Outside the sporting world, athletes might not get tracked by the paparazzi with the same fervor as A-List celebrities. However, they’re still continually in the public eye – and if they’re out getting drunk, you know that there’s probably going to be lurking around and waiting to see if they can catch an embarrassing photo or quote.
Now, everyone knows that athletes need to keep their physique up to snuff at all times in order to play their best – it’s pretty much in the job description. So, they must treat their bodies like a temple, right? Well… most of the time. Sure, they’re probably eating a lot of lean protein in order to look as ripped as they do, but at the end of the day, athletes are just people too – sometimes they want to go out and have a few drinks with friends to celebrate or unwind after a stressful week.
There is no picture that the public loves seeing more than a great drunk picture. Why, exactly? Well, perhaps because it’s relatable – everyone has woken up to see a somewhat horrifying photo on their social media accounts that they don’t remember taking. Perhaps it’s because many athletes and celebrities love to party hard and it’s fun to get a glimpse at that world. Perhaps it’s because we’re so used to seeing them serious on game-day and during press conferences, and it’s just refreshing to see them cutting loose and acting a fool.
Whatever the reason, we just love to see athletes captured on camera looking goofy thanks to a little too many beers. From rookies to big-name superstars, from football players to basketball stars, a great night out is an equalizer in the sporting world – everyone has a few drinks, and everyone can get captured on camera. Smile!
Here are 20 embarrassing photos of drunk athletes.
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20 Patrick Kane
Okay, so any list of embarrassing photos would be incomplete without one of the hardest partying guys in the NHL. Patrick Kane is known for his heavy drinking, so it probably comes as no surprise to see him looking more like a college student than a professional athlete who makes millions. After a long day of partying, he just needed a moment to rest his head on the bar. And let’s just survey the situation – backwards baseball cap, bright custom-printed t-shirt, bro right beside him in a matching shirt… he could be on literally any college campus, as any student on a weekend party crawl.
19 Tiger Woods
In this shot, Tiger Woods is captured leaving an event, so it’s not as if we can get confirmation that he was drinking a little too much. However, with the way that bubbly flows at those black tie shindigs, it’s a safe assumption. Woods got caught doing what pretty much every other guy has been caught doing – oogling a pretty woman a little bit too obviously. Unfortunately for Woods, he’s a big name professional athlete, so the cameras were right there to capture him looking like a fool. Next time, eyes ahead, Tiger – you can check out all her assets when you’re in the privacy of your limo.
18 Matt Flynn
When it comes to NFL quarterbacks, Matt Flynn isn’t exactly the first name that comes to mind. Let’s face it – in a position where you’re compared to players like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, or even rising players like Russell Wilson, you have to really bring you’re A-game, and Flynn hasn’t always been able to do that. It only makes sense that he’d be consoling himself by having a bit too much at the local watering hole. Flynn is captured in the photo with two friends, presumably as intoxicated as he is, making a strange face with his shirt partially unbuttoned. Atta boy, Flynn.
17 Jeff Reed
In the NFL, kickers sometimes get a bit of a bad rap for being boring – sure, they’re often brought in at clutch moments, but they’re never going to have those tackles that inspire everyone to leap up from the couch screaming. Jeff Reed seems determined to prove he’s a cool kicker and with his then-trademark ridiculous hair, he turned up at the bar – and turnt up. Reed’s hair got a little more crazy than normal, and somehow, his shirt came off. Bro – it’s never a good idea to take your shirt off in a bar. Unhygienic, for one, and also, no one wants to see that. He managed to rope in one woman for a photo – who knows if she’s a football fan or just making a bad judgment call that night. While retired now, Reed continues to do stupid things like get ejected from a Hall of Fame game, so there’s probably many more embarrassing photos in his future.
16 Greg Oden
NBA center Greg Oden has had a bit of a tough time over the years – in the course of his short career, he’s been sidelined for entire seasons due to injury and recently decide to move on from his NBA career by signing for the Jiangsu Dragons in China. Recently he had been making a bit of a comeback in the NBA, but let’s take a look at this photo captured at what we can only imagine is some type of house party, given the ultra-retro pillars behind him that are straight out of a 70s abode. Listen Greg, we know that when your jam comes on, sometimes you have to dance like nobody’s watching, and sometimes you have to put in the extra effort to get that girl at the party. But someone was watching. And it got embarrassing.
