In truth, being a professional athlete is a pretty good gig. In most cases, sports stars make a great deal of money, get to retire young, and can live out their childhood dreams. Regardless of the sport, if an individual can find a way to make the top, more often than not, they become a celebrity.
However, with all the glitz and glamour that comes with being a household name, there are also some negative aspects. For example, if you’re on television these days, then privacy can be extremely difficult to come by.
For athletes that have gone on to become mega stars, or even regional favorites, something as simple as going out to get a cup of coffee can result in being surrounded by legions of admirers with their cell phones at the ready.
As fans, it can be easy to forget that as familiar as we are with these athletes, they have absolutely no idea who we are. Moreover, it can be exhausting dealing with people wanting photos and autographs every time they leave the house – so it’s easy to understand why celebrities don’t always look thrilled to be taking photos with their supporters.
In some instances, as we are about to see, it’s very obvious the sports stars in these photos are less than thrilled about posing, resulting in some hilarious images.
15 Eye Of The Tiger
Eldrick “Tiger” Woods is one of the most famous professional golfers on the planet. Born in Cypress, California, Woods has broken several records over the course of his Hall of Fame-worthy career. He has been listed as the number 1 golfer in the world for the most consecutive weeks, was named the PGA Player of the Year a record-setting 11 times, and led the money list for ten seasons. The 6-foot-1 star has won an impressive 14 majors – trailing only the legendary Jack Nicklaus – who won 18. In 2009, Forbes magazine estimated that Tiger Wood's net worth was around $600 million, making him the wealthiest African-American – except Oprah Winfrey.
This image was taken at the World Golf Championship in Doral, Florida back in March of 2014.
At this event Woods hit, not one, but two fans with golf balls. As the photo indicates, it was a bit of an awkward incident.
Fortunately, neither spectator was seriously injured. Moreover, both men got to go home with a pair of Tiger Woods autographed gloves, along with a great story to tell. That being said, this incident wasn’t one of the golfers finest moments – making it safe to assume that this is a fan photo Tiger Woods didn’t want to be part of.
14 Connor McDavid's Airport Encounter
21-year-old Connor McDavid is a professional hockey player, who currently serves as the team captain for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. He was only 19 years of age when he became captain, making him the youngest player in NHL history to achieve the title. The 6-foot-1 native of Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada was selected first overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. In just his second season in the league, McDavid won the prestigious Art Ross Trophy – an award given to the NHL’s leading scorer during the regular season. That same year, he also took home the Hart Memorial Trophy – an award given to the team’s MVP.
The young Canadian also won the Ted Lindsay Award, having been voted the league’s best player by his peers. In 2017, he signed a record-breaking deal with the Oilers –an 8-year contract worth $100 million – making him the highest paid player in the league at the time. Though his team failed to make it to the postseason in 2018, McDavid was once again a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award.
In this photo, we see two fans who look thrilled to have had their photo taken with the Oiler’s star. However, McDavid looks almost frightened by the encounter.
13 The Boss Is Cross
Mercedes Kaestner-Varnado, known to her fans as Sasha Banks, is a professional wrestler who originally hails from Fairfield, California. At just 26 years of age, Banks has established herself as one of the top female performers in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). She has won the Raw Women’s Championship on 4 separate occasions. Moreover, “The Boss” as she is often referred to by her fans, also captured the NXT Women’s Championship – during her time in developmental. In 2016, Banks, along with her opponent Charlotte Flair, became the first woman in WWE history to headline a pay-per-view at Hell in a Cell. Interestingly enough, Banks isn’t the only celebrity in the family. She has several famous first cousins including legendary rapper Snoop Dogg, singer Brandy Norwood, musician Ray J, and the famous music producer Daz Dillinger. Her husband is Sarath Ton (aka Kid Mikaze) who currently works for WWE as a costume designer.
Sasha Banks was stated publicly on social media that she doesn’t enjoy being approached by wrestling fans when she is traveling.
In this instance, “The Boss” doesn’t look too thrilled about having to stop for this photo opt. On the plus side, while she may not have been happy about it,but at least she allowed the fan to take the picture.
