Sports are supposed to be entertaining, and part of being entertaining sometimes includes making fun of the athletes. Sure, people buy the tickets to watch top-level performers from all across the globe compete in professional leagues because they want to see the sport they are watching played at the highest level. Nevertheless, the little things are what really make it worth it. What would the NBA be without someone getting embarrassed by getting dunked on are having their ankles broken? What would baseball be without the occasional hit by pitch and base collisions? What would water polo be without wardrobe malfunctions? You see where we are going with this, right?
Embarrassing moments are about as much part of a sport as are glorious moments. While the athletes are always interested in the glory of victory and championships, all the fans want is to be entertained. That can come in a variety of ways. We have made several lists in which we point out memorable occasions in which athletes have risen through hardships to become the best at what they do. Let’s do something a little different today. Today, we are going to take a long look at some of the most embarrassing moments both male and female athletes have had to live through during their professional careers. From players who take to the courts individually in tennis, to the entertainers in the WWE, we have a little bit of it all. Everything is fair game here, people, so sit back and relax because this is going to be entertaining.
20 Gals: Surfing Problems
Water and clothes are not usually a good mixture. That is unless your objective is to wash your clothes. Otherwise, jumping into the water with gear that is not exactly appropriate for that environment is pretty much asking mother nature to gift you an embarrassing moment.
Male athletes sure have their problems with wardrobe malfunctions and all the embarrassment that comes along with those. At the same time, the things they go through do not come even close to what happens to female athletes. Sometimes, a gal might even be wearing proper gear for her sport and still end up showing a little more than she and her parents wished she did. This is precisely what seems to have happened to Australian surfer Stephanie Gilmore in this picture.
19 Guys: Baseball Is Dangerous
If anyone ever tries to tell you that baseball is not a dangerous sport, don’t buy into their BS. Sure, America’s pastime does not have as much contact as football or basketball. But that doesn’t mean baseball is not dangerous. First, have you ever gotten hit with a baseball ball? That thing hurts. More than that, the sport becomes really dangerous as soon as the game starts heating up and players begin sliding towards bases. More often than not, you usually will come out with a bruise or two, but here is one particular instance in which both players came out with their dignity taking a good hit.
We sure feel for the guy who smacked face-first into Brandon Phillips’s butt. Still, you have got to feel for Phillips. No one should have to go through this kind of personal space invasion.
18 Gals: Our New Favorite Sport
When people talk about gymnastics, usually during the few minutes it stays on televisions whenever there is an Olympics around the corner, we get the sense that this is a sport full of grace. It doesn’t have much to do with power. No, gymnasics seems to be the kind of competition you rely on your grace, athleticism and poise to get points and put a medal on your chest.
It turns out that gymnastics can be one of the most hilarious sports to watch if you can see it through the lens of a photographer. It all happens very quickly, but when you look at it frame by frame, the faces these athletes make are hilarious. Just imagine the kind of strain this gymnast is going through here.
17 Guys: Was There Even a Flag?
One of the most controversial rules in the NFL is the roughing the passer penalty. You need to look at it from both sides in order to get a good sense of what is right and what is wrong with the rule. The league is a quarterback-driven league, and we understand the need to protect these guys. At the same time, if you are a defensive end, whose sole job is destroying the quarterback, you will unavoidably think that this is the worst rule ever created for football.
That being said, we do believe there is a limit to everything. The guy should be allowed to hit the quarterback in certain circumstances, but we do not condone people going as far as this kind of roughing the passer.
16 Gals: Synchronized Pain
Since we are on a roll talking about graceful sports, why not throw in a hat and leave our little tribute to synchronized swimming? It is kind of funny how the sports that seem to take the least physical toll on their athletes might actually be the ones that hurt the most. For example, we really believe there would be a massive controversy if we were to put it to a vote if you would rather get hit in the stomach with a baseball or get tackled by a college-level linebacker. There is a guaranteed debate that is going to come out of that one. At the same time, you would never imagine something painful happening to you if you were practicing synchronized swimming.
Well, do you know who does not agree with that assumption? This lady right here.
15 Guys: Champ?
First and foremost, we feel direly in need of apologizing to you for putting this picture up here. And yet, we are not sorry at all because this is one of the funniest and most embarrassing photos in the history of all of sports. Just picture this: boxing is one of those sports in which machismo reigns supreme. You are not going to be a good boxer if you are not “a real man.” At least, that’s what many people thought until this gem of a cross-dressing Oscar De La Hoya went viral on the Internet.