15 Dirk Nowitzki
Okay, it’s a well known fact that Germans know how to drink, so it should come as no surprise that basketball player Dirk Nowitzi enjoys a brew or two every now and then. This photo, however, shows him taking things a little too far. In some type of bar, based on the game machines and beer posters in the background, Nowitzki is pictured posing for a shot with someone (who looks considerably less wasted than the sports star). Nowitzki is simultaneously flipping the bird and making an utterly ridiculous face that only someone who’s drunk would make. Sure, he might not have the supermodel good looks of some pro athletes, but this is definitely not his best photo.
14 Andrei Kirilenko
Andrei Kirilenko is known for being that crazy tall, a little bit out there Russian basketball player, and this photo just solidifies that. His often floppy hair has been spiked up a little, and he’s pictured bending some woman over a table in a suggestive pose. She’s soaking up all that pro athlete attention, coyly glancing at the camera, while he just makes a ridiculous face, because why not? Also, the woman in question is wearing devil horns, so maybe it’s a Halloween bash? In which case, what is Kirilenko supposed to be? Sure, many hard partying youths have taken photos like Kirilenko’s, but that doesn’t make it any less embarrassing.
13 Steve Nash
Oh, Steve Nash. This basketball superstar built a legacy for himself in the NBA over the course of his career, and while he’s now retired, he’s still remembered for his skill. If too many NBA fans see this photo, however, he might be remembered for being that weird guy in the club. Listen, Steve, we get it – everyone likes to shake their thing to the music every now and then, and we’re not even going to blame you for the long hair. But keep those shirt buttons done up. No one wants to see your chest hair in the club, no matter who you are.
12 Mike Dunleavy Jr.
By day, Mike Dunleavy Jr. is a small forward/shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls. By night…apparently, a demon. We’re not even sure how you take a photo like this, but it’s horrifying. The basketball player is pictured in a close-up, eyes rolled up, face all distorted, red ‘I’ve been drinking’ nose front and centre. The close crop means it’s tough to tell exactly where he is, but if it’s a bar, that bartender should have cut him off long, long before this photo was taken. Hey, at least there’s one positive – you probably feel better about your own drunken snaps after seeing this, right? Thanks, Mike.
11 Eli Manning
In addition to being the baby brother to superstar quarterback Peyton Manning, Eli Manning is a man of a thousand faces. In live footage, he seems like a normal guy, but he has an insane knack for getting the camera to capture him while he’s making weird facial expressions. We can only imagine what it’s like to shoot him for a photo spread! Either way, this shot has Eli at his best, making a ridiculous face while his arm is around some blonde hottie. And, of course, there’s a half empty beer bottle in his hand (one of many, we can only assume from the face). But hey, at least his shirt is still buttoned up (looking at you, Nash).
10 David Beckham
David Beckham has cemented his spot in soccer history as one of the greats – while he was playing, everyone loved Becks, and now that he’s retired, he’s still a media darling thanks to his male model-esque looks. However, even Becks can get snapped in an unflattering photo when he’s had a couple pints down at the local watering hole (or, since its Becks, the local ultra-trendy watering hole). What makes it even better is the huge oversized knit beanie he’s wearing. Did he think maybe the beanie would detract from his features? That the paparazzi wouldn’t notice he was a little worse for the wear because they were distracted by the hat?
9 Gijs Van Hoecke
People always speculate about what goes on in the Olympic Village every year – after all, you’re bringing together super sexy athletes who are at their physical peak from nations around the world. It’s no surprise that they hand out condoms. However, if this photo of Belgian cyclist Gijs Van Hoecke is any indication, they’re also doing a whole lot of drinking in that village. In fairness, we’ll clarify that Van Hoecke got sloppy at the club after his competition had ended, so its not as if he was costing Belgium a medal. But having to be carried out by your buddies because you’re too hammered to walk? A little embarrassing.
