Sport breeds big personalities. More often than not, a professional athlete will have supreme confidence and this is an essential ingredient for any athlete to succeed. Supreme confidence will usually also result in these individuals not being shy about letting anyone who will listen know what they think. This includes the opposition, their teammates, the officials, the coaching staff, the media, the fans and even their pet dog at home.
These loudmouthed athletes will often be seen jabbering away about something on the field of play, and of course they have an ability to frustrate their opponent and get under their skin. The post-match interviews are also something to behold, with all kinds of statements being made which the media lap up each day. Of course it is not just these interviews where athletes now have platform to voice their opinion, as social media channels such as Twitter provide these loudmouthed athletes with the ability to keep you informed on their opinions on global issues or what they had for lunch.
It is also not just athletes who are constantly talking; it is also other figures within the sport. This includes coaches, and of course the ex-players who are now analysts and spend the majority of their time telling their favourite stories from their career.
While these loudmouths can be frustrating (and particularly for the opposition), they can also provide great humor and sport can be much more entertaining because of these characters.
Here are the 20 biggest loudmouths still active within sports right now.
20 Tom Brady
One of the greatest QBs to play the game; Tom Brady is also a huge loudmouth on the field. He is constantly talking to his teammates and of course the opposition, and he knows that he has to play this way to bring the best out of his team. Unlike the other entries on this list, it appears that Brady’s loudmouth is confined to the field of play, as he seems very polite and reserved when speaking in interviews or press conferences.
19 Chael Sonnen
Like boxing, UFC is full of loudmouths and trash talkers. Many believe Chael Sonnen to be pound for pound the biggest loudmouth in the sport. He retired with 29 wins, 14 losses and 1 draw, but he is often best known for his tongue in cheek trash talking. The most notable example of this is when he verbally attacked Anderson Silva and Brazil – “As far as my impression (of Brazil), it’s a lot like America. When I was a little kid, I remember going outside. I’d sit around with me friends, we’d talk about the latest technology in medicine and gaming and American ingenuity and I look outside and see Anderson and the Brazilian kids are sittin’ outside playing in the mud…so, it was really a lot like it”. Not his finest moment.
18 Stephen A. Smith
It is not just active or former athletes who are loudmouths; it is also sports journalists and media personalities. None more so than Stephen A. Smith; a sports journalist who works for ESPN. In order to excel in this line of work, you must have strong opinions, have passion and good communication skills, but Smith takes this a little far and is a certified loudmouth. He has an in your face style which polarizes many sports fans, but this style has got him in trouble a few times over the years.
He has twice been accused of using the n-word on ESPN’s First Take, and he went on an offensive rant surrounding Ray Rice’s two-game suspension where he seemed to suggest that some women are to blame for domestic violence. While he is a knowledgeable sports personality, he also has a habit of sometimes talking a bit too much like the other entries on this list.
17 Grant Balfour
Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Grant Balfour is famous for his intensity, and so much so that the term “Balfour Rage” has become a recognized phrase. He is known to yell, scream and shout both before games and whilst on the mound to pump himself up, and this is something that the fans of course love to see. This will always contain multiple profanities, and although usually directed at himself these monologues can often enrage his opponents. Balfour states “I like to get myself pumped up and get to that state of mind. There are times when I’m out of control”.
16 Fran McCaffery
Fran McCaffery is the Iowa Hawkeyes head coach and has performed well, but he has also risen to fame for his loudmouth and actions on the sidelines. In 2014 he was ejected from a game after picking up back-to-back technicals after yelling at officials after a call, but this did not stop him and he continued to chew their ear off whilst being restrained. He is known to yell and be such a loudmouth that a Twitter account has been set up in his honor, simply called Fran’s Red Face where there are lots of photos of him letting everyone know what he thinks.
