Let’s face it, there are few professions that have to deal with media scrutiny more than athletes. They are always being criticized, praised or talked about in some way by the media. This amount of public attention, especially in the modern day, makes it very hard for athletes to keep things a secret or out of the public eye.
This is especially true when it comes to athletes committing crimes. When an athlete is arrested or commits a crime, it is often talked about a ton and is rarely forgotten by the public. For example, people have seemingly not stopped talking about Ricky Williams and his marijuana use and the rape allegations that have followed Kobe Bryant for his entire career.
The focus of this article will be on athletes who have committed terrible crimes, but the crimes have either been forgotten by most of the public or they have not followed the athletes throughout their career like it has with most athletes. Of course, there are a ton of horrific forgotten crimes committed by athletes that don’t appear on this list, but it's impossible to include them all in a list of only 15!
15 Keith Wright
Keith Wright is a former NFL player who was drafted by the Houston Texans, though he most just bounced around practice squads during his time in the NFL. Because he wasn’t a star or a big name, many people forget his time in the NFL, but also his heinous acts off of the field. In 2012, Wright was convicted on a litany of charges including armed robbery and kidnapping. He was sentence to over 200 years in prison for his horrific crimes.
14 Brian McGhee
McGhee is a former WWE superstar who performed under the ring name “DT Porter” and is largely forgotten, but shouldn’t be because of his horrific criminal activity. In 2013, McGhee was allegedly responsible for brutally murdering his estranged girlfriend by stabbing her in the stomach and leaving her to die on the sidewalk. Then, not showing any remorse at all, he took a picture of it and posted it on his Facebook page. He then fled the scene and was on the run, until he was finally apprehended by police after a car chase and crash.
13 Josh Brent
Josh Brent is a former Defensive Lineman for the Dallas Cowboys and was responsible for one of the more terrible crimes in recent NFL memory. In late 2012, Brent was driving drunk with teammate Jerry Brown in the car, going well above the posted speed limit. The inevitable eventually happened and Brent crashed the car, a crash that killed his friend and teammate. This should be a cautionary tale to everyone that drinking and driving is never okay.
12 Johnny Jolly
Johnny Jolly was a successful college and professional Defensive Lineman who played in the NFL for five seasons. His story is unlike most on this list, as his crime wasn’t centered around violence, but is terrible nonetheless. Jolly has been arrested and convicted on numerous drug charges, including possession, evidence tampering and intent to sell/distribute. Though some people may claim that this shouldn’t be on the list, there's no reason this type of crime should be swept under the rug. An NFL player has no reason to double as a drug dealer.
11 Clay Buchholz
Now this next one has been so forgotten that there barely exists any information about it on the internet. Clay Buchholz is a star pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and his crime is without a doubt one of the weirdest on this list. After graduating high school, Buchholz went on to college like any normal student or athlete does. However, once there, Buchholz pulled the ultimate jerk move by returning to his high school, stealing 29 laptops and selling them. This act caused him to be passed on by teams in the draft and (initially, he's making over $12 million this year) lose out on more money than those 29 laptops were worth.
10 Michael Irvin
Michael Irvin was one of the best receivers in NFL history and is still seen by many on TV as an analyst. However, what most people don’t know if that Irvin has a fairly long rapsheet and has gotten in his fair share of trouble. His troubles with the law range from drug possession to falsely being accused of sexual assault, however, those aren't the issues we're discussing here. Back in 1998, Michael Irvin stabbed a teammate, Everett McIver, in the neck with a pair of scissors because he refused to move from his chair at the Barber's. According to ESPN, Jerry Jones paid McIver handsomely to brush this off as horseplay.
9 Adam "Pacman" Jones
Adam Jones is currently playing for the Cincinnati Bengals and was the first defensive player drafted in the 2005 NFL Draft. His immense skills on the field have been evident throughout his career, but Jones simply could not stay out of trouble at the start of his career. Whether it was drugs, assaults or shootings, Jones continued to find himself in precarious situations. In fact, he was suspended nearly two whole NFL seasons for off-field issues. However, he's changed his attitude significantly and has stayed out of the spotlight from quite some time.
8 Jason Kidd
Jason Kidd is not only the current head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, but he's also one of the best point guards of all time. However, what most younger NBA fans aren’t aware of, is that Jason Kidd has not only been arrested for a DUI, but also pled guilty to a much more violent crime. In 2001, Kidd was arrested and pled guilty to domestic abuse charges that stemmed from assaults on his first wife.
7 Dany Heatley
Dany Heatley was once among the most prolific goal scorers in the NHL and was noted as one of the league’s best offensive players. However, in 2003, his life was turned around forever because of his own stupidity. Heatley was responsible for a car accident that killed his friend and teammate Dan Snyder. He wasn’t drinking at the time, but was believed to have been driving extremely fast and then lost control of his vehicle.
6 Lawrence Taylor
Lawrence Taylor was one of the most feared pass rushers in NFL history and is seen by many as one of the best linebackers of all time. Despite his absolute brilliance on the field, Taylor was not such a good guy off of it. During his playing career, he had his fair share of trouble with the law, but his worst came long after his retirement. In 2010, he was arrested for paying 300 dollars to have sex with an underage girl, a move which landed him on the sex offender registry.
5 Alexander Gustafsson
Alexander Gustafsson is a contender in the UFC’s Light Heavyweight division and also gave Jon Jones his toughest fight to date, but before Gustafsson was one of the most respected and talented fan favorites in the UFC, he had a lot of trouble with the law. Gustafsson had numerous arrests for assault as a teenager and even served 15 months in a Swedish prison for inflicting "grievous bodily harm" on someone.
4 Donte Stallworth
Donte Stallworth is a former NFL wide receiver who enjoyed a decent career. However, there exists a huge black spot in his career. In 2009, a drunk Stallworth got behind the wheel of his car and fatally struck a pedestrian. As a result, he was charged with DUI manslaughter. Since then, he has seemed to improve as a man and is doing everything he can to improve his image, but something of this magnitude is not easily forgotten.
3 Floyd Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather is best known as the consensus #1 boxer in the world and the wealthiest athlete in the world. Despite his utter brilliance and mystique in the ring, he is not the most brilliant man outside of it. Mayweather has an extensive history when it comes to domestic violence, even serving jail time for his crimes, which is rare for an athlete. With the numerous charges and the violent nature of his crimes, you would think this would get more attention.
2 Leonard Little
Leonard Little was one of the best and most athletic defensive lineman of the 2000s in the NFL, as a member of the St. Louis Rams. However, he may just have one of the worst rap sheets on this list, which will surprise most fans. After leaving a birthday party in 1998, Little drove his car and killed a woman while intoxicated, at nearly twice the legal limit. In addition to this horrific crime, Little has also been charged with communicating threats, making harassing calls and another DUI.
1 Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson is likely the hardest hitter in combat sports history and also has a reputation for being a bit of a wild card. From his face tattoo to his sometimes crazy interviews, the media loves to talk about Mike Tyson. However, younger fans are likely unaware of some of the awful things he has done or been accused of. He has been accused/arrested for a ton of things ranging from drug use, to DUI, to assault, to sexual assault and domestic abuse.
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