12 Noticing Nate
Nate Diaz is a mixed martial artist who hails from Stockton, California. He is currently signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and usually competes in the lightweight (155 pounds) division. Diaz rose to prominence in 2007, when he won the 5th season of The Ultimate Fighter reality series tournament. The 33-year-old is known as an outspoken bad boy, who isn’t afraid to say, or do, just about anything. The Californian is a well-rounded fighter who holds notable victories over some of the sports top stars like Donald Cerrone, Gray Maynard, and Conor McGregor. Following his victory over Conor McGregor, the most popular fighter in MMA, Diaz established himself as one of the biggest names in the sport. The Stockton native would go on to lose a hard-fought decision in a rematch with McGregor in August of 2016 – he hasn’t fought since. His brother Nick Diaz, who is also signed with UFC, is an outstanding fighter who has beaten legends like B.J. Penn and Frank Shamrock. Nate Diaz’s professional record currently stands at 19-11, having fought some of the best fighters in MMA.
Despite his rough-around-the-edges persona, Diaz has a reputation for being fairly friendly with his fans. That being said, he doesn’t look overly enthusiastic in this photo.
To be fair, it looks like he may have been coming out of a bar or club – so it may have been a long night for the lightweight contender.
11 Kelly Kelly Gets A Hug
Barbie Blank, better known as Kelly Kelly, is a former professional wrestler and reality television star. She signed with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) back in 2006. Kelly was just 19 years of age when she made her on-screen debut – making her the youngest female performer on the roster at the time. She originally appeared on WWE’s ECW brand and primarily performed dance routines on the show. The 5-foot-5 blonde would later go on to become an in-ring performer.
In fact, back in 2011, she even captured the WWE Divas Championship and was one of the company’s top stars for a period.
Her most memorable feuds in WWE were with wrestlers like Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix, Maryse, and Brie Bella. She would later be released by the company in 2012. During the end of her pro wrestling run, Kelly met and began dating, professional hockey player Sheldon Souray. The two would go on to wed in February of 2016. Her relationship with Souray led to the former champ being featured on the E! reality show WAGS – a series that follows the lives of professional athlete’s wives and girlfriends. However, Souray and Kelly officially separated in late 2017.
In this shot, Kelly Kelly is on the receiving end of a hug from a fan who is clearly very happy to see her.
10 Mike Tyson Gets Punched
Considered one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all-time, Brooklyn, New York’s Mike Tyson is one of the most well-known sports figures on the planet. The retired pugilist was known for his powerful punches and erratic behavior both in and out the ring. In his prime, Tyson had a reputation for making short work of his opponents; winning many of his bouts via KO or TKO in the very early rounds. His ferocious punching power helped him earn the nicknames “Kid Dynamite” and “The Baddest Man on the Planet.”
The former world champ lost his first fight in February of 1990 in a bout against a boxer named Buster Douglas. Even today Douglas’s unlikely victory remains one of the biggest upsets in sport’s history. One of the most infamous moments involving Mike Tyson came in June of 1997 in a rematch against Evander Holyfield. During the bout Tyson actually bit a piece of Holyfield’s ear off – causing him to be disqualified. After losing 3 of his last 4 fights, “The Baddest Man on the Planet,” would retire from boxing in 2005, following a loss to journeyman fighter Kevin McBride.
In this shot, it looks as though Mike Tyson is begrudgingly tolerating this guys fist in his face – kind of a bold move on the fans part.
9 Not Impressed
Aliso Viejo, California’s McKayla Maroney is a retired gymnast who best remembered for her appearance in the 2012 Summer Olympics. She was a member of the women’s gymnastics team known as the Fierce Five, which also included stars like Gabby Douglas, Kyla Ross, Jordyn Wieber, and Aly Raisman. Maroney specialized in the vault, an event she won numerous gold medals at the World Championships in. Despite being a heavy favorite to win the vault event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Maroney fell during her landing and thus ended up taking home a silver medal. While standing on the podium to accept her medal, she was photographed with a disappointed look on her face –her mouth pursed to the side.
The expression became known as the “not impressed” face.
The “not impressed” face became the subject of countless online memes. Moreover, the gymnast was even photographed next to U.S. President Barack Obama, with both of them sporting the popular expression. Maroney would undergo knee surgery in 2014 and struggled to compete afterward. She officially retired from the sport in 2016.
