Living the life of a pro athlete is never going to be a smooth ride. There’re plenty of ups and downs, and athletes can see their performances decline due to any number of reasons. But because of a woman? It can happen, women can ruin both the personal and professional lives of athletes, and before they know it, they’re in the doghouse, need to fight to keep their career’s alive.
Ever heard the phrase, behind every successful man is a woman? Well, that might very well be the case, but these 15 athletes would probably have something to say about that. The right woman can spur an athlete forward, spur him on to achieve bigger and better things. That’s the type of woman every athlete needs in his life. But just as easily as they can make careers, they can break them, ruin them too, or at least cause hiccups, bumps in the road to the top. That’s what the athletes in these entries experienced. Their women at the time, wives and girlfriends, caused them serious strife, in a number of different ways, and that adversely affected their performances on the pitch, field of play, or whatever sporting arena they apply their trade in. Here they are, WAGs who proved to be way more of a hindrance than a help, sports WAGs who brought their men’s games down.
17 Cristal Taylor - Dirk Nowitski
Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks is a much-loved guy of the NBA circuit. He’s generally regarded to be a quiet dude, a guy who goes about his business, causes no problems. But problems found him. It’s the nice guy that finished last, got stung – for a period anyway, although the wounds are bound to still be sore.
Cristal Taylor is the woman who seriously messed up Dirk’s life around 2009/2010. They were engaged, but there was more to meet the eye to Taylor. It later came to light that she was an identity thief, and a thief in general. Taylor – police weren’t even sure that was her name, because she’d been booked previously under many different aliases – had racked up huge debts, was involved in forgery, theft, and theft of service, and had skimmed a ton of cash from Dirk’s account.
All-round good dude, Dirk Nowitzki’s game suffered terribly during that period, while his fiancée was in jail, a convicted felon, supposedly pregnant with his baby. That’s totally understandable. He still talks about it with pain, but he’s moved on. He eventually won an NBA title, and his issues with Taylor are now in the rear-view mirror.
16 Joumana Kidd - Jason Kidd
Joumana got hitched to NBA star Jason Kidd, back in 1997. They had three kids, and from the outside looking in, everything seemed roses. But we soon came to learn that their married life was anything but. It was riddled with instances of domestic abuse. Jason got arrested and had to attend anger management classes. But due to extreme cruelty, intense jealousy, paranoia, false claims of domestic abuse, Jason filed for divorce.
I’m in no way saying that Jason should have violently abused his wife, there’s no excuse for that. However, from what Jason said and from various reports, we can gather that there was plenty going on from both sides, making this one toxic relationship. And it was a good 10 years that Jason suffered as a result of that relationship, and for a large part of that time, he was the most hated man in basketball. Again, not saying Jason didn’t have a part to play, but just being married to Joumana seriously bought his game, and life, down.
15 Miko Grimes - Brent Grimes
Type Miko Grimes into a search engine and you’ll come up with all kinds of results along the lines of “Miko Grimes is crazy” and you’ll find her in categories such as “the bad gals of NFL ballers.” That’s an apt description if ever there was one. Now, where do I start why, why Miko Grimes has earned this reputation. She really has caused a ton of problems for her hubby, Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes. She’s attacked team owners and coaches for cutting her husband, and has incorporated some anti-Semitism into her social media messages as well. While with the Dolphins, she also took it upon herself to threaten players, coaches and reporters. Needless to say, with all that going on, Brent’s stint with the franchise didn’t work out. His performances greatly suffered, and Miko basically cost him his job.
14 Rihanna - Matt Kemp
Rihanna – surprised to see her name feature on this list? Well, cast your minds back to around 2009 when the singing sensation was dating Matt Kemp, an outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers at the time, and you’ll begin to understand the reasoning. The two were dating for a while from November 2009. Again, nothing seriously bad happened between the two, and it didn’t seem that things got that serious, that deep. But boy did Kemp’s relationship with Rihanna have an effect on his game. Some may say it was a coincidence, but most people can put two and two together – in this case it equals Kemp and Rihanna and Kemp’s mind wandering from his baseball commitments. For the period they were dating, his game was mediocre to say the least. Bad Gal Ri-Ri affected Kemp’s game badly! Excuse the pun, I just had to get that in there.