There are some things in life that you just cannot put a price tag on. This is one of them. When did you ever think that you would see a picture of a legendary boxer with a 39-6 record, boxing in cross-dresser gear?
14 Gals: Old-School
Another sport in which we would not usually imagine athletes having problems with wardrobe malfunctions and embarrassing moments is tennis. At least, that connection is not immediately made inside our heads. When we think tennis, we just picture Serena Williams smashing a yellow ball as hard as she can. But there’s a lot more to tennis than that. It is a sport of finesse rather than strength.
However, this is also a sport in which wardrobe malfunctions do happen, and while they might not be as blatant as the stuff that happens in water sports, there are some pretty embarrassing ones. Well, embarrassing for the athletes, because for us the grand majority of these are just hilarious. This one, for example, shows you what can only be called a “classic” wardrobe malfunction.
13 Guys: Is That A Point Deduction?
Wrestling is one of the oldest sports known to us, as it goes all the way back to the first Olympics, but we're not sure this is what they had in mind when inventing the sport. Look, when you're tussling on the ground with another competitor and aiming for a takedown, a pin or a hold, you're bound to grab something you didn't want to. Well, the man on top here seems to be aware of what he's touching and is wondering whether to recoil in disgust or finish the move. The unfortunate recipient here is probably thinking 'this isn't what I signed up for'. When these guys are telling their grandkids all about their wrestling careers, they definitely won't be bringing this up.
12 Gals: What Is Even Happening Here?
Well, it is official, synchronized swimming has just become the weirdest sport in the history of the world. And yes, we are counting that southeastern Asian soccer-volleyball hybrid sport where they bicycle-kick a hacky sack to each other. The first reason for that is because unless you are someone who is really into the sport and practiced it in your youth, or still practice it, there is a good chance you have no idea what is really going on in a synchronized swimming competition. Let’s just say that the average person knows about as much as they do about the judging of a synchronized swimming competition as they do in a figure skating competition. Perhaps even less.
But even if you do understand, please just try to explain to us: what the hell is going on here?
11 Guys: The Butt Fumble
While some other athletes on this list are going to be remembered for far more than one embarrassing moment, this is the one play that Mark Sanchez will ever be remembered for. In a Thanksgiving blowout dished out to the Jets by the New England Patriots, Sanchez had just about the biggest trainwreck of a play you could imagine. On a busted play, Sanchez attempted to run for a first down, only for him to bump his face right into the rear end of his offensive lineman. The force of the hit caused Sanchez to fall back, lose the ball and see the Patriots return it for a touchdown. That one play can sum up just how things have gone for the Pats, and how they've gone for the Jets in the past 15 years.
10 Gals: Cheerleading Is a Sport
It doesn’t matter what people try to say. If someone considers chess a sport, cheerleading has to be considered a sport. Sure, you probably won’t make huge amounts of money doing it as you would playing football or another big-league professional sport, but it still looks more like a sport than, let’s say, CrossFit. Either way, cheerleaders are some of the most hilarious people involved in any kind of sports. Just like the WWE, they are there to entertain. And somehow cheerleaders seem to have a way of turning any crowd around. Be it with their dance moves, their beauty, or the fantastic bloopers that go viral when they make a mistake.
And since we are talking about cheerleading bloopers, we can only imagine both of these women on top were dropped given the faces their teammates are making.
9 Guys: Rugby Problems
Rugby and football are two of the most vicious sports out there. There are a few main differences between the two, however. The most apparent difference is that rugby players do not use the amount of protective gear that their football counterparts do. That has to allow them more freedom of movement, but it also probably makes the game hurt a lot more. Nevertheless, there is one other thing that makes rugby different from football. One Google search is all you will need to corroborate the idea that rugby players are some of the athletes most prone to wardrobe malfunctions.
You have to respect the guys who try to stop their opponents with any given strategy. Still, it is hard to think we would like to watch a sport where images like this are about as typical as tries (touchdowns).
8 Gals: Is It Windy?
It never hurts to keep mentioning that wardrobe malfunctions are some of the most embarrassing things that can happen to an athlete. Even with an athlete as amazing as Venus Williams, a loyal fan following will keep bugging you forever if you end up becoming the victim of a wardrobe malfunction. They could happen in any sport. Venus Williams was a victim of this wardrobe malfunction back in 2010 that speaks for itself.
The only people who had it right were the ancient Greeks, who competed naked so they wouldn’t have to worry about this. Don’t judge us on our history lesson, but whether that was true or not matters little, since there are a few sports that should take the ancient Greek approach to their competition gear.
