If there is one rule that exists between "bros," friends, teammates, or basically anyone with whom one wants to be on good terms, it is that you don't mess with significant others. No matter how drunk you are, no matter how drunk anyone is, no matter if your buddy's wife is complaining about the size of his manhood, the size of his paycheck and the size of his car, remember Admiral Ackbar and never forget "IT'S A TRAP!" And it won't end well.
With that being said, not everyone will heed my warning and one only has to tune in to an old episode of the Jerry Springer show to see how many people engage in the horizontal mambo with the significant others of friends, siblings and so on. It's funny until it happens to you, but when it does, it's funny to anyone who doesn't know you and some who do, depending on how you treat your friends.
Even among celebrities, relationships are never perfect. In fact many celebrity relationships are far worse than the norm and the same can be said of pro athletes (names like Tiger Woods and O.J. Simpson should come to mind). Despite the close nature of teammate relationships, there are still betrayers out there in the world of sports. No matter how many times you assist on a buddy's goal, no matter how many blocks you throw down for your receiver or running back, and no matter how many times you spot someone in the gym, he/she may get with your boy/girlfriend when you're not looking. While most of the entries on this list involve male athletes, I tried to keep the pronouns inclusive because when love turns to disdain, neither gender is trustworthy. Here are fifteen athletes who are ALLEGEDLY homewreckers.
15 Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich
I don't know if this counts as home wrecking or just home swapping, but it is one of the craziest stories from the world of sports, so it has to be on here. Fritz Peterson was a pitcher for the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers from 1966 to 1976. His career was decent and he appeared in one All-Star game. Kekich, also a pitcher, threw for five different MLB teams spanning a slightly longer career.
The two were close friends when they played for the Yankees in the early 70s and their families spent a great deal of time together. In 1973, they announced that they would be trading families. Not just wives, but children too. As Peterson told the story, over the years, he and Kekich both came to realize that they got along with each other's wives better than they did their own. This sounds like a case of two home-wrecking situations in which all parties are cool with everything. Peterson and Kekich's former wife Susanne are still married to this day, but Kekich and Marilyn Peterson broke up a few years after the swap.
14 Wayne Carey
One of the most renowned stars in the history of the Australian Football League is Wayne Carey. He's been a seven-time All-Australian and competed from 1989 to 2004. He played twelve seasons for North Melbourne but left the team in disgrace after he was discovered to have been involved with vice captain Anthony Stevens' wife. He quickly went from being an idol to being a social pariah, and spent the last two years of his career playing for Adelaide.
13 Tony Parker
It's ironic that Eva Longoria is so shockingly, absurdly, painfully hot that many guys would risk their marriages or relationships for a night with her, and San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker cheated on her. He (allegedly) cheated on her with Erin Barry, the wife of teammate Brent Barry, back in 2010, while both couples were in the midst of divorces. She denied it, but Longoria stumbled upon a computer file that basically proved that the two had been involved. Some have argued that they were meeting up on a regular basis, while others have insisted that they had a relationship that was limited to dirty texting.
12 John Harkes
John Harkes spent some time as the king of American soccer. He was the captain of the national team, the first American to play in the EPL and had been named "Captain for life." As captain (let alone for life) one is supposed to be the epitome of leadership and unselfish behavior. Leading, inspiring, and bringing other players together are the names of the game.
Harkes denied all allegations, but it was ultimately revealed by then-coach Steve Sampson that Harkes had been stripped of his "Captain for life" title and pulled from the 1998 World Cup roster due to his affair with Amy, the wife of teammate Eric Wynalda. Though Sampson indicated at the time that Harkes was generally uncooperative as a team member, he revealed back in 2010 that it was due to the affair.
11 Delonte West
If you're a stickler for exact definitions then you might not like this entry. If a "home wrecker" is and can only be "someone who beds a married person and ends up breaking up that marriage," then fair enough, light me up on Twitter.
Back in 2010, just before LeBron James left Cleveland for Miami, he played some terrible ball during the playoffs. Rumors were swirling at the time that Delonte West had taken James' mother to bed and that this locker room drama was affecting his play. It was denied by all involved, but more recently in 2014, West referred back to the incident during an interview which many took as an admission. When asked in 2014 about why he didn't name his child "Delonte Jr," he said he didn't want his kid to ever be asked if his "daddy had sex with LeBron James mama." Is this an admission? Who knows. Next.
10 Rick Manning
Center fielder Rick Manning played thirteen seasons of professional baseball with the Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers. He was a decent hitter, averaging .257 through his career, and he could field, winning a lone Gold Glove in 1976. He makes this list because he stole the wife of Hall of Fame reliever Dennis Eckersley, who led the league in saves twice. Eckersley was traded in the same year, and would go on to play until the late 90's, winning one World Series with the Oakland A's.