Given that McKayla Maroney is famous for making a pouty face, it’s difficult to tell if she doesn’t want to be photographed or if it’s just her “not impressed” face we’re seeing.
8 Hulkamania Running Away
Terry Bollea became one of the biggest stars professional wrestling has ever seen while performing under the ring name Hulk Hogan. Hogan was one of the world’s most well-known entertainer throughout the 1980s and 90s. The 6-foot-7 muscle-bound grappler is 12-time world champ, having held the title in both World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). His feud with Andre The Giant in the mid-80s helped make WrestleMania 3 one of the decade’s most popular sporting event. The 64-year-old also had legendary matches with stars like “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, The Ultimate Warrior, and Sting. In the later part of the 1990s, Hogan experienced a bit of career resurgence when he joined the New World Order (NWO) – the most popular faction in wrestling history. Outside the ring, Hogan has appeared in several films such as Rocky III, Mr. Nanny, and 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain. Hogan became a mainstream star who transcends the world of professional wrestling and has gone on to become a pop culture icon.
Here he see the Hulkster posing with a fan (or perhaps a celebrity the author doesn’t recognize) at the MTV Video Music Awards. The fan appears to be going for the always awkward handshake-elbow rub combo, as Hogan stands with his mouth wide open.
7 Connor On Crutches
Since debuting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) back in April of 2013, Dublin, Ireland’s Connor McGregor has gone on to become the biggest attraction the sport of mixed martial arts has ever seen. He is one of only a handful of fighter who have held world titles in two different divisions, featherweight and lightweight. The Irish brawler holds notable victories over some of the sport’s top stars including Nate Diaz, Eddie Alvarez, and Max Holloway. He famously knocked out featherweight legend Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds to capture his first championship. McGregor recently made headlines when he took boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. (in a boxing match) last August. The Irishman would end up losing the bout to Mayweather but did manage to last almost 10 rounds with the pound-for-pound great. Following the lucrative bout with Mayweather, some fight pundits believe that McGregor may have competed in his last combat sports contest.
After seeing this photo, it’s hard not to feel at least a little bit sorry for the former UFC champ.
The poor guy is standing there on crutches, in his underwear, while being photographed with a fan. The Irish lightweight isn’t even looking in the general direction of the camera – leading one to believe we probably (understandably) wasn’t thrilled about having his picture taken.
6 Laker Ladies
The Los Angeles Lakers are a National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise out of Los Angeles California. The team was founded back in 1947 and was known as the Minneapolis Lakers in those days. The name “Lakers” is a reference to one of Minnesota’s nicknames, the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” The organization would eventually move to Los Angeles in 1960. They decided to keep the team name, despite the fact that it was a reference associated with another state. They are among the most successful franchises in NBA history, having won 16 world titles since they were founded. The Lakers won their very first championship back in 1949 and their most recent in 2010. Among the most well-known players to have ever worn a Lakers jersey are Ervin “Magic” Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Kobe Bryant. A total of 23 former Lakes have been inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.
The Lakers, like most NBA teams, have their own dance squad. These ladies are known as The Lakers Girls. Apparently, based on this photo, being a Laker Girl means having to do appearances at local fast food restaurants and take pictures with fans. Despite her best attempt to smile, the girl on the left clearly isn’t thrilled about being involved in this photo.
5 AJ Goes Along
April Jean Mendez is a former professional wrestler who performed under the ring name AJ Lee. After being trained by current Ring of Honor wrestler Jay Lethal, Lee spent a couple of years on the independent circuit before signing with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). During her run in WWE, the Union City, New Jersey native won the Divas Championship 3 times – with one her reigns lasting an impressive 406 days. Fans may also remember the 31-year-old brunette for her time as the fictional General Manager of Monday Night Raw. She had memorable feuds with female superstars like Paige, The Bella Twins, and Kaitlyn.
Due to an injury and her husband CM Punk's grievances with WWE, Lee abruptly left the company back in 2015. Since retiring, the former champ has published an autobiography entitled Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules. The book ended up being a New York Times Best Seller.
Here we see AJ Lee at a meet and greet during one of her reigns as Divas Champion.
