We all have childhood memories of kids in the neighborhood, who would get mad about something, and then “take their ball and go home.” As we grow up we learn to interact and play nice with other people… hopefully. When we look back at the history of organized sports, there have been many instances of immature behavior displayed by athletes. Sadly this type of behavior isn’t limited to a single sport, but rather runs the spectrum of all athletic competition.
It is unfortunate but it is true that some people just never grow up, no matter how much money they make, or fans that they have. Perhaps these types of individuals were not given enough attention at home as children, or maybe they have never been told “no” before, but either way it is embarrassing for them, and entertaining for us.
Today we are going to reveal the 15 most immature athletes of all time, and with that in mind lets get some things straight. This list could have easily been the top 100 immature players, but we didn’t want to overwhelm you by reading about 90% of all famous athletes. There are many competitors who have found themselves in serious legal troubles, Aaron Hernandez and O.J. Simpson both come to mind, but we chose to leave that type of immature behavior off of this list. That type of reckless behavior belongs on the list of life ruining actions, as opposed to just simple immaturity.
Before we begin I feel it is appropriate to remind all the parents and children out there, who look up to athletes, what the great Charles Barkley once said, “I am not a role model… Just because I can dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.” Did we forget anyone? Let us know in the comments below.
15. Dez Bryant
Dez has been the quintessential “diva” wide receiver since he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 2010. Bryant has even had a domestic violence charge against him for striking his own mother back in 2012. Many times we have seen Bryant screaming at teammates and coaches on the sidelines during games, while other times he simply quits on his team all together. In his defense, Bryant has been slowly maturing with the help of his quarterback, Tony Romo, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
14. Roger Clemens
Clemens had a spectacular career in Major League Baseball, but his immature and reckless behavior has come back to bite him in the end. Clemens has not yet been elected to the pro baseball Hall of Fame, and it appears he will likely never get inducted. Clemens once threw part of a broken bat at a then New York Met Mike Piazza during game two of the 2000 World Series . He also has been exposed as an adulterer by his mistress, a women he reportedly started seeing in 1990 when she was only 16 years old, Clemens was 28 in 1990.
13. Sean Avery
Sean Avery was a talented hockey player who could not get out of his own way, which ended up costing him his career. Avery once made a comment about an ex-girlfriend, who began dating a different NHL star, saying that he was unsure why everyone goes after his “sloppy seconds.” Avery also had a rule instituted into the NHL rule book because of his childlike antics. “The Avery Rule” makes it illegal for a player to stand in front of the goaltender and wave their hands in the goalies face to blind them; yes Avery actually did that. Avery also had many public feuds with coaches and fellow players during his tumultuous run in the NHL.
12. John Rocker
Rocker was a wild personality in baseball during the late 90s and early 2000s. He was busted for steroid use late in his career, and as a result of his blatant racism combined with his xenophobia he was exiled from Major League Baseball. One of Rocker’s more colorful quotes was stated when asked if he would play for the New York Yankees, or New York Mets, he responded:
“I’d retire first. It’s the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the seven train to the ballpark looking like you’re riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing… The biggest thing I don’t like about New York are the foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?”
11. Alex Rodriguez
A-Rod has had many up and downs throughout his career, showing shades of immaturity in the ballpark on many occasions. During a game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Rodriguez screamed in an opposing players face as they caught a fly ball to end the inning; he did this as he rounded third base with two outs. Additionally, during a playoff game against the Boston Red Sox, Rodriguez slapped pitcher Bronson Arroyo’s glove in an attempt to knock the ball free.
Off the field, Rodriguez has been spotted at late night, backroom gambling halls with the “poker brat” himself, Phil Hellmuth. These acts are rarely seen in little league, let alone in a Major League ballpark. All of these things could be forgivable, if A-Rod wasn’t so flip floppy when it comes to performance enhancing drugs, having denied steroid use only to later admit using them during his career.
10. Chad Johnson
Chad Ochocinco had his name legally changed from Chad Johnson to Chad Ochocinco, and then back to Chad Johnson; enough said right? This longtime Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver displayed immature behavior on many occasions during his career. In 2009 Johnson was fined $20,000 for offering a referee $1 while a play was under review. Ochocinco also celebrated a touchdown by donning a pretend Hall of Fame jacket, sadly for Chad, that was the only time he was able to put on the gold Hall jacket. His antics on and off the field, have left his name as more of a punchline, rather than a legend of football.