8 Ryan Leaf
When it comes to his time in the NFL, Ryan Leaf was a bit of a bust, playing only four seasons and really impressing no one. This photo just makes us even sadder for him. Based on the background, he’s not exactly in a trendy metropolitan hot spot. This isn’t even a charming small town bar – it just looks a little gross. To add to that, he’s flanked by two buddies rather than the hot women most pro athletes seem to surround themselves with. And then, the cherry on top – his shirt is crumped, hanging open, emphasizing his necklace and weird facial expression. Not your finest moment, Leaf.
7 Brett Lawrie
Ah, old forty-hands, who could ever forget it? Apparently, Brett Lawrie doesn’t care if he’s a pro athlete or not – he’s going to play those drinking games he learned in high school, photographers be damned! But he really didn’t have to do it naked (seriously, guys, is it that hard to keep your shirt on when you’re drunk?). And he really didn’t have to make whatever face he’s making. We’re not sure what he was trying to achieve in this photo, but we’re very, very sure that it’s not working. Unless he was trying to take an embarrassing photo, in which case, mission accomplished.
6 Brad Marchand
After you win something like the Stanley Cup, it's pretty much a given that you’re going to celebrate. Add to the fact that every sports fan around town will probably be buying you free drinks and you’re basically guaranteed to get a little too drunk in the week after your win. That’s exactly what Brad Marchand did – and then some. He went on a rampage around Boston after the Bruins’ win, often inexplicably ending up shirtless. In the photo here, not only is he shirtless, he’s also for some reason carrying around four bottles of liquor front behind the bar. Is he the new shot girl? In that case, showing a little extra skin isn’t the worst idea.
5 Desmond Bryant
Several NFL players have had run-ins with the law for whatever reason, so there are quite a few NFL mug shots floating around the internet. This one? Is unquestionably one of the worst. Desmond Bryant got taken down to the station after drunkenly trying to break into someone’s house, because he thought it was his own (not even close – he lived on an entirely different street). Strike one. Then, when it came down for the mug shot, he did this. Strike two. Bryant, you only have one left. Also, we’re not sure why he’s shirtless, but again – why on earth is it so hard to keep your shirt on when you’re drunk, guys? Seriously!
4 Marshawn Lynch
When your team wins the Super Bowl, it’s absolutely time to party. When you’re a member of the Super Bowl winning team? Seattle, watch out. Marshawn Lynch was captured during the Super Bowl Parade riding a boat float amidst a sea of admirers. We’re not sure how he got horizontal, but it appears to be that he’s a man on a mission – get that Fireball whisky. Everyone is trying to get their hands on the running back and all he wants is a few spicy shots of the good stuff. All he needs is some Skittles to snack on and he’s got himself quite the night.
3 Kayla Harrison
Unless you obsessively follow the Olympics, you might not know who Kayla Harrison is (she’s a judo champion, in case you were wondering). However, she has another claim to fame – getting so drunk at one of the London 2012 ragers that she had to be carried home. She starts out celebrating, having a few drinks and kissing her winning medal for the eager paparazzi. Later, she decides to throw all caution to the wind and throw back a few more drinks – and the paparazzi is still tuned, eager to capture her antics. Lucky she already had her medal at that point – we can only imagine how tough it must be to compete in judo with a hangover.
2 Tony Parker
Spurs point guard Tony Parker is known for being a bit of a Casanova – after all, before he messed it up by cheating, he landed Hollywood hottie Eva Longoria, and he later went on to marry a French journalist who's also a stone-cold fox. He’s lucky he didn’t meet any of those ladies on the night this photo was taken, however – it probably wouldn’t have been as good of a first impression. The ladies surrounding Parker seem more than thrilled to get a picture with the sports star, but he looks like he’s about two seconds front face-planting.
1 Yao Ming
Though he’s retired now, Yao Ming was a bit of a unique character in the NBA during his professional career. This picture captures him at his nerdy best. Who on earth does the telephone handle signal besides Cher from Clueless back in the 1990s? Is he trying to get a girl’s number from afar? Is he so drunk that he thinks his hand is his cell phone? And more important, how much alcohol does it even take to get a man who is 7 feet and 6 inches tall drunk? They say a picture says a thousand words, but we really just have about a thousand questions in regards to this one.
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