9 Brendan Shanahan
Brendan Shanahan ranks among the most accomplished snipers in the history of the NHL. Aside from that he was a fearless forward who could throw his weight around and never shied away from going into the corners. This one goes way back to the early years of his career, when he was with the St. Louis Blues. It is unclear whether or not they started to fool around before or after their divorce, but in short, Shanahan married the ex-wife of former teammate Craig Janney in 1998, three years after both players were traded from the Blues.
Whether or not any questionable behavior was involved, Shanahan marrying Janney's ex is a sign that the "bro-code" may have been broken.
8 Avisail Garcia
The Detroit Tigers had a dramatic season back in 2013. At the center of this was a situation in which outfielder Avisail Garcia was having an affair with Chanel Fielder, wife of hitting machine and six time All-Star Prince Fielder. Garcia was sent down to the minor leagues for part of the 2013 season and was later picked up by the White Sox. While this affair was never officially made public by Garcia or Fielder, many consider it to have been the motivation for Garcia being sent to the Toledo Mud Hens and later being traded to the White Sox.
7 DeMarco Murray
This is a case of an athlete sleeping with the wife of a former teammate. The 2014 NFL rushing yards leader, DeMarco Murray, played alongside Brennan Clay while at Oklahoma. Late 2014 brought to light a serious kink in what was believed to have been a healthy friendship between Clay and Murray. Clay had said that there was nobody he looked up to more than Murray.
In December 2014, he tweeted that he had come to believe that his wife, Gina D'Agostini, had been cheating on him with Murray, posting alleged dirty texts between the two. He later recanted his original story. In early 2015, he was arrested for an alleged assault against his wife, as they were in the middle of divorce proceedings. Who the hell knows what happened, Brennan Clay sounds more unstable than Gary Busey.
6 Karl Malone
Two of the best basketball players of all time, Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant, have "beef" to this day over something that happened over a decade ago. Back in 2004, in Malone's last year in the league and with the Los Angeles Lakers, he aggressively hit on Bryant's wife Vanessa. The two didn't go at it, but the event has caused animosity between the two players and has been one of many unpleasant events to befall Kobe and Vanessa's marriage, which has...been through a lot.
5 John Terry
Let John Terry's inclusion on this list be a lesson that you can be a captain of a national team, an incredibly successful club team captain, but you cannot get away with whatever you want. Terry had an affair with Wayne Bridge's wife, Vanessa, back in 2010. If you're the type of person who likes icing on their cake, he got her pregnant as well. This is one situation in which "deny, deny, deny" does not work!
Bridge refused to play on England's national team in 2010 because of Terry's inclusion on the team, though Terry did have his captaincy removed.
4 Jason Richardson
Back in 2010, when Steve Nash announced that he and his wife were getting divorced, rumors began to sprout up about an alleged affair between her and Phoenix Suns teammate Jason Richardson. Media outlets briefly reported that Nash's baby was not white, but those rumors were quickly put to rest.
A few years ago, many suggested that Leandro Barbosa had also bedded Nash'snow ex-wife Alejandra. Nobody except those involved knows whether any of this is true.
3 Eric Lindros
The king of concussions himself makes an appearance on this list because of an alleged affair with the wife of former teammate Rod Brind'Amour while playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. This falls under the category of "enjoyable rumor" because many sources dismiss this as another theory as to why a certain player was traded. Both players were traded after the 1999/2000 season. Again, this entire situation has never been confirmed by either one and is an allegation, but it has been suggested that Brind'Amour hit Lindros with a chair when he found out about the affair.
2 Pavel Bure/Sergei Fedorov
It's hard to say who the homewrecker is here. Pavel Bure and Sergei Fedorov never played together in the NHL, but they were teammates on the Russian national team during the early 2000s. It actually seems like Russian model and part time tennis player Anna Kournikova just played them both.
Sergei Fedorov has insisted that the two of them were married and around the same time, she and Bure were seen out together a few times. Shortly thereafter she started dating Enrique Iglesias. Again, who the hell knows what the truth is here.
1 Jim Jackson
In another story of a woman who treated athletes like a bag of Lays chips (couldn't stop at one), we see Toni Braxton, one of the most successful R&B stars of the last few decades. This was way back when Jason Kidd, Jim Jackson and Jamal Mashburn were breaking out as a trio of promising young stars for the Dallas Mavericks. As the story goes, Braxton came by the team's hotel one night in 1996 in Atlanta to pick up Kidd, but took Jackson out for a night on the town instead. All three played down the entire situation but both players were traded within a year.
Maybe the real villain here was Braxton, who loved the publicity she got from being in an NBA love triangle and for that we can call her a team-wrecker. At the same time, if someone shows up to pick up your teammate, you high five him, you don't leave with her. Jackson broke the bro code.