Top 25 Wardrobe Fails in Sports History

Sports and wardrobe malfunctions can often be seen in the same light and are a common part of the celebrity and social culture of this modern society. While most athletes concentrate solely on the game, it is easy to miss certain things that could cause controversy and even though they can be extremely embarrassing for the athlete, the cameras can’t seem to get enough.

It does not matter if you are the best athlete in the world, as all it takes is a single slip or a faulty outfit and your most delicate areas are on display for the world to see. Wardrobe Malfunctions are one of the most searched terms on the internet. Admittedly, not all wardrobe malfunctions are accidental and may not be embarrassing at all. Many fails, particularly in sports, are designed for the most beneficial and convenient moment. Although, a few famous Olympians that became famous for unlikely reasons may have a different view.

Clothes or uniforms that are worn by athletes today are tight fitting and lightweight, which are beneficial for athlete’s performance. However, they are also particularly easy to manoeuvre, stretch and tear, which makes wardrobe malfunctions a common ground in the humorous side of the sports industry. We live in a modern world where news and photos become global phenomenons in minutes, therefore when anything exciting, saddening or embarrassing happens in the sporting industry, you are definitely going to know about it.

From ripped uniforms, to broken straps and misspelled names, fans of the sports industry have seen everything there is to see. Nonetheless, here are the top 25 wardrobe fails in sports that make up some of the greatest moments in sports television history.

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27 Jenifer Benitez

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At the 2012 London Olympics, Jenifer Benitez competed in the three-meter springboard and became remembered for more than just her impeccable diving at aged 19. As the Spanish diver waited for her scores to be announced, Benitez harmlessly adjusted her swimsuit, unknowingly while an above camera was aimed at her. The young diver was unaware that the Olympic Games did not leave much room for privacy and although her scores may have been commendable, the world had a glimpse of a particular part of her upper body that took shine away from the results.


25 Gabriela Sabatini

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The Argentine professional tennis player had a long and impressive career. Throughout her career, she had won the women’s singles title at the US open in 1990, in 1998 won the women’s doubles title at Wimbledon, and the Year-End Championships twice in 1988 and 1994 and became a silver medalist at the 1988 Olympic Games. Gabriela Sabatini, one of the most powerful female tennis stars between the 1980s and 1990s, also hated wearing bras just as much as she loved wearing white shirts. Combine that with a sweat-worthy competition and you’ve got a wardrobe malfunction that lasted over a decade.


23 Wayne Gretzky


Playing one of his last games for the New York Rangers, legendary hockey player Wayne Gretzky had his name misspelt on the back of his sweater on October 30th, 1997 in a game against the Islanders. While playing in the Big Apple, at the near-end of his career, Gretzky was forced to play with the back of his jersey spelling “Gretkzy,” taking on an entirely new last name. How can you possibly misspell the name of hockey's greatest player? Unfortunately, the new name didn’t come with much success. The Rangers still lost to the rival Islanders, 5-3.

22 Jeff Francoeur

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With a more challenging last name, Cleveland Indians player, Jeff Francoeur became the victim of a misspelled jersey on August 16th, 2007 while playing for the Atlanta Braves. Francoeur wore the jersey regardless, with the name spelt “Francouer.” Even though the letter switch was understandably not very noticeable, the baseball player still couldn’t wait to get out of the jersey, which was obvious when he went 0-4 with the Braves in the game against the Giants. Even after switching to the New York Mets, Francoeur still had his name misspelt on a line-up poster in the clubhouse.

21 Steve Lyons

On July 16th, 1990, Tigers Stadium in Detroit witnessed a self-inflicted wardrobe malfunction from Chicago White Sox utility man Steve ‘Psycho’ Lyons that will never be forgotten. After an impressive bunt, Lyons raced down the line to beat the throw, sliding into first base head-first. Chicago’s baseball player then decided to free his pants from dirt, unintentionally pulling them all the way down for the audience to witness. Before he had realized, the crowd and the live broadcastings had caught a glimpse of Lyons. With good sportsmanship, Lyons later admitted that ladies in the crowd waved money at him as he returned to the dugout, which make the awkward situation a little more awkward.

20 Olga Graf

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It may not have been a complete wardrobe malfunction, however Olga Graf has a self-inflicted encounter that may have been one of the most avoidable wardrobe malfunctions of all time. After winning a bronze medal at last year’s Winter Olympics, Graf with much excitement unintentionally began to unzip her uniform to her waist, without realizing that she wasn’t wearing anything underneath. Fortunately for the Russian Speed Skater, Graf realized what was happening and zipped herself back up before anything fell out, however the cameras wasted no time taking shots of what was going on.

