Sports is, and always has been, a form of entertainment. To be the best at entertaining you must have a bad guy for every good one. The world of sports has a long history of bad guys, and the year 2016 has been no different. This year has already seen its fair share of shameful and unsportsmanlike acts. With the increasingly high numbers of cameras on athletes there is nothing that goes unseen.
Just recently we saw Rougned Odor punch Jose Bautista in the face, in the middle of the baseball field. Some fans enjoyed the fight, and others thought the whole thing was despicable. Either way, people had strong reactions.
In today's world that is what is expected, you either love something or you hate it. Today we see more hate and doubt placed on athletes than we ever have. Sometimes hate towards an athlete can be drawn from their style of play on the field, and other times it can be sparked by an athletes conduct off the field.
Also consider, the media has input on how an athlete gets portrayed to the public, and once someone is labeled something negative, it becomes hard to shake that reputation. With all the scrutiny and attention payed to athletes it is no wonder how ESPN and the like are able to have multiple shows run everyday of critics just bashing athletes left and right.
This is not to say, however, that all athletes are innocent of judgement and sometimes deserve to be called out and even condemned. Many athletes take themselves too seriously or take things too far. There is often times good reason for fans and/or media to take on athletes and have disdain for them. Today we will look at the 12 most hated athletes of this calendar year.
15 Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey would have been higher on this list in 2015, but she finds herself low here because she has yet to fight in the calendar year. Her haters reveled in her first career loss late last year, suffering a knockout loss to Holly Holm, losing her UFC Women's Bantamweight title. Her year has mostly been about magazine shoots and regrouping for her eventual comeback. She garnered some criticism this year after a story emerged of her bashing Paige Vanzant for congratulating Holm on her victory. We'll see if Rousey becomes more likable after a comeback fight.
14 P.K. Subban
P.K. Subban is one of the most exciting players in the NHL. He's a rare breed of a hockey player that exudes confidence and charisma, but is still a horse on the ice. His brash nature though is frowned upon in the hockey culture though, so many outside the Montreal area won't have many nice things to say about Subban. The Canadiens are one of the most polarizing teams in sports, so perhaps that adds to the P.K. hate.
13 Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor has climbed the mountain of success in a hurry. Normally when you do that, as well as talk a lot of trash, you garner haters in a hurry. McGregor has also garnered criticism for not defending his Featherweight title, instead taking 'money fights'. He was also pulled from UFC 200 for no-showing media obligations, delivering a huge blow to the historic card. McGregor still has plenty of fans, but he will have haters forever.
12 Blake Griffin
Blake was a model citizen during his first few seasons in the NBA, and everyone loved watching him fly for his amazing cartoonish dunks. However, sometime during last season Blake began to get a negative reputation around the league, as a trash talker and a bit of a soft player.
Then came this season, Blake was on the injured list, and right as he was expected to come back he got into a physical altercation with a team trainer . To add insult to injury, Griffin busted his own hand during the fight. Griffin lost a lot of fans with these acts and many people now have a much different view on the high flyer.
11 Lionel Messi
The Argentinian and Barcelona forward has long been regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all-time. He has recently been ridiculed for his commercialization and recent run of television spots. Messi is also hated by many because he is a member of Barcelona, probably the most polarizing team in the world. Messi has one other segment of haters, the people who root for Cristiano Ronaldo, as the two have been jockeying for the top spot in the soccer world for years now.
10 Dez Bryant
The loud, emotional, talented All-Pro, wide receiver of the Dallas Cowboys is an often bashed superstar. Dez Bryant claims he is the victim with all the negative attention he seems to receive, but he often finds himself in situations he needs not be in. Bryant is expected to have a real breakout season coming up with the Cowboys, and if he does, you can expect many fans and media to be ready and waiting for him to slip up somewhere along the way.
9 Tony Romo
Speaking of the Dallas Cowboys, we have to incorporate the starting QB and face of the franchise, Tony Romo. Not to get on board with the bashing of Romo, but he is one of the most highly regarded quarterbacks in the NFL and he only has two playoff wins, in an otherwise stellar NFL career.
Romo definitely has a chance to prove the doubters wrong this season. Dallas comes into the year as heavy favorites to win the NFC East and have a deep run through the playoffs.
