There are plenty of incredibly intelligent athletes. NFL player and Super Bowl champion Richard Sherman is just one example. He speaks well, trash talks with the best of them and started a master's degree in his last year at Stanford. There are plenty of others in the world of sports who prove that not all jocks are dumber than a bag of hammers. With that said, however, there are plenty of athletes who fell out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down.
There are plenty of ways to be stupid. One can be uninformed, uneducated or simply unintelligent. These are all different sides of a similar shameful coin. Social media is one of the best ways in which we can all gawk in awe at the stupidest the world has to offer. Between kids who post unnecessary and uncomfortably personal nonsense on Facebook and celebrities who get it completely wrong on Twitter, social media is a symphony of ignorance and downright lunacy.
Among the most heavily followed in the world of social media are professional athletes. Sports fans follow them because they are heroes and inspirational figures, and in some cases that's a problem, because charisma and skill doesn't necessarily indicate intelligence. There are some athletes who are a few clowns short of a circus and when they get their hands on a social media account, it really is something special. Here are fifteen athletes whose social media presences are serious forces in the ongoing dumbing down of the world.
Some of these will be one time offenders whose single blunders are so stupid we feel they have done more damage than lead paint in schools, while others will be consistently absurd or ridiculous offenders and some are just here because they have such a poor lack of language skills that reading their typing probably kills more brain cells than two bottles of Bacardi 151 on an empty stomach. Either way, sit back and enjoy the ride through this beautiful field of stupidity.
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15 Johnny Manziel
He's basically a prototypical flop former Heisman winning quarterback. A decent amount of speed, along with an alright arm, but no confidence in the pocket and an explosively unprofessional attitude and ego are just some of the factors in his slowly progressing downfall.
Between the self-obsessed Twitter feed and the Instagram pictures documenting a frat-boy lifestyle, any young athlete who looks up to Manziel and follows him on social media needs to attend a seminar on every reason he is failing as a professional athlete. All of the subject matter for such a seminar can be found on his Instagram; where he hangs out with other celebrities and plays catch on jet-skis. He documents his time-wasting habits and has next to nothing showing that he actually works on his football skills. Maybe that's because he doesn't. In short, his social media presence stands as a helpful guide for "how not to succeed in the NFL" but is likely just going to end up as a blueprint for other future egomaniac college athlete busts. He's claimed that he's recently changed his ways and even entered rehab to regain his focus. For the sake of Browns fans, let's hope it worked.
14 Stevie Johnson
In November 2010, while still with the Buffalo Bills, receiver Stevie Johnson dropped a pass in the end zone that would have won their game over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He tweeted after the game :
Rt @StevieJohnson13 I PRAISE YOU 24/7! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS? HOW? ILL NEVER FORGET THIS! EVER! THX THO..— opie radio (@OpieRadio) November 29, 2010
That's right folks, it wasn't his hands, it was God's fault. Blaming God for his missed catch is about the dumbest, most childish thing an athlete could do. On the other hand, God may just be a Steelers fan. Or maybe, just maybe, God doesn't exist, or if he does, he just doesn't care about football. Who knows, but no matter what the true reality of the situation, this is stupid and more than a bit funny.
13 Cristiano Ronaldo
There's never anything particularly offensive about the soccer star's social media presence, but it is obvious that he just doesn't care about most of what is posted. His social media accounts exist because people love him. He's talented and good looking, and as such, over 30 million people follow him. With a consistent market of that many worshiping fans, everything he posts is intended to sell something. Thus, every last photo and tweet is a half-assed sales pitch.
12 Chris Culliver
If you're already noticing an abundance of football player on this list...yep, they can be pretty ignorant sometimes. Chris Culliver is among the worst out there but he seems to have learned his lesson after some stupid Twitter and Instagram posts a couple of years ago. He famously said before the Super Bowl in 2013 that he would not wants a gay teammate. Just months later, he posted a vulgar conversation on Instagram in which he used "bitch" and "ho" in place of "woman." He has also posted homophobic remarks and slurs on Twitter. So, he has a vast array of offensive things to say on social media.