19 Sebastian Kehl

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German footballer Sebastian Kehl had an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in January 2005, after an opposing player from Borussia Mönchengladbach pulled down his shorts and revealed his private parts to the crowd. After noticing, Kehl immediately stopped running and raised his arm out to the opposing player in distress before putting his parts back into his pants. Defensive midfielder for Borussia Dortmund, Kehl did not take the exposure lightly, mostly considering the incident occurred during a home match. Nonetheless, thanks to opposing midfielder Peer Kluge and his accidental grip placement, the embarrassing occurrence led to the footballer’s internet fame.

18 Devin Hester

Chicago Bears Devin Hester had his pants pulled down by Dimitri Patterson from the Philadelphia Eagles during a Sunday Night Football contest in 2009, creating a humorous ending to the game that was caught on NBC’s national broadcasting. Hester’s bottom was exposed to audiences around the globe after being tackled; however his unfortunate display came with no justice, as his team still lost to the Philadelphia Eagles. Understandably, Hester did not want to shine light on the situation, asking the Chicago Sun-Times to “let it die down.” However, Hester lightly admits that he had gotten many comments from female fans, and took them all as compliments.

17 Flavia Zoccari

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Italian swimmer Flavia Zoccari was disqualified from the 200 meter finals at the Mediterranean Games in 2009 after an unfortunate wardrobe fail forced her to sit on the sidelines. The Olympic swimmer burst into tears after realizing that just moments before the 200 meter race, her swimsuit had burst open at the back, exposing her backside to camera’s everywhere. Ironically, her branded swimsuit, ‘Jaked J01’, was only recently un-banned from the Olympic Games, due to a controversial dispute that the suit was an unfair advantage.

16 Donyell Marshall

Retired American professional basketball player Donyell Marshall checked in for the Cavs in 2008 without realizing that he had left behind a key feature of his game. It had been a while since Marshall had played basketball, therefore. when it was his time to shine; he pulled off both his jacket and jersey in excitement, running onto the court wearing nothing but a tank top. After playing in the league for thirteen years, the NBA stars’ easily avoidable wardrobe malfunction sent his team into hysterics, becoming the joke of the game.

15 Kerri Walsh

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36 years old, three-time Olympic Champion, Kerri Walsh Jennings lost her bikini bottoms during a volleyball match after diving for the ball and landing into the sand. The famous volleyball champion and mother of three did not overstress the situation, however. In fact, Walsh Jennings, along with the other half of the American Volleyball Team, Misty May Treanor, admit that whilst wearing nothing except for a sports bra and bikini bottoms, such wardrobe malfunctions happen during practice. Therefore they go to matches prepared for anything, including losing more than a volleyball match.

14 Batista

WWE superstar, Dave Batista made up much of WWE’s internet ridicule for his fashion sense after returning to wrestling for a little bit in January 2013. On March 24th of that year, the wrestling world went crazy after Batista ripped a hole in the back of his skinny jeans during a segment with Stephanie McMahon and Randy Orton on Monday Night Raw. Even though the tore exposed his backside to the world, Batista later responded lightly at his expensive, tweeting:

Thank God I wore my good underwear tonight! They weren't even my tight jeans!! Shades of the Deacon...

— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) March 25, 2014

13 Paul Scholes

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Former Manchester United footballer Paul Scholes became a victim of a wardrobe fail in the middle of a tackle in the late 1990s. Although he had pulled off the action many times before, something slipped during his slide tackle and his manly parts were on display for the world to see. Although audiences may not have seen the embarrassing moment, Scholes did not get away with the mistake, which is evident in the games photography, exposing Scholes red face and private parts.

12 Eve Torres

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Every once in a while, WWE Divas are put in difficult circumstances that can result in revealing images that the whole world might see. Unfortunately for Eve Torres, that is exactly what happened after an awkward camera angle revealed her entire crotch in 2010. This wardrobe malfunction is seen as the worst kind for a WWE Diva, which is why many female wrestlers now wear a second pair of underwear under their tiny shorts. Eve Torres, however, mistakenly trusted her single layered, tight wrestling gear to cover herself. As a result, her intimate area was broadcast across WWE television.

11 Jelena Jankovic

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29 year old Serbian tennis star Jelena Jankovic had an embarrassing encounter after her bra strap snapped during her fifth game at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. Competing against American Sloane Stephens, Jankovic proceeded to the sidelines to search for assistance. Luckily enough, a female spectator was able to somewhat fix the tennis star's problem and tied the bra strap back together. With that, Jankovic and her professionalism stepped back onto the court, where she finished her match Against Sloane Stephens with a victory.

10 Gillian Cooke

British Bobsledder Gillian Cooke gave everyone behind her a different kind of show in 2010 at the World Championships in Switzerland. The 32 year old bobsledder, wearing a tight suit, hadn’t realised that just moments before racing, her outfit had split. Cooke exposed her backside to a worldwide audience and was completely unaware. Nonetheless, the spandex tear didn’t stop her from bounding through the race, placing seventh and later on, competing in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Keeping things professional, both Cooke and her partner have been unavailable for commenting and have not posted anything on their page about the incident.