8 Brad Marchand
Brad Marchand is the kind of guy you love having on your team, but you hate playing against him. He is a chippy player with an attitude. He often is accused of taking cheap shots after the whistle is blown, and he is notorious for his trash talking during games. The thing that makes Marchand so disliked around the league is not just that he plays a little cheap and talks trash, but he is also a very good hockey player.
This season he was awarded the NESN 7th Player Award, which is awarded by the fans to the Bruins player who plays most above expectations.
7 Bryce Harper
The new superstar of MLB is Bryce Harper. He has flair, style, attitude, and most of all talent. Bryce came into the league as kind of a shy kid just trying to live up to all the hype. Now he has embraced kind of a rebel without a cause persona. He is lighting it up on the diamond as well, as the defending NL MVP already starting the season on a tear.
The main reason people seem to have dislike towards Harper is his brash personality, and at this point, I believe if he was to change that personality he would lose a little bit of his edge on the field as well.
6 Cristiano Ronaldo
Pretty boy, and soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo comes in at the number six spot. Ronaldo is routinely bashed for his appearance on the pitch, but I think most people are annoyed most at his constant flopping and fishing for calls while playing. He is already one of the greatest players in the history of the game, and for many fans, the flopping he performs is a disservice to his greatness.
There is also much hate directed at him from fans of all the other soccer teams, other than his own Real Madrid. Real is reviled by many soccer fans because of their sustained run of great success. Everyone likes the underdog I guess.
5 Cam Newton
"Killa Cam" was the NFL MVP this past season, and led his Panthers to the Super Bowl, only to lose to the fairy tale ending that Peyton Manning wrote. Newton was often criticized for his excessive celebrating on the football field. It seemed as though every time Cam made a good play he would rise up and do his patented Superman dance or dab.
When Cam came up short in the Super Bowl, he acted a bit immature in his post game interview where he refused to answer questions and then walked out early on the media. It is only right to stand up and take the heat when you fail, if you are going to take all the shine when you win, and that cost Cam some fans and some respect this season.
4 Floyd Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather officially retired in 2016. That could change someday, but that is for a different article. Many fans are very upset with Mayweather for his lack of excitement in his final match, when he easily outpointed Andre Bertoas many fans wanted to see him go another round with Manny Pacquiao. There are also many people out there who dislike Mayweather for many other reasons. Things like his sucker punch against Victor Ortiz, or his unabashed cockiness, or the way he is constantly flaunting his riches in peoples face, or his attacks on Ronda Rousey.
Needless to say, there is plenty of ammunition out there when trying to understand the passionate dislike for Money Mayweather.
3 Kobe Bryant
The 2015-16 season was the final one for one of the all-time NBA greats. There are many fans out there who had seen enough long before Kobe announced his retirement though. Kobe is the kind of athlete who is beloved, or he is hated with a passion. There is no denying his greatness, but it was many of his personality traits that turned off fans in 2016.
Kobe seemed to lose his killer instinct most of the season, and for long time Kobe supporters, that was a disappointing thing to see. He also held the Lakers franchise back by tying up so much of the team's budget last year. There are many Laker and non-Laker fans out there that are glad to see the end of the Kobe Bryant era.
2 Tom Brady
"The Golden Boy" is easily the most hated player in the NFL. It is hard to find anyone with a good word to say about him, outside of the New England area. Brady is hated for his obnoxiously good looks, as well as having a supermodel for a wife, and that is to be expected I guess. He also gets a lot of negative reactions for his on-field actions, well kind of on-field.
The deflategate situation has left a sour taste in most football fans' mouths for far too long, and Brady recently announced he will be taking the fight to a higher court in efforts to clear his name. At what point do we say enough is enough already? Brady will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, but maybe he will have an asterisk next to his name.
1 LeBron James
LeBron is the most overly scrutinized athlete in the world today. There is no comment, no action, no tweet, and no smile that goes unnoticed by "The King." Many fans dislike James because of the constant comparison to everyone's hero; Michael Jordan. Others revel in his shortcomings because he was given so much attention as a teenager, and they don't want to see him reach the expectations set.
A whole other segment of people critique his approach to winning, namely his move to the Miami Heat, subsequent two NBA Titles, then return to Cleveland. All I can say is, when you are King, everyone wants to come get the throne.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!