11 Michael Beasley
When it comes to NBA players, Michael Beasley is not generally recognized as one of the sharpest in the league. He's also a fairly prolific pothead and has been arrested for possession a few times. Back in 2009, his worst social media blunder occurred, when he tried to take a picture of his new back tattoo in his bathroom, but had a bag of marijuana in the picture as well. He checked into a rehab facility for a couple of days after the incident.
10 Darnell Dockett
Former tackle, now defensive end, Darnell Dockett is known for exemplifying some impressive confidence (as most NFL players do). He is also no fan of authority, keeps many firearms (all legally) and has no patience for people who want to invade his privacy. During a traffic stop four years ago, he live tweeted his experience. It was awesome, but were he not a famous football player, he may have gotten himself shot.
Here are his tweets from that experience.
“I don’t know why the police always messing w/me I’m never gonna let them search my car with out a search warrant! No matter what!”
“Police sitting here waiting on back up cuz I told them YOU NOT SEARCHING MY CAR! PERIOD! & now I’m sitting here! Owell I aint got sh*t 2 do!”
“There R 3police cars and they are talking! I don’t see A search warrant they won’t see inside this escalade! I got all day hope they don’t!”
“Police said “do you mind if we look around in your Vehicle?” I said I sure DO! He said “I’m gonna call back up” I said u wanna use my phone?”
“I think they (POLICE) going to get a search warrant cuz they sitting here looking like fools waiting on something!”
“These COPS really think I’m stupid they playing good cop bad cop! BOY STOOOOP! I’m not falling for that! NO SIR YOU WILL NOT LOOK IN MY CAR!”
“This cop just ask me how tall R u & where R U from! I’m bout to ask him can I go across the street to POPEYS while we sitting here waiting!”
“I been sitting here for a HOUR 1cop by the driver window, 2talking at the car! And the 1by the window being friendly! Like wtf?”
“I asked the cop why he pulled me over he said I was speeding I said BULLSHIT! But give me the ticket that’s when he asked to search my car!”
“So you gonna lie and say I’m speeding then you wanna search my car! Get the F*ck ouutta here! Better go get a warrant *turns up radio*”
“OK so now I think they letting me Go cop just brought my DL’s and registration! Yeah I’m bout to be out this MOFO!”
“No ticket and I didn’t get punk by PO-PO today now I’m off to my 2nd work out! Police aint searchig my sh*t with no warrant “holla at me”!”
9 Raffi Torres and Tyler Bozak
Why list these two together? Because they share one very stupid social faux pas on their records. They went to Halloween parties dressed as black celebrities and painted their faces. This is known as "blackface" and is generally frowned upon in society. Whether the outrage about this type of thing is warranted, neither meant any harm or racial insensitivity, but intent is rarely taken into consideration when trying to publicly shame an athlete.
Bozak went as Michael Jackson in 2012 and Torres dressed up like Jay-Z in 2011. Both are fans of the celebs they tried to emulate, but both caught hell for their stupidity.
8 LeSean McCoy
I love the NFL but leave it to one of their players to turn their Twitter feed into an episode of Jerry Springer. Back in 2013, McCoy and his "baby mama" had a pretty vicious war on Twitter over child support, among other things. He called her all sorts of names, called her stupid, and insulted her and her family. She implied that he had herpes and that his male parts were smaller than average. He deleted his Twitter account briefly in the wake of this event. Obviously, it's not completely on Shady for this one, but he should never have even taken the bait.
Earlier in 2015, he got in more social media related trouble. This time he posted an invitation to a females only private party. Potential attendees were required to provide a picture and sign a confidentiality agreement. People pointed out that this essentially sounded like an orgy. He deleted the picture, but the damage was done.
7 Paraskevi Papachristou
I love offensive and crude comments as much as the next 20-something male without a conscience, but anyone who makes a racist comment on Twitter prior to the biggest competition of their life is also a few clowns short of a circus. Greek track star Paraskevi Papachristou, who was set to compete in triple jump and long jump back at the London Olympics in 2012.
Prior to the start of those games, she tweeted (translated) "With so many Africans in Greece... the West Nile mosquitoes will at least eat homemade food!!!" This was a reference to African refugees in Greece. Needless to say, it did not go over well. What did she think would happen?