12 Jessica Simpson - Tony Romo
There’s nothing concrete here, nothing untoward happened while Jessica Simpson – who’s a celebrity in her own right – and Tony Romo were dating. They were together for a couple of years, and on a personal front everything seemed terrific, until things just fizzled out and they went their separate ways. But while they were together, it became a bit of a joke in the NFL that Simpson was like a jinx, a bad luck charm for her partner. Tony started getting plenty of grief around that at the time too, and many have the notion that the vitriol stemmed from his time with Simpson. Just look at his stats when he was with her. He didn’t earn a Pro Bowl selection, didn’t win a playoff game, and many attribute that to Simpson.
Perhaps she was tuckering him out off the field, who knows, but many people believe that she seriously brought down his game, in some way or another.
11 Alejandra Nash - Steve Nash
Steve Nash, amazingly, didn’t really suffer a huge amount, in terms of his on-court stats that is, in 2010. His numbers did drop off a little, but he and his wife at the time just had to be included as an entry on this list. Alejandra must have brought her man’s game down mentally, because mentally there’s no way he could have been anything other than a mess. Basically, in 2010, the couple’s third child – well, I say THEIR third child – was born, but something wasn’t quite right. Steve gazed down at the baby boy, and realized it wasn’t his son. The baby was black. Both Alejandra and Steve are white, and so the odds of them conceiving a black baby – well, you do the math. Don’t know how Alejandra was planning to string him along, and pass the baby off as Steve’s, but it was all too much to take for Steve who was understandably fuming, and filed for divorce the very next day.
10 Kate Upton - Justin Verlander
MLB pitcher Justin Verlander’s stats when he started dating Kate Upton dropped off rapidly. It really was a drastic decline, and those around, those in the know in baseball, attributed it to the fact that his mind was elsewhere, wasn’t on the prize – well, it was, but on a different prize, one he managed to snag. Justin and Kate’s relationship was pretty high-profile, still is seeing as how they’re engaged. But coming from being named Rookie of the Year in 2006, and enjoying a stellar start to his career, his from began to drop off, which coincided with him getting with Kate.
He began to choke, and the form that he enjoyed at the start has never really come back. Other pitchers began to relieve him of his duties and he found himself out of favor for a time. Not that Justin would care about any of that; he’s still earning megabucks, and look at the stunning model he has to come home to every night!
9 Ayesha Curry - Steph Curry
Stephen Curry of the NBA got into plenty of hot water because of what his wife did. He tried to pass it off as just a joke, as something inconsequential, but plenty of people took it pretty seriously, including Curry’s employers, the NBA. This in turn, affected his game, and the couple’s brand which was pretty solid. Ayesha basically tweeted the NBA were fixing games – not a smart thing to do. It caused people who’d previously been fans of hers, to turn on her. She was promoting her other brands on social media, and people were just leaving all sorts of obnoxious comments about Ayesha and her hubby. It seriously harmed the duo’s brand, and Stephen’s many endorsements weren’t best pleased. A troublesome time for Stephen, and it showed.
8 Brenda Warner - Kurt Warner
Brenda Warner and former NFL quarterback, Kurt Warner, have been through some tough times together. They’ve faced many trials and tribulations in their personal lives, and kudos to them, they’re still together fighting fit. But some of these tough times have been their own doing – well, Brenda’s doing. Brenda used to be with the Marines, and is one tough cookie, says what she thinks without any regard for the consequences. In 2002, way before the social media boom, she came out and basically said that Kurt’s coach was a liar. She then also revealed that her hubby was seeking a move away from the Rams – a big no, no, something you don’t disclose. Understandably Kurt got into plenty of trouble because of his wife’s actions. He also played really poorly, began fumbling all too often, and was eventually replaced at quarterback before being released.
7 Terricka Cromartie - Antonio Cromartie
NFL cornerback Antonio Cromartie, started dating Terricka after seeing her on E!'s Candy Girls. From that show, he would’ve known that she’s a bit of a diva. But that didn’t deter him, and the two got together and got married in 2008. Everything is roses between the two, and they’re happily together with their pretty huge family – Terricka’s currently pregnant with Antonio’s 14th kid! But now and again, Terricka’s put her foot in her mouth, well, her typing fingers in it. She hasn’t done anything truly abhorrent, just thinks nothing of admonishing her hubby’s team and fellow players when they do badly. But plenty of people are getting sick of it, and rumors have it that Antonio’s getting sick of it too, and is getting a lot of flak from his teammates who don’t want to get abused by his girl. It’s also led to an increasing number of inconsistent performances.