Having to do these types of events is part of being a professional wrestler. This shot shows fans making some interesting faces, while Lee gives an understandably half-hearted thumbs up.
4 Love Shaq
7-foot-1 retired basketball pro Shaquille O’Neal is widely considered one of the greatest players in NBA history. After being drafted number 1 overall in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic, the Newark, New Jersey product quickly established himself as one of the premier centers in the game. Over the course of a career that lasted almost 2 decades, O'Neal was a 15-time All-Star, League MVP, and 3-time NBA Finals MVP. The former center won 3 NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers in the early 2000s and another with the Miami Heat in 2006. He played his final season in 2011 as a member of the Boston Celtics.
In 2016, Shaquille O'Neal was officially elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Outside of basketball the NBA legend has also had some success as an entertainer. He released several rap albums with first effort, Shaq Diesel, even going platinum. The Hall of Famer also starred in several movies including Blue Chips, Kazaam, and Steel.
This fan almost looks like an infant, standing next to the 7-foot-1 All-Star.
While Shaq was nice enough to hold the cell phone and take the photo, his uncomfortable smile is still quite telling.
3 Can I Get In The Car Now?
CM Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, is a retired professional wrestler and current mixed martial artists who is signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He is best known for his stint in World Wrestling Entertainment which lasted from 2005 until 2014. During his time as a sports entertainer, Punk captured the WWE world title on 5-separate occasions, while portraying an anti-establishment character, who didn’t use any drugs or alcohol. The 6-foot-2 Chicago product abruptly left WWE back in 2014, due in part to health issues and creative difference. Since that time he has been training as a mixed martial artist and has even fought in the UFC. In his first MMA bout, he took on a fighter by the name of Mickey Gall and lost the bout decisively via submission in the first round, back in September of 2016. He is scheduled to face journeyman fighter Mike Jackson on June 9, 2018, at UFC 225 in his hometown of Chicago, IL. The straight edge superstar has also co-written several Marvel comic books including Thor and Drax.
Here we see CM Punk, who is getting ready to depart from his hotel, posing for a photo with a fan. Judging by his facial expression, it doesn’t seem like the UFC fighter really wanted to be approached at that time.
2 An Overzealous LeBron James Fan
LeBron James is a professional basketball player who is originally from Akron, Ohio. He was the number 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft and has gone on the have arguably the greatest career in the history of the sport. The 6-foot-8 small forward is a 14-time All-star, 4-time league MVP, and 3-time NBA Finals MVP. He has won 3 NBA Championships over the course of this career; 2 as a member of the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, with another coming as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.
James has also won 3 Olympic medals representing the United States. He helped America win gold medals in 2008 and 2012 respectively, while also taking home bronze in 2004. He was landed numerous endorsement deals with some of the most well-known companies in the world including Nike, Coca-Cola, and McDonald's. These days when fans discuss who the best basketball player ever is (or was), the debate is often narrowed down to Lebron James and Michael Jordan.
In this image, we see an overzealous fan trying to approach James before being restrained by security.
It’s unclear what this fan wanted exactly (perhaps a photo with the star?), but the future Hall of Famer clearly wanted no part of it.
1 Cuddling With Conn0r
At just 21 years of age, the Edmonton Oiler’s Connor McDavid has already had a great deal of success in the NHL. However, he still manages to keep a level head, by not comparing himself to his peers. In a recent interview, he was quoted as saying, “ Guys don't measure themselves against each other. They’re just doing their own thing. That’s the case for me at least,” said McDavid. “You’re obviously paying attention to what other guys are doing. Guys, you looked up to. Guys around your same age. You’re not comparing yourself. It doesn’t really matter.” This is probably why NHL legends like Wayne Gretzky have had such good things to say about the young star. Back in 2016, Gretzky publicly stated, “ I don't think there's any question that Connor's the best 19-year-old hockey player I've ever seen, and I saw (Mark) Messier. I saw (Mario) Lemieux. I saw (Guy) Lafleur," Gretzky said. "This kid is special."
In truth, Connor McDavid often has a sort of deer in the headlights type of facial expression going on. This may be why there are multiple photos of the NHL standout standing next to fans in public, with a slightly awkward look on his face.