There is something in the persona of the typical athlete that enjoys pushing things to the absolute limit, and it is certainly the case that those who are able to reach the highest levels of sport have a penchant for pushing their bodies well past what most would consider a natural line of demarcation. Athletes tend to have extreme personalities that help them achieve their athletic goals, but these personality traits also contribute to getting them into a fair share of trouble as well.
Most athletes are comfortable with more risk than the average person, as anyone who has enjoyed any measure of success has had to feel comfortable with facing failure as well. Combine this lack of risk-aversion with the relative youth of many professional athletes and you have a recipe for extreme behavior. It should therefore not be much of a surprise that an athlete’s habit of pushing things to the limit sometimes spills over onto the highway.
Big-money contracts lead to big-money sports cars, and what’s the point in having a vehicle that is built for speed if you never floor the accelerator and see what speeds are capable of being reached? While it is quite a common desire to push a vehicle to its absolute limit, it is also quite dangerous, and sometimes deadly. Promising athletes have perished as a result, as Steve Prefontaine flipped his gold MG before he was able to earn the Olympic gold that was all but certain in his future, and Oscar Taveras’ career was recently cut far too short after a tragic accident in the Dominican Republic.
There are many cautionary tales, but that has not stopped athlete after athlete from getting into their sports car and seeing just how much speed they can get away with. The following 10 athletes are some of the most recent examples of athletes driving far too fast, with some managing to reach speeds so excessive that even a seasoned veteran of Formula 1 racing would blush.
10 Shonn Greene
9 Aroldis Chapman
8 Andre Drummond
Drummond was fortunate for not being caught while speeding, but he did make the mistake of being just a bit too willing to share when he posted a picture of his dashboard to SnapChat. The photo -- which was ostensibly taken by Drummond while he was driving -- shows the Detroit Pistons big man behind the wheel of his Mercedes while the speedometer reads “96” and appears to be trending up toward 97. Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy wasn’t all too thrilled, telling Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, "I know you're young and you think you're indestructible, but for the people that care about you, it's scary as hell." Drummond apologized for the incident, saying to Ellis, "It was a silly mistake. I'll own up to it and move on from here. It won't happen again."
7 Michael Turner
6 Tim Jennings
5 Jayson Werth
The image of Werth -- whose bushy beard and long locks are so recognizable that the Washington Nationals are giving away a Jayson Werth chia pet this summer -- driving a Porsche GT3 RS seems just a bit incongruous, especially given the fact that the outfielder has been compared to a werewolf so often that he once used Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” as his walk-up music.
4 Yasiel Puig
3 Tyreke Evans
2 Karim Benzema
1 Milan Baros
There must be something about footballers that makes them prone to speeding excessively, as the Banik Ostrava and Czech National Team striker was clocked going 168 mph in Lyon, France. And while athletes generally work very hard to break as many records as possible, the record that Baros owns is probably not what he had in mind when he entered the world of professional soccer. According to Jalopnik.com, while driving his Ferrari 430, Baros set a record for his 168-mph speed violation, which was the fastest ever recorded in Lyon, France. Baros was going so fast that he perplexed the officer, who saw the rate of speed and initially thought his radar was not functioning properly. Baros was forced to take a taxi home after being pulled over, but he can at least take heart in the fact that he annihilated the previous speeding record of 154 mph, which was set by a motorcyclist in 2000.
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