9 Paul Pierce

The former Boston Celtics forward became a victim of a unique game strategy, set to distract the basketball player from the ball when playing against the Indiana Pacers in 2007. Perpetual pest Ron Artest pulled down Peirce’s shorts in the middle of the game, revealing more than a new game plan. Nonetheless, Pierce proceeded with the game with his shorts around his ankles, sinking a three-point basket and suggesting that the Indiana Pacers needed a new strategy. Nonetheless, Pierce admits that Artest is “one of the best players” he has payed against.

8 Jordan Ayew

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Jordan Ayew had a wardrobe malfunction on June 26th; during the 2014 FIFA World Cup after a Portuguese defender grabbed the footballer’s shorts too roughly. In a quick battle for the ball, Jordan Ayew and Portugal’s William Carvalho fought recklessly, pulling at each other’s clothing and as a result, Ayew had his fitted underwear exposed for the entire Brasilia national stadium, and everyone else watching at home. Although Ghana was eliminated from the World Cup, female soccer fans are still raving about the professional footballer’s exposure and don not see it as an unfortunate event.

7 Brie Bella

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In July 2013, audiences of WWE caught a glimpse of more than just wrestling on Monday night RAW, as total Dive Brie Bella had a wardrobe malfunction that resulted in a world-wide viewing of her breast. While participating in a casual interview, Brie Bella, one of the highest profile members of the Total Divas franchise, proved that you don’t need to be wrestling in small outfits for something to go wrong. Merely sitting there, cameras caught the embarrassing wardrobe malfunction, which Brie Bella later admitted to, tweeting:

I apologize 4 my wardrobe malfunction I'm embarrassed & it looks as though the humidity made my tape come off You'll never see that again! B

— Nikki & Brie (@BellaTwins) July 23, 2013

6 Ekaterina Rubleva

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During a routine with her partner, Ivan Shefer, Ekaterina Rubleva unintentionally exposed more than she had hoped for after her unfortunate wardrobe malfunction, at the European Figure Skating Championships in 2009. Whilst the 23 year old figure skater was captivating judges, her dress strap had broken, revealing her breast to the entire world. Keeping their professionalism, however, both Rubleva and her partner proceeded with the routine until the end, keeping their smiles and trying to avoid any negative attention. Nonetheless, the figure skating partners from Moscow, with a resulting score of 29.04, ended up taking home 12th place.

5 Ricky Berens

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As US tried to quality for the Rome FINA World Championship finals in 2009, American swimmer Ricky Berens was stuck in a testing situation that, all things considered, did not hinder the teams’ results. Moments before swimming in a freestyle relay, Berens swimsuit had burst open at his backside and revealed a part of the swimmer's body to the world. Nonetheless, US finished fourth and qualified, giving back Berens partial dignity. From there, the team went on to win first place and Ricky Berens was no longer remembered merely for the sight of his backside.

4 Junior Lake

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The Chicago Cubs outfielder, Junior Lake, will always be remembered for his wardrobe malfunction that embarrassed not only him, but his team in 2014. It was only as Junior entered the field to play a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates that he realised he was wearing a completely different jersey and the difference was recognised by everyone. Nonetheless, Lake played the entire first inning in the wrong jersey and pretended that everything was fine. It wasn’t until the top of the second inning, when Lake emerged onto the field in the correct jersey.

3 Christina Tsoukala

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Greece’s Christina Tsoukala, whilst competing in an intense game of Water Polo in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, captured the world’s attention with an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction, revealing her breast. Playing against Australia, the game grew more intense with every moment, which resulted in a lot of grabbing and pulling. Regrettably, Tsoukala became the consequence of an intense Water Polo game as she battled against Australia’s Gemma Beadsworth for the ball, flaunting more than just her athleticism and national pride. Unfortunately, Tsoukala’s wardrobe malfunction came to no justice, as her team had still lost to Australia, 8-6.

2 Diego Forlan

When Manchester United faced off with Southampton in 2002, Diego Forlan did not fail to execute his usual impressive goals throughout the match. However, as Forlan took his shirt off to celebrate his first goal, he struggled to put it back on in time for the next kick off. Nonetheless, the talented footballer shook off the embarrassment and continued on with the game without his shirt and chasing after Southampton’s James Beattie, creating hilarity around the arena.

1 Venus Williams

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Venus Williams, while being a force on the court and a significant competitor in the world of tennis, has experienced more than her share of wardrobe malfunctions. From form-fitting, nude colored underwear that created an uncomfortable illusion, to forgetting underwear completely, Williams has shocked fans and spectators around the world. The professional tennis player, who designs her own outfits, took it even further in 2010 at the French Open. While looking great and playing even greater, Williams struggled to stay preserved, as her shirt-strap had snapped, exposing her breast to the crowd and creating uproar of outrage, humor and amazement.

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