Before Holly Holm gave Ronda Rousey an ass whooping in Melbourne, you couldn’t hear enough about the UFC star. She was here, there and everywhere and none of it was a mistake. She wanted to be visible and she wanted to be heard. Fast forward a couple of months and that roundhouse to the neck has shut Rousey up real quick. Wouldn’t it be nice if some other athletes in sports copped the same treatment?
Of course we have to preface what we say by acknowledging a lot of the great charity work these people do and their visibility helps their sport no end. But let’s be honest, some mornings when you open up the newspaper you read the same quotes from the same obnoxious idiots and it makes you want to scream!
If every sportsman or woman treated the media like Bill Belichick or Gregg Popovich then hundreds of thousands of people who cover sports would be out of a job. Imagine a world where that was the standard of copy editors would get on their desks everyday. Question: “How did you see the game coach?” Answer: “I don’t know, you tell me.”
There’s a fine line between giving an honest opinion and becoming the rent-a-quote loud mouth no one wants to hear from. While it comes with the territory in the WWE and other sports that require a bit of character to sell tickets, these egos would be better advised to stick to what they do and shut the hell up. Without even realizing the error of their ways, it damages their reputation because it tells the world they’re willing to put themselves ahead of the collective. No “I” in team and all that.
Here are the top 15 athletes we wish would get with the program and zip it.
15. Adrian Peterson
When Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was banned by the NFL for child abuse, the public backlash was swift and universal. Only those without a sense for common good and blind Minnesota fans had the gumption to question the ruling, but the penny didn’t really seem to drop on the man himself. Whether it was talking to the press or posting messages on social media to tell the world that AP looks after number one, Peterson would come out with such gems as, “I’ve been working out hard keeping my body in shape,” “resilience is what I’m about. I run angry,” and “adversity makes me hungrier.” And that stupid meme face, why does he do any of it? Shut up Peterson!
14. Cesc Fabregas
“We let the club down. We let the manager down. Mourinho is the best coach in the world. I never went behind his back.” Blah blah blah blah. Yes if you believe everything you read then Spanish playmaker Cesc Fabregas was the perfect choir boy sitting in the corner minding his own business when the manager got the sack. When former Chelsea player and insider Pet Nevin let slip on the BBC that it was (allegedly) Fabregas who told the media anonymously that he would rather lose than win for Mourinho, then the mother of all legal storms erupted and the Scot was forced into an apology. Cesc has always been on the front foot in the media over this fiasco and it looks to be a case that he protests a little too much.
13. Serena Williams
Few divide opinion like Serena Williams. Poverty and tragedy provides a conflicted backdrop for an athlete on top of the world, but there are moments where her ego has unveiled a side of her personality that would best be kept behind closed doors. If it’s not a Nike advert or a poster promoting a new top or perfume, Williams is telling the world, “If anything, you know, I think losing makes me even more motivated.” Or, “My smile is my favorite part of my body. I think a smile can make your whole body.” What? Aside from being a sore loser on the court, very little of what she says makes sense.
12. Tom Brady
Being the poster child of the NFL comes with a huge amount of media duties. It’s not his fault that the quotes come thick and fast, but frankly we’re sick of hearing from him about everything in Tom Brady’s world. “I could talk food all day. I love good food.” Or, “Wanna know which ring’s my favorite? The next one.” Wow, real deep Tom. Deflategate started to wear the relationship a little thin coming out every spare second to defend his multi-million dollar image and before long you just wish he stuck a less-than-pumped-up ball in his gob to shut it.
11. Kevin Garnett
What makes athletes think they’re some kind of 21st Century philosophers? NBA veteran Kevin Garnett is long enough in the tooth to know better, as his career of trash talking opponents is getting a little old. Aside from the comically ridiculous quote, “We have to do the impossible, but it is possible,” KG has spoken other words of wisdom down the years. “Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary.” Umm, how does that help Adidas sell more shoes? Stick to your day job buddy.
10. Odell Beckham Jr.
No one else can take a catch in the end zone like him and no one else can try and pin responsibility on others like him too. When OBJ was suckered into an ego battle with Josh Norman and a baseball bat, he tweeted two words to say “the truth.” The Giants wide receiver fell hook, line and sinker to the Panthers mind games as the man known as “the brand” in his inner circle became embroiled in a controversy that put himself before the team. OBJ is never short of a quote but at this stage he’d better off keeping his thoughts offline.