7 Guys: The Hogan Crisis
Sometimes, it might be better for athletes just to be known for what they do in their respective sports. No person has proven that statement true more than Hulk Hogan. There are so many embarrassing things Hulk Hogan has done outside of the wrestling ring that we had to contain ourselves only to put a couple of them on this list. We won’t even get into the whole sex tape scandal that made a pretty big dent in Hogan’s career.
But even with those things concerned, the weirdest and most damning thing about Hulk Hogan really seems to be his peculiar relationship with his daughter, Brooke. Far from us trying to imply anything, it is just that some of the things that Hulk and Brooke do in public are just plain creepy.
6 Gals: No Words
Yeah, wardrobe malfunctions are embarrassing. People punching you in the wrong place is embarrassing, many other things are embarrassing in the world of sports. However, few things are as embarrassing as someone literally turning their place of work into a toilet. No, we are not kidding, not too long ago a UFC fighter found out that you should probably head to the bathroom before every single fight, or you run the risk of pooping your pants and the entire octagon if you get hit hard enough.
In what was arguably one of the most disgusting and embarrassing happenings in the history of sports, Justine Kish was getting pounded by Felice Herrig, and at some point, her bowels just gave in. A truly unforgettable moment for everyone who was watching at home and especially those who were near that octagon.
5 Guys: Tom Brady and the Waterslide
What is scarier, a 300-pound linebacker rushing at full speed towards you, or the tallest waterslide at your local water park? Well, believe it or not, it seems that for Tom Brady the right answer is the second one. This guy has been known throughout his entire career for maintaining his cool while being pass rushed by some of the biggest men in this freaking world. Nevertheless, when someone snapped a picture of Tom Brady going down a water slide the whole world got to see the terror on his face.
We are sure Brady tried to play it cool afterward, as he does with everything else. But one quick look at this picture shows you just how he was scared like a teenage girl going down that waterslide.
4 Gals: Real Football
One of the most annoying things for sports fans worldwide is the age-old discussion of what is real football. For Americans, real football is the one you play with the oval ball and only kick it when you are giving possession back to your opponent. For the rest of the world, real football is Association Football. You know, the game that was invented by the British back in the day and went on to become the most popular sport in the world?
We, however, have a different opinion. People can keep Association football and American football and say they have the real thing. But when it comes to embarrassing moments, no football will ever come close to the one they play in the Legends Football League (previously known as the Lingerie Football League). The only surprising thing here is that this is not the most popular sport in the world.
3 Guys: The Mug Shot
There are a lot of types of embarrassing pictures of athletes we can find on the Internet. Still, it is really hard to beat a mug shot. Sure, in some places there might be people who are proud of being arrested and showing how against the establishment they are. That, however, is not the case with most athletes. Especially a guy who plays golf for a living. Getting arrested is about the worst thing that can happen to you, and when it happens in front of the whole world, it becomes that much more of an embarrassing situation.
It is not like Tiger’s life was going smoothly either. The guy was exposed as a serial cheater to the whole world, his wife left him, as did his golf game. Getting arrested for a DUI was just yet another of Tiger’s many problems.
2 Gals: Stage Fright
We can’t believe that during all these years Vince McMahon never thought to tell his daughter that she should not eat Mexican food before a WWE event. All jokes aside, this is arguably one of the most embarrassing moments of the McMahon family in the entire history of the WWE. And that is quite the call we are making here because there were many embarrassing McMahon moments. Still, when it comes to pictures and females, this rushed exit by Stephanie McMahon back in 2014 was nothing short of legendary.
In case you are not familiar with this occasion, just take a closer look at the lower part of Stephanie’s dress. You know how they say that a picture is worth a thousand words? The WWE can try to explain this anyway they want, but we all know what that stain on the back of her dress was. Yuck.
1 Guys: Classic Gronk
We are sure Rob Gronkowski has told people to kiss his backside more times than any of us could possibly count. But we never imagined that it happened for real once. Gronkowski was doing what he does best, catching a pass from Tom Brady and trucking past everyone who tried to get in his way. Then comes Rashaan Melvin, who desperately wanted to stop this touchdown that was about to happen.
But how do you take a guy like Gronkowski down? If you tackle him on the torso, he is just going to brush you aside, and you are probably going to end up hurt. The only place left for a tackle is the lower body, most specifically, the legs. Unfortunately for Melvin, he aimed a little bit too high and ended up getting a sniff of something we are sure he didn’t want to.