It’s not uncommon for professional athletes to be a bit...odd. After all, many of the best athletes have been praised since a young age. Imagine if people were already planning for your future when you were only 12 years old. The pressure, the consequences, the work...it all adds up. It can all result in an athlete living in a bit of a bubble that most of the things that everyday people deal with in life can’t penetrate. They’re removed from so many of the things that eventually force most people to conform to society and accept an average life.
Sometimes, however, you get an athlete whose personality can’t be written off as the byproduct of fame and pressure because they simply were never that famous - or even that good - to begin with.
No, the only way you can possibly explain the actions of these athletes is to accept that there are some truly troubled people living among us and some of them so happen to pursue a career as a professional athlete. You may not know them by name, but you need to know about these 15 messed up athletes that you’ve never heard of. And after reading their stories, you'll probably wish you'd never heard of them.
15 Robert Rozier - A Race Supremacist Cult Hitman
Robert Rozier was one of those guys most football fans had never heard of when he was selected in the 9th round of the 1979 NFL Draft. As it turned out, that’s because Rozier was a very unimpressive defensive end. His NFL career lasted about six games before Rozier was kicked out of the league over drug use. After that, Rozier became involved with a supremacist cult known as The Brotherhood. As part of his “initiation” into the group, Rozier killed seven “white devils” identified by the church, severed a part of their bodies, and returned them to his master.
Remarkably, he was allowed to serve only ten years in prison in exchange for testifying against the rest of his group. Of course, he was eventually sentenced to 25 to life after bouncing checks while in the witness protection program.
14 Rae Carruth - Carolina Panthers Receiver and Very Dumb Criminal
They say you should never overestimate the stupidity of a criminal. Even if you believe that to be true, you will probably be shocked to learn of the extent of Rae Carruth’s stupidity. Carruth had been playing for the Carolina Panthers for about two years when he fled after the death of his girlfriend, Cherica Adams. During the court case that would follow, it was revealed that Carruth had hired men to kill his pregnant girlfriend as an apparent means to terminate the pregnancy.
Mind you, Carruth promised he would turn himself in if either his girlfriend or the baby died (he didn’t) and tried to claim that her murder was the result of a drug deal gone horribly wrong that he completely manufactured.
13 John Rocker - The Most Racist Baseball Player Ever
If you’ve ever watched the HBO show Eastbound and Down and wondered whether an athlete as incredibly offensive and blind as Kenny Powers ever actually existed, the answer is “Yes, and his name is John Rocker.” You know, it’s hard to determine whether we should call John Rocker a racist, a sexist, or an anything-ist given that he hated pretty much everybody. During an interview with Sports Illustrated, Rocker stated he would never play for New York because the city is filled with ****** with AIDS, young mothers, and foreigners from every country in the world.
Rocker continued to insult people of all races and all sexes throughout the years for reasons that remain unknown. Rocker ran a “Speak English” campaign and stated that he can’t believe that people are offended by what he says because “this is America.”
12 Art Schlichter - NFL Quarterback Who Scammed His Family Out of Thousands of Dollars
You’ve no doubt heard of people with gambling problems. Maybe you’ve known someone who battled a gambling addiction. We guarantee you that you don’t know someone who was more addicted to gambling than Art Schlichter. Schlichter gambled away the money he earned in the NFL as a bust of a quarterback. He scammed his own family and his friends out of hundreds of thousands of dollars to feed his gambling addiction. He even tried to have a cell phone smuggled into prison so he could continue to make bets.
After being released from prison, he ran the exact same cons again and even scammed an elderly woman out of millions of dollars on her deathbed. It’s believed that numerous blows to the head may be the source of Art Schlichter’s worst habits.
11 Viacheslav Datsik - MMA Fighter So Crazy He Begged to Go to Jail to Protect the World
Viacheslav Datsik may just be the craziest professional athlete ever. In the early days of professional MMA, Datsik made a name for himself by knocking out some people who went on to become champions. His career ultimately went nowhere. Around the time he was arrested in 2007 for robbery, it was revealed that Datsik was a Pagan extremist who hated nearly every other religion and even believed that Jesus Christ was an Israeli secret agent. He escaped from a mental institution by tearing through a fence with his bare hands. Later on, he assured reporters that he was a racist and not just a nationalist.
At one point, he begged the courts to sentence him to life in prison because he feared what would happen if they didn’t. Datsik also conducted several vigilante raids on brothels, seemingly for his own amusement.
10 Buck Zumhofe - Wrestling Jobber Turned Monster
Buck Zumhofe rose to “fame” as a professional wrestling during the wrestling boom period of the early ‘80s. The highlight of his career came when he formed the Rock 'n' Soul Connection with Iceman King Parsons and won the WCCW Tag Team Championship. However, you either know him best as the wrestler that Triple H defeated during his WWE debut or as the guy who was accused of heinous sexual crimes. In 1989, Zomhofe was sent to prison for sexual misconduct with a minor. Mind you, WWE hired him after this.
In 2013, he was charged with sexually assaulting his own daughter over a period of almost 12 years. He actually tried to run away during his own trial. He was caught and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
9 Cecil Collins - Prospect Running Back and Creepy Stalker
Cecil Collins probably should have been a more famous athlete. At LSU, Collins rushed for almost 600 yards in five games before breaking his leg. Still, many felt this standout high-school athlete had real potential to be an NFL star. The Miami Dolphins drafted him based on that potential and discovered that Collins came with more problems than a bad leg. Collins was eventually arrested for stalking a woman he met at his gym, breaking into her home, and watching her sleep. Remarkably, this apparently wasn’t the first time that he had done this. On top of that, Collins was notorious for his hard-partying ways and general lack of respect for women. If it’s any consolation, 13 years in prison has reportedly softened Collins somewhat.