9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
The joke got old real quick. Unless you’re not up on the cult of Zlatan, the Swiss striker has made a habit out of comparing himself to God by imitating Muhammad Ali in a very European way. “We usually say you cannot become a legend before death. But I am a living legend.” The quotes are endless, particularly when he was asked what he got his wife for his birthday, he replied, “Nothing, she already has Zlatan.” When he started using his first name as a verb, it got out of hand. It was funny the first time, now he won’t shut up.
8. Joey Barton
The Burnley bad boy has quickly faded into irrelevance in the second tier of English football, but it doesn’t change the fact we wish he would shut up. It would help if the BBC stopped hiring him as a pundit for starters. It’s any wonder he got the job in the first place with quotes such as, “I will gladly go to jail in the name of free speech,” and “England did nothing in that World Cup, so why were they bringing books out? ‘We got beat in the quarter-finals. I played like s***. Here’s my book.’” At least they were good enough to go in the first place Joey.
7. LeBron James
Another NBA player, another philosopher on our hands. If LeBron isn’t walking and talking his game on the court, he’s delivering pearls of wisdom through various marketing campaigns around the world. “I like criticism, it makes you strong.” “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” “I treated it like every day was my last day with a basketball.” All a bit morbid LeBron, stick to playing ball and leave the quotes out of it.
6. Floyd Mayweather
After the first few years the bravado was tolerable. Now even in retirement Floyd Mayweather comes off as an insufferable buffoon throwing around his stacks of cash in an attempt to stay relevant. It spoke volumes about his eagerness to talk for a living that he got on great with Stephen A Smith leading into the Manny Pacquiao fight as the trash talking went through the roof. No humility is a poor quality in a person and the constant barbs in the media are too much to handle.
5. Richard Sherman
There are moments when the lack of filter on Richard Sherman is a good thing. No, it’s a great thing. Like when he called out people using the term “thug” to replace the ‘n’ word to racially vilify African American players. Brilliant. But the rest of the antics and quotes make him a parody of a footballer. The most absurd of them has to be when he said, “I don’t want to be an island. I want to be a tourist attraction. You come, I take your money and you go.” Come on Sherman, you’re better than that.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo
Anyone vein enough to say, “Maybe they hate me because I’m too good” has some serious issues going on. The brilliantly insecure Cristiano Ronaldo is yet another superstar whose been sucked into the Nike vortex whereby everything he comes out with has been read over with a fine-toothed comb and put through a PR machine time and time again. “Your love makes me strong. Your hate makes me unstoppable.” Yes that quote is actually attributed to the Portuguese as he trades big dollars on his inflated ego.
3. Johnny Manziel
The party boy Browns flop Johnny Manziel at least talks a good game, sometimes. “If people aren’t laughing at your goals, your goals are too small.” Well Johnny boy, we’d love to just be laughing at your goals and nothing else because the most underachieving franchise in football has put all their chips and you and the results are pitiful. He’s spoken of his love for his school and a burning desire to win a championship, but what does it matter when he can’t be responsible off the field? Put a can in it Johnny.
2. Conor McGregor
If the Irish bulldog isn’t goading fighters into the ring or trash talking them on television, he’s out promoting brand McGregor. He’s become bigger than Ben Hur in many respects as the bearded warrior continues to make himself visible in the press. “I think sharp and I dream big.” “Doubt is only removed by action. If your not working then that’s where doubt comes in.” “Be passionate. Be optimistic. Be grateful.” How about being quiet Conor, every consider that? Think it over for a New Year’s resolution.
1. Tyson Fury
Don’t take our word for it, newly crowned heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury is an absolute Neanderthal lunatic hell bent on castigating every person of different color, creed, sexual orientation or gender to him. His fame has brought to light an array of outrageous quotes he’s given the press over the years. He’s called Wladimir Klitschko a “devil-worshipper,” said with a straight face that women were at their best “on their backs” and in the kitchen, and drew parallels between homosexuality and pedophilia. From all of us here at The Sportster Tyson we say to you to join the 21st Century and keep those opinions where they belong in the 1500s.
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