9. Richie Incognito
Richie Incognito would be wise to start going out in public dressed as his last name describes, “incognito”. The Buffalo Bills offensive lineman has a reputation throughout the NFL as being a horrible teammate, and a bully. He was suspended in 2013 for bullying his then teammate Jonathan Martin. Incognito was eventually released from the Miami Dolphins, and picked up by the Bills in 2015. His Pro-Bowl selection last year may have made up for some of his indiscretions, as he recently signed a three year deal with the Bills.
8. Patrick Kane
Patrick Kane is an incredibly talented hockey player, and there is no denying that. His behavior on the other hand, is much less polished. Kane and his brother were arrested for allegedly beating up a cab driver because the driver could not produce 20 cents in change for the duo.
Kane also had some, what he referred to as, “embarrassing photos” pop up of him, more than a little bit tipsy. For an NHL superstar, Kane sure does little to help his personal image, or that of the NHL.
7. Manny Ramirez
“Manny being Manny” is what many Bostonians called it, when Manny Ramirez would act like a nine-year-old. It was a cute and endearing act for the Red Sox nation to watch, but in reality it was simply juvenile. On one occasion, during a coaches visit to the pitchers mound, Manny decided, as he did on many occasions, to go into the green monster at Fenway Park to use the restroom. Manny was missing from the game for several minutes, until he reemerged with the action having already been resumed. On another occasion, Ramirez was pulled over by a police officer, and given three tickets, he proceeded to tell the cop ” I don’t need tickets, I can get you tickets.”
6. Dwight Howard
“D-12” is a monster of a man, standing nearly 7 feet tall, he is literally one of the biggest babies on the face of the earth. Howard has had many tirades throughout his career, and he has forced teams to trade him, while also lobbying to have coaches and teammates either fired or traded.
Now with the Houston Rockets, it is being rumored that Howard has asked the Rockets front office to trade teammate, and superstar James Harden. Unfortunately for Howard he is no longer a franchise player in the NBA, and if someone is going to be shipped out of town, it will likely be him.
5. Floyd Mayweather
“Money Mayweather” has been one of the least likable athletes over the past decade. He has been accused of beating women, and the public arguments he has had with his own father have been extremely immature. Mayweather has no shame, he has gotten into a war of words with UFC star Ronda Rousey as well, constantly gloating about how much more money he has than her. Additionally he has gotten into some heated social media battles with one time friend and rap star 50 Cent. It seems that Mayweather’s toxic personality affects everyone that it comes into contact with.
4. Cam Newton
“Killa Cam” is the reigning MVP of the NFL, and he plays with a lot of style, flare, and what some may call showboating. In his defense, Cam has shown signs of trying to be a more mature leader and person, however his actions are still speaking louder than his words.
Cam was defeated in this past year’s Super Bowl, and when the media came to ask Cam questions about the game, he decided he didn’t want to talk, so he walked out on the post game press conference. Newton is also guilty of over celebrating during games, he routinely celebrates first down runs with the Superman mimic he has become infamous for.
3. Terrell Owens
“T.O” was the first big time “diva” wide receiver. Owens once had a press conference outside of his home during his run as an Eagles receiver, where he answered questions while doing curls, and sit ups. Owens has had many occasions where he has gotten into heated arguments with members of the media, his teammates, and/or his coaches.
Owens may be most remembered for the time he was visiting the Dallas Cowboys as a member of the 49ers. He scored a touchdown and promptly ran to the 50 yard line, where he spread his arms in the middle of the Cowboys star, looked up at the heavens and posed; Owens was quickly tackled by a Cowboy player and a scuffle ensued. Keep in mind that there could be entire lists dedicated to T.O’s antics on and off the field, that would show his low level of maturity.
2. Johnny Manziel
Johnny Manziel has never been able to grown out of the frat boy mentality that gained him so much attention while in college; his “money” sign celebration even became an American phenomenon over the past few years. Manziel may have already lost his chance to be a starting quarterback in the NFL due to his immaturity. He was spotted dressed incognito in Las Vegas days before a game last season, feeding into media speculation that the Browns player had a problem being a professional.
Manziel may possibly be given one more shot at a job in the NFL this coming season, if he doesn’t shape up this will be the end of the line for “Johnny Football.”
1. John McEnroe
McEnroe was a true showstopper, and his antics on the tennis court have been well documented. The video of McEnroe telling a referee to “answer the question JERK!” has been seen by millions. On many occasions McEnroe would bring a tennis match to a screeching halt with a full on temper tantrum, one that a five year old would be proud of; his regularly insulting of referees and side judges has become that of legend.
In what can only be called a miracle, McEnroe is now a well behaved tennis commentator, and a very good one at that. He has done a complete 180, and many believe his antics on the court, as a player, were simply a strategical tactic to get in his opponents head.
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