8 Juana Barraza - Luchador and Serial Killer
Juana Barraza had a tough young life. Her mother reportedly sold her as a sex slave to men in exchange for beers. Later on in life, Barraza became a semi-popular luchador named La Dama del Silencio (The Lady of Silence). Just when it looked like she was going to overcome her horrible past, it was revealed that Barraza was a prolific serial killer. Nobody knows exactly how many people Barraza killed, but some believe the number could be as high as 50. Her primary targets were elderly ladies who Barraza would trick into believing that she was a government employee. She choked some of her victims, bludgeoned the others, and robbed them all. Some were even tortured before the murder. She was ultimately sentenced to 759 years in prison.
7 John Brisker - Impulsively Violent ABA Player
Sometimes, you hear stories about toxic teammates in professional sports. These are the players who value ad deals over wins or maybe even get into arguments with their coaches. They’re generally considered to be bad examples of professional athletes. John Brisker takes being a toxic teammate to a new level. John Brisker was known as the heavyweight champion of the ABA. He was an on-the-court enforcer that love to fight. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that Brisker’s violent ways didn’t end on the court. Brisker was such a volatile personality that his coach had to hire outside muscle whose job was to get in Brisker’s face whenever he started to get angry during practice. Brisker was likely legitimately psychotic and would become violent for no real reason at all.
6 Steve Durbano - Enforcer Hockey Player and Pimp
Steve Durbano was one of those hockey players who didn’t really excel in any technical area but was very good at harassing people on the ice. Durbano fancied himself a villain and did whatever he could to further that villainous persona. As it turned out, his villainous ways were more than a persona. Durbano was an awful, awful human being. Let’s ignore his on-the-ice incidents and jump right to that time he tried smuggling millions of dollars worth of cocaine and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
We’ll jump past the time that he decided to engage in a little shoplifting after being released from prison and talk about the time that he was sent to prison again for running a prostitution ring and trying to recruit an undercover female cop.
5 Brian McGhee - Wrestler Who Posted Pictures of His Victim on Facebook
If you watched the old Florida Championship Wrestling promotion - the precursor to NXT - you might remember a wrestler known at DT “The Future” Porter. Porter tried to build himself up as a babyface by incorporating his military background into his gimmick, but there was always something about that guy that just seemed a little...off. He didn’t get over as a babyface or heel and was released by WWE. Not long after, Porter began posting some rather disturbing messages online that were interpreted by some as cries for help.
Nobody, however, could have predicted that Porter was about to brutally murder his ex-girlfriend and then post the pictures of the crime scene on his Facebook page. The motivation for his crimes remains unknown as Porter allegedly attacked her as soon as he saw her.
4 Keith Wright - Defensive Tackle Sentenced to Over 200 Years in Prison
There have been many athletes over the years that have served time in prison. Keith Wright is one of those athletes. However, no athlete has ever received the kind of jaw-dropping sentence that Wright did. In the NFL, Wright was known as a below-average defensive tackle who played many years in the NFL as a journeyman. His NFL career ended in 2006, and Wright chose to spend his retirement committing every crime he could possibly think of. From sexual assault to drug dealing, robbery, and kidnapping, the extent of Wright’s crimes was stunning. When it was all said and done, a judge sentenced Wright to prison for 234 years and eight months. It takes a lot to inspire a judge to account for the possibility that you might live to be 200.
3 Tony Ayala Jr. - Middleweight Contender and Multi-Time Abuser
In the ‘80s, Tony Ayala Jr. was considered a true boxing prospect. Sure, people knew that he was a dirty fighter who would spit on his opponents and allegedly shoot heroin before the fight, but he was also one of the most unstoppable forces in the middleweight division. Ayala Jr.’s fame may have helped disguise his worst traits, but it couldn’t save him from what happened on January 1, 1983. On that date, Ayala Jr. broke into his neighbor’s home, robbed her, and then sexually assaulted her.
Before that incident, Ayala Jr. had also been charged with assaulting another woman and breaking her jaw. Ayala was actually released in 1999 and was shot in the shoulder in 2000 when he tried to break into another woman’s home. He was convicted again in 2004 for heroin possession and driving without a license.
2 "Handsome" Bill Armstrong - Indie Wrestler Accused of An Unspeakable Crime
Unless you so happened to be a fan of low-tier indie wrestling during the ‘90s, you’ve probably never heard of “Handsome” Bill Armstrong. First off, you should know that the “Handsome” part of his name comes from the fact that bookers liked to present him as the most attractive man in town. That was certainly up for debate. What isn’t up for debate - at least according to the court - was the extent of Armstrong’s horrible crimes.
At the age of 36, Armstrong was charged with raping a 10-year-old girl and committing other atrocities. When the police came for him, he tried to flee in a van bearing the logo of the wrestling company he was working for at the time. Unfortunately for the world, Armstrong was released in 2013.
1 Jimmy Savile - Former Pro Wrestler and One of the Worst Human Beings Ever
For years, Jimmy Savile was considered to be an upstanding citizen. He was a beloved DJ, ex-professional wrestler, and was even knighted by the queen for his humanitarian work. What few people knew during his life was that Jimmy Savile was one of the worst human beings to ever live. Savile was accused of sexually abusing children over a period of up to 40 years. Those who knew him knew that he was a weird guy, but few knew the full extent of Savile's activities. Over 450 alleged victims contacted the police after Savile’s death, many of whom claimed that they were assaulted when they were very young. Police described the nature of the allegations as “unprecedented.” His family was so horrified by the details that they decided to destroy his headstone.