actually more well-known now for fabricating a story about an incident during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. He originally said he and several of his teammates were robbed at gunpoint, but what actually happened was they vandalized a gas station bathroom and were subsequently threatened by a security guard.
Locthe blamed his inaccurate story on the fact he was drunk and couldn’t remember all of the details. We’re wondering if he can remember what happened in the photo above. There’s another that exists in which his hand is closer to the woman’s chest, but we believe his drunk face is inappropriate enough in this instance.
14. Rex Grossman
We’re sorry if you were expecting all photos of athletes partying and/or being caught with other women, but a conversation about inappropriate photos can’t NOT include this picture of Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman being dry-humped by a Green Bay Packers defensive player. With context, it’s a harmless photo of a quarterback who was taken down by another play, but without context it’s an equally disturbing and hilarious image. Paste a Brazzers logo on the picture and you have a trending meme.
The photo in question is from a game in 2006 when Grossman was the starting quarterback for the Bears. Not surprisingly, and perhaps not coincidentally, he was never the same player following that season and only started 11 games over the next four seasons. He played his last game in 2011 with the Washington Redskins.
13. Jenifer Benitez
This photo features Spanish diver Jenifer Benitez; the picture is from Olympic competition, but there’s no way she was anticipating being caught in the unfortunate position of airing out her bathing suit.
The worst part of it all for Benitez is that she had put in a tremendous amount of work training to compete in the Olympics, only to now be known as the woman who accidentally flashed the world while coming out of the pool. Although she didn’t medal, she competed in both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics, but now the only thing that comes up when you Google her name is the flashing incident. At least most of the other athletes on this list are still mostly known for their success in the respective sports.
12. Elizabeth Phillips
Turning to the UFC, we come to Elizabeth Phillips, who, unfortunately, is best known for this photo than her actual talents. A 31 year old native of Spokane, Washington, Phillips has a career win-loss record of 7-6, including a record of 1-3 in the UFC. She had a four-fight win streak snapped in her UFC debut in a loss to Valerie Letourneau and lost in her next fight to Milana Dudieva. The only fight she won in the UFC was against Jessamyn Duke and that’s the same fight in which she had the unfortunate nip slip.
She won that fight be a unanimous decision and we’re not saying that the wardrobe malfunction played any part in the judges awarding the bout to her but we’re not ruling it out either. It might not be the most candid photo given it’s in an athletic setting, but there’s no way Phillips would have approved of the photo being taken and released.
11. Joe Rogan/Jessica Penne
Much like there’s a library of Gronk partying photos, there’s also quite the selection of inappropriate and hilarious Joe Regan weigh-in photos. Depending on the situation, Rogan is either looking incredibly intense or creepy. In his defense, it’s hard to really know where to look when you’re standing directly behind a woman who is in the process of undressing, but the one place you should know not to look is right at her bottom.
In the photo above, Rogan is taking a peek at the “assets” of Jessica Penne and, to be honest, we can’t blame him. He has a history of being caught staring, to the point where he has since gone out of his way to look in the opposite direction to avoid being criticized.
10. Sean Weatherspoon
Sean Weatherspoon is a Missouri alumnus who was selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. The linebacker played five seasons with the Falcons before joining the Arizona Cardinals in 2015 and subsequently returning to Atlanta in 2016. The injury-riddled player has been unable to live up to the hype he attained earlier in his career as one of the best linebacker prospects in the country, but he has definitely enjoyed himself off the field.
In 2013, during his first stint with the Falcons, Weatherspoon returned to Missouri to guest bartend at the Campus Bar and Grill and it got a little crazy. Somebody apparently forgot to tell him that he isn’t supposed to be drinking on the job; instead, he ended up shirtless on top of the bar and flipping off the person who decided to take the picture.
9. Rob Gronkowski
Any athlete not named Rob Gronkowski will get absolutely crushed by the media if they are known to party as hard as the New England Patriots tight end. However, for whatever reason (likely because he’s a beast and continues to excel on the field), Gronkowski gets a pass for his drunken antics. To be fair to Gronk, he hasn’t really been involved in any high-profile scandals that stemmed from his partying ways – he just enjoys pounding back beers and chest-bumping with fellow dude-bros.
However, because of his affinity for partying, it’s quite often that a new photo of Party Gronk gets released to the world. To be honest, we could draw from an extensive library of inappropriate Gronk photos, but what better than an obviously hammered and shirtless Gronk and some nameless blonde looking like they’re at their first high school party?
8. Brett Lawrie
Brett Lawrie is regarded as a high-strung, Redbull-drinking maniac who might be as intense as any athlete to ever play any sport. If you’ve followed his career, particularly during his time as a Toronto Blue Jay, chances are you’re not surprised by the above photo, in which it seems as though the person taking the picture asked Lawrie: “Give me you’re most inappropriate and douchiest pose.”