6 Yuri Wright
This is a case of sadness and extreme stupidity. Yuri Wright is playing cornerback at Colorado right now but just a few years ago he was one of the highest ranked corners in the country. This was back in high school. This was back in 2012 when many young people had apparently yet to realize that things posted on Twitter can be seen by anyone.
He posted a series of tweets so offensive that Michigan stopped recruiting him and shortly after the controversy, he committed to Colorado. Most of the tweets were sexual in nature; but the tamest one was "I hate b****** that are weed wh****. You know the b****** that would basically do anything just for a light up."
He tweeted one anti-Semitic comment, a couple of racial ones but all the rest had to do with female genitalia.
5 Mike Wallace
The Minnesota Vikings' new deep threat has a history of voicing an impressive labyrinth of stupidity that has cooled off in recent years but was in full swing until he made a homophobic remark in mid 2013. He would post nonsense lik, "Red Rum spelled backwards that's coffin for ninjas," "Man u dnt knw nothing bout crawfish, I love me some crawfish" and a real classic, "Lol why everybody on twitter wanna be a English teacher I can write however I want I guarantee ima lot smarter than a lot of yall."
In 2013 he tweeted "All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys SMH...". He later claimed that he "don't have anything against anyone" but if I'm not mistaken "SMH" means "so much hate" or "shake my head," neither of which are acceptable when speaking about LGBT rights.
4 Chad Johnson/Ochocinco
He was once the most outspoken receiver in the NFL, but after being ineffective in the Canadian Football League, Chad Johnson is retired, but he just hasn't admitted it yet. His social media present earned him some serious notoriety a few years ago, adding to his reputation as a smack-talker.
He once threatened to punch someone in the armpit on Twitter. In 2010 he was fined $25,000 for tweeting on the sidelines during a game. He mocked the league, tweeting "Dear NFL, I apologize for tweeting during the game but that was two months of my Bugatti payments you took from me, I won't do it again". Those two were just the tip of the iceberg, as Johnson has always had a hilarious but tragically stupid Twitter account.
3 Cappie Pondexter
Back in 2011, there was a massive earthquake and then tsunami that hit Japan. Over 15,000 people were killed and, of course, some athlete had to say the last thing that should have been said. Cappie Pondexter is one of the most decorated players in WNBA history but March 2011 was not her finest hour.
She tweeted "What if God was tired of the way they treated their own people in there own country! Idk guys he makes no mistakes." Then she said, "u just never knw! They did pearl harbor so u can't expect anything less." If you can't read that, she said, in essence, "maybe Japan deserved it, they attacked the U.S. in 1941."
After some uproar, she offered up the poorest excuse for an apology that included calling herself a strong enough woman to apologize and claiming that everything, including disasters, happen for a reason. This, children, is not how one apologizes.
2 Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan's recent racist tirade may well be the start of the end for the veteran wrestler. Doesn't matter who you are, nobody can get away with dropping that many "hard R" N-bombs.
His Twitter feed, however, has been a showcase for what can happen when a sightly out of touch old man tries to keep up with the younger generations. A couple of months ago, someone tweeted a picture of Madeleine McCann, requesting a retweet from Hogan, claiming it was his niece who was a fan. She was of course a British child who disappeared from a hotel in Portugal. It was an incredibly tasteless joke, but the old fella took it at face value.
Three years ago, he retweeted a gent who claimed to have been with his daughter Brooke. He used some slang terminology that Hulk didn't get apparently.
1 Rashard Mendenhall
Rashard Mendenhall isn't a stupid man and now contributes to the writing side of the HBO show Ballers, which makes this entry extremely surprising.
Back in 2011, he posted what probably still stands as one of the dumbest things ever belched onto Twitter. It was shortly after the death of Osama Bin Laden was announced and he pondered:
What kind of person celebrates death? It's amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We've only heard one side...— Rashard Mendenhall (@R_Mendenhall) May 2, 2011
He then posted a Tweet that seemed like a 9/11 conspiracy theory.
Fans, critics, and people who didn't even like football immediately entered a blind rage. Nationalism like that in the United States can really unite people. Before it was Bin Laden, it was Saddam Hussein, before him it was Ho Chi Minh, and before Vietnam it was Adolf Hitler. This is a brief and incomplete list of people that should not be defended by American athletes on social media.
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