15 Ozzie Guillen
Former shortstop and manager Ozzie Guillen became famous for his outspoken nature, which landed him in hot water several times. This includes speaking out against Arizona’s law to deal with illegal immigration, where he described illegal immigrants as “workaholics”, plus his infamous statement about Fidel Castro where he stated “I love Fidel Castro” amongst several other comments. Although he proved himself to be a great manager, he would also speak his mind and sometimes without thinking, which could be said for all the entries on this list.
14 Shannon Sharpe
Former tight end and analyst Shannon Sharpe is a three-time Super Bowl Champion, but he is often best remembered for his ramblings. Many football fans were relieved to hear that CBS Sports had parted ways with Shannon Sharpe, and he has admitted that “I like to talk. I admit it. If I can’t talk, I’m crippled, blind, deaf and dumb.” Despite losing his platform to voice his opinions, Sharpe has stated that he will “find a new platform to share my passion, love and opinions on the NFL”. Look out, NFL fans.
13 Paul Pierce
When on the floor, regardless of the opponent or score, Paul Pierce will be seen talking. This is either firing up his teammates, trash talking his opponent or even having a discussion with the opposing teams coach or refs. Trash talking is not as prevalent as it was in earlier era’s, but Pierce is up there with the best of them and crucially he also has the game to back it up. In addition to his talent and ability to get in his opponents head, Pierce is also an emotional player and able to fire up his teammates and the crowd.
This helps make him a hugely valuable asset, and this has been true at Boston, Brooklyn and Washington. He will be suiting up for the Clippers next season, and you can be sure that he will be letting everyone know “that’s why I’m here” after hitting his patented clutch 3s.
12 Ryan Lochte
Despite spending a large part of his life underwater, 11 time Olympic medallist Ryan Lochte talks a lot more than your average person. Although clearly supremely talented, Lochte is also far from the most popular athlete around. He is a loudmouth and a huge personality, and became infamous for his “Jeah!” catchphrase which will no doubt send shivers down the spines of many sports fans. He is also hard to ignore as he has a huge amount of endorsement deals, and he even had his own television show titled What Would Ryan Lochte Do? – It was cancelled after 5 weeks, fortunately.
11 Reggie Miller
Famous during his playing days for his phenomenal 3 point shooting ability, Reggie Miller was also famous for his unrelenting trash talk. Few players have been able to get under their opponents' skin as well as the former Pacer. This of course includes an unforgettable exchange with Knicks fan Spike Lee during the 1994 NBA playoffs, where Miller taunted Lee after every basket he made. Reggie is now an analyst with TNT, but like his playing days he is also hated by many when calling the games.
This is largely due to his ramblings, including a strange moment in the 2015 playoffs where he made it quite clear that he doesn’t understand what a pun is by stating “I think Anthony Davis is starting to recognize ‘You know what, I might be the best player on the floor – no pun intended, Steph Curry. I do a little bit more for my team.” It’s good that he didn’t intend a pun, because there wasn’t one.
10 Chad Johnson
Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson played in the NFL from 2001 to 2012, but he was released by the Dolphins in pre-season after being arrested for domestic abuse. He now finds himself playing for the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL, and over the course of his career he has established himself as quite the loudmouth. During his stint with the Patriots, his play level of play dropped and he believes that this was because he wasn’t allowed to be his usual loudmouthed self. Johnson stated “you go to certain places and you have to shut up”. After leaving for the Dolphins, Johnson promised to return “back to my normal ways” but this would not be seen as he was arrested before the season started.
9 Dez Bryant
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is rarely seen with his mouth shut, and this includes both on the sidelines and in the media. He is often labelled an ego maniac and a diva, and you will frequently see his emotions get the better of him on the sidelines. Bryant is hugely talented and is 1 of the top players in the league (ranked 15 in the top 100 players of 2015), but he needs to learn to channel his emotions into his game as his loudmouth will get him into trouble, as well as tarnish his reputation.