Are there worse things Lawrie could be doing? Sure, but let’s examine the photo for a second. First of all, he has a 40 duct-taped to his hands in 2010, when he was in the minor leagues, and thought it was a good idea to photograph the moment. Not only that, he thought to himself, “How can I look even cooler?” and came up with the ridiculous finger-over-the-mouth pose which could – and should – be trademarked The Inhaler. Maybe it’s an actual pose and I’m out-of-touch, but it only looks as though he’s pretending to treat his asthma.
7. Larry Johnson
Larry Johnson is a two-time Pro Bowl running back who played seven seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and later had stints with the Cincinnati Bengals, Washington Redskins, and Miami Dolphins. The former 27th overall pick of the 2003 NFL Draft has had his fair share of legal troubles off the field, being arrested six times since 2003. A lot of his arrests have involved poor treatment of women. He was arrested in 2012 in Las Vegas for allegedly strangling and beating an ex-girlfriend, while he had a prior arrest for spitting a drink in a woman’s face at a nightclub.
It’s obvious he enjoyed drinking and partying with women, but he was known to get a little out of control. It’s in that context that makes the above picture a touch inappropriate. We’d be curious to know what happened that night, but you can probably take an accurate guess.
6. Cristie Kerr
You probably aren’t too aware of Christie Kerr, but the 40 year old professional golfer has 20 career wins on the LPGA, including two major championships, and has won over $15 million in career earnings. An avid supporter of breast cancer research, she’s still competing on tour and donates $50 of her own money for every birdie she scores to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Kerr recorded her fair share of birdies at the Longs Drug Challenge in 2002 and, in the process, won her first ever LPGA event. Imagine being so stoked to win your first ever tournament that you don’t even realize you’re kissing a trophy that is quite obviously a phallic symbol. In Kerr’s defense, the trophy itself isn’t that bad; it’s the angle at which the photo is taken that makes it appear not-so PG-friendly.
5. Matt Leinart
A former first round pick of the Arizona Cardinals, quarterback Matt Leinart failed to live up to the expectations as a pro that he set as a Heisman Trophy winner with USC. His NFL career lasted only six seasons, during which time he recorded 4,065 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, and an awful completion percentage of 57.1. Still, none of that matters much because he signed a six-year, $51 million contract upon being drafted.
Perhaps part of the reason why he failed at the NFL level is his inability to commit to a strict workout routine. Instead, he enjoyed partying more than most and often found himself in compromising positions, as is the case with the photo above. No, it isn’t inappropriate to hold a woman, but it is when you’re seemingly clinging for dear life and have that look in your eyes.
4. Alex Smith
It isn’t surprising to see a photo of a washed-up quarterback behaving badly at a nightclub, but it’s a tad strange to see the usually mild-manner and professional Alex Smith starring in a controversial photo of his own. The 33 year old University of Utah alumnus is regarded as one of the smartest quarterbacks in the NFL, but that obviously isn’t – or wasn’t – the case with his decision-making off the field.
Smith is now married to the beautiful Elizabeth Barry, who is a former cheerleader with the Oakland Raiders. However, before he met Barry, Smith enjoyed the party scene as is evident with the above photo, in which he’s seemingly trying to go Mike Tyson on the woman. We can’t decide if the photo is more or less inappropriate with the photobomb.
3. Mike Richards/Jeff Carter
Philadelphia was a great place to be during the mid-to-late 2000s if you were a hockey player named Jeff Carter, Joffrey Lupul, or Mike Richards. The trio of players had such a reputation for partying that they all ended up being traded to different teams (although Carter and Richards were later reunited in Los Angeles). They were mostly rumors at the time, but then years went by and Richards was arrested for drug possession, giving credence to the rumors. Oh, and then there’s pictures like the one above.
Naturally, no hockey player wanting to be taken seriously would want a picture of himself downing a bottle of rum to be released, but Richards (left) and Carter (right) had no reservations. The woman next to Richards, meanwhile, was way too into the moment to even realize what was happening.
2. Josh Hamilton
Josh Hamilton’s battle with drugs and alcohol has been well documented throughout his playing career. The former American League MVP was drafted first overall by the Tampa Bay Rays, but failed to make the majors in over six seasons with the team as he battled with addiction. After getting himself clean, he began living up to his potential and became one of the league’s best players and most feared hitters. He had his relapses, but, for the most part, maintained a clean and healthy lifestyle.
In that light, it’s difficult to see him going to town and licking whipped cream off of a stranger’s breast, as fun as it looks for all parties involved. We’re thinking Hamilton isn’t thrilled with the fact this photo was taken.
1. Raffi Torres
Believe it or not, former NHLer Raffi Torres actually wanted this photo taken. And, if we’re not mistaken, he originally posted it to his own Twitter account back in 2011, thinking he, as a white man, would get praise for the creative Jay Z costume he created for Halloween. We mean, all he did was put on a New York Yankees hat, a chain, and paint his face black, but he legitimately thought it was a good idea.
Naturally, Torres received plenty of backlash for the photo. The former Arizona Coyotes forward has faced multiple suspensions during his time in the league for his gutless and predatory hits, so the black face thing is at least affirming to those of us who had been calling him a piece of trash long before the photo was posted.
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