Top 20 Most Scandalous Athlete Affairs of All Time

There are plenty of reasons to become a professional athlete. The first and most obvious is that you can get paid to do something genuinely enjoyable. Lawyers, doctors, bureaucrats, and other "professionals" can say they do interesting things and make good money, but they'd rather be getting paid to play sports and if they say otherwise, they're lying.

The pay is generally pretty good for plenty of sports. Even bench-warmers who see a handful of shifts, at-bats or plays per season generally make hundreds of thousands of dollars in the NHL, MLB, and NFL for example, while middle of the road starters make millions, and don't even get us started on the stars.

Finally, there is the factor of women. I'm sure that someone could write a sociology doctoral thesis (if it hasn't been done already) that at the end of the day, anything any man does to increase his status in the world is done to try to attain a higher level of tail. This may be an oversimplification of the gender and most will not admit it, but the theory speaks for itself. For some men, the search and hunt for booty is second to nothing in their priorities.

The same can be said of many athletes. While plenty find one woman and stick by her, some of the biggest stars in the world of sports have been caught two-timing. The media loses it every time it happens but when dozens of women throw themselves at pro athletes daily it's hard to see it as any surprise. But I digress, here is our list of the most notorious, shocking, scandalous athlete scandals.

20 20. Tiki Barber


19 19. Johnny Damon  

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

It's hard to say whether Johnny Damon's infidelities and shenanigans are actually scandalous because to hear him talk about such events, he almost goes about it in a nonchalant way with an arrogant frat boy demeanor. Our hero.

18 18. Paul Lo Duca 


17 17. Dwyane Wade 

16 16. Mark Gastineau 


15 15. Chipper Jones 

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

14 14. Jason Kidd 

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most controversial figures in recent NBA history, Jason Kidd, makes our list after having allegedly cheated on his now ex-wife numerous times. For some background, now a coach, Kidd was one of the league's best point guards for much of his playing career, but had so many personal scandals it's hard to take his career seriously.

13 13. Shaquille O'Neal 

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

12 12. Barry Bonds 

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Where do we start with Barry Bonds? He stands as one of the most divisive characters in the history of the game of baseball. You can start off with names like Ty Cobb and Pete Rose, but eventually someone is going to throw Bonds into the conversation. He married his first wife, Susann, in 1988 and divorced her in 1994, formally having the union annulled in '97. He married his second wife, Liz, in 1998, but from 1994 until around 2003, he had an ongoing affair with another woman, Kimberly Bell. Years ago, Bell testified at Bonds' perjury trial after his involvement with the BALCO scandal.

11 11. Tom Brady 

I'm unsure whether Tom Brady actually did anything wrong here, but for the entertainment of all the Brady-haters out there, we decided to include another story about him allegedly "cheating." Between destroying a cell phone, leaving some balls unattended, and spying on an opponent like an NSA agent with a camcorder, many believe that Brady's current marriage to supermodel Gisele Bundchen started out as an affair. He was with actress Bridget Moynahan until late 2006 and seemingly the instant their relationship went the way of the proverbial dodo bird, he was dating Bundchen.

10 10. Ashley Cole  

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

9 9. Kobe Bryant 

The Black Mamba or Vino (because nothing in the world is cooler than a self-assigned nickname) is our number nine, though he managed to stay married to his wife Vanessa, despite many controversial moments in their relationship. When they met, she was still in high school and his parents initially did not approve of the couple.

8 8. Oscar De La Hoya  

7 7. John Terry 

One of England's most beloved and decorated footballers was not immune to the lure of a woman to whom he was not married. Worse, he got mixed up with the wife of a teammate. He's one of Chelsea's greatest stars but he is also probably the most notorious adulterer in the history of the EPL.

6 6. Alex Rodriguez 

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

It's the same story with several members of this list. A-Rod may be one of the best baseball players in the game and possibly all time, but he's done too much in the way of tarnishing his own name to be considered a great hero of the sport. His two scandals for performance enhancing drug use have made him a villain on the field and some choice events in his personal life have fostered hatred for him off the field.

5 5. Michael Jordan 

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

4 4. Roger Clemens 

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Rocket Roger Clemens played over two decades in Major League Baseball, achieving the kind of success that even some of the most gifted of his peers can only dream of. Seven Cy Young Awards, two World Series wins and the distinction of having struck out 4,672 batters; third most of all time.

3 3. Tony Parker 

via BigStockPhoto

What the hell do you mean a guy cheated on Eva Longoria? Did he never see her?! This was a paraphrased response of millions of men after San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker was caught cheating on a woman that many idolize for her beauty. Who knows, none of us are married to her, maybe she's completely insufferable.

2 2. Ryan Giggs 

1 1. Tiger Woods

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Do we even need to explain this one? The most gifted and classy man in (possibly) the classiest sport out there was married to a Swedish former model and decided chasing tail everywhere he went was a good idea. She found out, the media had something vastly beyond a field day and they divorced. He apologized and seemed to get everything back on track. He even started dating one of the hottest female skiers in the world, Lindsey Vonn. Sure enough, when they broke up, rumors started flying about another woman with whom he had fooled around. Her name is Amanda Boyd and she used to be married to golfer Jason Dufner.

It's ultimately unclear whether those rumors are true, but there is no question that Tiger Woods romantic history amounts to the most notorious and scandalous of all athlete affairs.

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Top 20 Most Scandalous Athlete Affairs of All Time