8 Deion Sanders
There are not many athletes that can say they have played professionally in two different sports, and this of course means that Deion Sanders is full of confidence. In addition to being an elite player in the NFL, Sanders was also famous for his relentless trash talking which made him one of the biggest personalities in the game. This trash talking did not stop once he hung up his boots either, as he would go on to become an analyst as well as make hundreds of other media appearances where he would continue to talk trash and generally be a huge personality.
7 Ray Lewis
Not only is Ray Lewis widely considered to be the greatest middle linebacker of all time, but he is also famous for his leadership skills. In order to be a leader, you have to be a good talker, and Ray Lewis is certainly a good talker. He has become famous for the motivational speeches that he delivered pre-game, and he has since gone on to give motivational speeches elsewhere (including Stanford’s basketball team and at Steve McNair’s funeral). There is no denying that Ray Lewis has a way with words, and he also has a lot of words and will share them with anyone who is listening.
6 Shaquille O’Neal
In addition to being one of the biggest players to grace the hardwood, Shaq also has become the biggest personality in the game. During his playing days, his fun loving personality saw him constantly talking and enjoying himself during games (whilst dominating), and this has now continued over into this media appearances and hilarious work with the TNT crew. He often describes himself as a big kid, which is certainly an accurate description and you can be sure that if Shaq is on camera then he will always steal the show.
Shaq’s big mouth has recently been dominating the NBA headlines, as he and Scottie Pippen engaged in a light-hearted war of words over social media. This sparked after Shaq claimed that the Lakers all-time team would beat the Bulls all-time team by 50 points.
5 Philip Rivers
Like most successful NFL quarterbacks, Philip Rivers is a loudmouth. The San Diego Chargers QB is widely considered to be one of the best in the game, but he also rubs many the wrong way with his constant talking and he has even been described as a villain. This seems to be a role that he embraces, with Broncos linebacker Von Miller stating “yeah, he bothers people because he talks. Everything little he does, he’s going to tell you about it”. Although Rivers is a notorious trash talker and knows how to infuriate his opponents, he never curses in his trash talking but certainly gets cursed at a lot in retaliation.
4 Jim Harbaugh
Jim Harbaugh is one of the most instantly recognizable coaches in all of sports, and that is because most of the time you will see him screaming, shouting and flailing his limbs around when he does not get a call. The tantrums that he is so often seen throwing has brought about plenty of criticism, and he and the 49ers parted ways in December 2014. He was shortly after introduced as the head coach at the University of Michigan, which is somewhat of a homecoming for him after attending Michigan and finishing his career there as an all-time record holder with 5,449 passing yards.
3 Charles Barkley
Whether it was during his playing car or now in the studio, there is never a dull moment with Sir Charles Barkley. His big mouth may occasionally get him into trouble, but there is no denying that Charles Barkley has been a fantastic personality for the game of basketball. He and the TNT Crew (Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Shaq) have provided some unforgettable moments for NBA fans, but Barkley was also known to be a loud mouth and trash talker throughout his career. Anyone that releases a book titled “I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It” will be a certified loudmouth.
2 Richard Sherman
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is widely considered to be the best in his position, but he also a reputation as being 1 of the biggest loudmouths in the league. He is known to make the big plays as well as trash talk his opponents, and this makes him a particularly polarising player. This was most evident after the 2013 NFC championship game where his tipped pass ensured victory, and in the post-match interview he would call Michael Crabtree a “sorry receiver” and he would also label himself the “best corner in the game”. Love him or hate him, he evokes a reaction from fans, the press and other players.
1 Floyd Mayweather, Jr
No points for guessing this one, Floyd “Money” Mayweather is as good at talking as he is at boxing and will have no trouble putting his money where his mouth is. Many of the greatest boxers of all-time were big talkers (Mohammed Ali being the prime example), and Mayweather falls into this category. He is arrogant and cocky, but Mayweather is also undefeated (48-0) and therefore you will struggle to keep him quiet. As he puts it, “I’m the best at trash talking; I’m also the best at going out there and backing it up”. Any challengers?