6 Hannah Stocking - Klay Thompson
Okay, so a lot of this, the hullabaloo that took place around the breakup between model Hannah Stocking and Klay Thompson was the NBA star’s doing. But the way it was aired, the way the world came to know about it, was all down to Hannah, and for a period it seriously affected Klay’s game and his public image. They’d been dating for a year, but then Hannah found Klay was having a groupie, apparently found him naked in bed cheating on her. She took to Twitter to vent her anger, leaving a red-faced Klay looking for a hole to open up that he could just jump into. Hannah then began posting pics of herself enjoying the company of attractive men. She was burned alright, and wanted to give Klay a few burns of his own.
5 Khloe Kardashian - Lamar Odom
Pretty much everyone on the planet knows of the famous Kardashian clan. The sisters are the queens of social media, reality TV stars, and possibly the most famous women in the world. They are a female-dominated family alright with strong personalities, and no one’s more out there than Khloe. Any man who enters their domain, beware. Firstly, Khloe and Lamar Odom got hitched just a month after meeting. That’s never a good idea. But initially things were going in the right direction and we got to see everything pan out in their reality TV series. But being in the limelight as much as he was, was starting to take its toll, among other things of course.
Lamar was suddenly propelled into a different world, and although he seemed to be coping, on the inside he was breaking down. He was also having to deal with other issues in his personal life. Eventually things came to a head when he nearly killed himself after an overdose. He was a modern basketball great, whose career was ended in horrific circumstances. Many people put a ton of blame on Khloe for the way things ended up, and looking back at things, getting married after a month probably wasn’t the brightest of ideas. It was both their faults but Khloe got a lot of flak.
4 Siohvaughn Funches - Dwyane Wade
Siohvaughn Funches, former wife of NBA star, Dwyane Wade, has said that they were both content during Dwayne’s early years, when he was just another kid trying to make it big. But when it happened, and the fame and fortune came with it, it ruined their marriage. Their five-year marriage was finished, and after divorce proceedings, Wade got custody of their two sons. It was a long, drawn-out, and bitter custody battle, one that Wade won. But because of this acrimonious dispute, D-Wade understandably had all sorts of thoughts whirling around in his head, other than basketball.
When he got custody of his kids, he could finally put his mind at rest. Not. Apparently, according to him, Siovaughn tried to kidnap the kids during a visit, and during the finals too! Apparently, everything’s all sorted now, and Wade back to somewhere near his best, this time with the Chicago Bulls.
3 Vanessa Perroncel - Wayne Bridge
Vanessa Perroncel is responsible for a huge scandal that broke out in the world of soccer, in the English Premier League in 2010. Actually, you might not deem what happened, to be French model, Vanessa’s fault. But her fault or not, she’s still responsible for bringing her man’s – her man could’ve been John Terry or Wayne Bridge, depending on how you see things – game down. If she wasn’t in the picture, the two defensive stalwarts may still be teammates, would probably still be friends. Basically, Vanessa and Wayne Bridge had split. But no sooner had they gone their separate ways, Wayne’s Chelsea and England international teammate took his place.
There were all kinds of reports, that they were having an affair while Wayne and Vanessa were still together, that Terry had even gotten her pregnant and forced her to have an abortion. Whatever the case may be, what Terry had done was unforgivable for Wayne. His career declined rapidly. He left his club, was out of the England setup, all to distance himself from Terry. Terry too suffered a huge backlash and was relieved of the England captaincy. Both men suffered hugely during that tumultuous year.
1 Kim Kardashian - Everyone She Dates
Kris, oh Kris; that’s probably all I need to write on the matter, right? Most of you will probably get what I’m talking about. Here’s another Kardashian, the most famous Kardashian of them all, who’s brought down a sporting superstar. Actually, to call Kris Humphries a basketball superstar might be overstating things a bit. But he was a beast, and when he got with Kim, the Hump’s – another unfortunately thing, name he was labelled with whilst being with Kim - scoring and rebounding averages basically reduced in half. Aside from his game on the court, his public image suffered massively as a consequence of getting with Kim. He was made to look like a goof, a seriously boring guy with nothing about him.
The Kardashian curse also hit football running back Reggie Bush. His contributions to the New Orleans Saints while he was on-again and off-again with Kim were next to nothing. It was a time during which he needed to concentrate on his NFL career, but due to the distractions of being with a Kardashian, it never really took off.