Through the history of the NFL, there have been players that got on fans nerves. They are either cocky, money hungry, annoying, loud or all of the above.
Football in general is comprised of many young men who have waited their whole life for their big pay day after dedicating their life to football. Sometimes that brings an attitude, but then there are some that are humble and grateful for the opportunity to play in the NFL. But there are more of those people who give off bad vibes, who provoke complaints from their teammates and fans alike. Sure these players can be, at times, the best on the team or very skillful, but their attitudes are not respected, and some of them embrace that.
Take for example, Terrell Owens, who said: "I don't have no friends. I don't want no friends. That's how I feel."
Terrell Owens is a prime example of a football player who was disliked by more than half of NFL fans. Terrell was rude to people on the field, and though Dallas and Eagles fans loved him for the time he wore their uniform, he made many enemies. He made enemies with coaches, players, fans, and sometimes, himself. He made stupid remarks in press conferences, and was just generally an unfriendly guy.
Well, Terrell Owens isn't alone. The following are 15 NFL players who were absolutely hated.
15 Lawrence Taylor
The original "LT" before Tomlinson was disliked by many in the NFL. It is undeniable that Taylor may be the best defensive player to have ever played. What is also undisputed is how he acted on the field, and how fans reacted to him. He was very cocky, and he once said something that didn't sound quite professional:
"I'm a cocky son of a b****, that's what makes me such a good player."
He was arrested during his career multiple times. He once had a 30-day suspension for cocaine usage, and he has been linked to other drug arrests in the past as well. His post playing career hasn't quite been rosy either, with several more arrests.
To sum it up, he was a fearless competitor with a genuinely bad attitude.
14 Jim McMahon
The Chicago Bears player was so careless. He didn't care what anyone thought about him, on or off the field. Jim McMahon would be under the influence of alcohol, and actually drink beers after the games in public. When Pete Rozelle banned headbands in the NFL, Jim defied this by wearing his own. He would do anything to break the rules. During 1985, he would moon the cameramen, and on public television, viewers would see his butt censored out. It was as if he wanted to annoy people and fans by doing anything he could to peeve everyone. Whatever, he did help the Bears to a great season in 1985, one of the best years ever by any team, but that does not change the fact that his behavior was not well received.
He probably felt well protected behind the Monsters of the Midway.
13 Ricky Williams
He was constantly questioned for his character, and whether he even cared to play professional football. Though his teams loved him, fans of other cities were annoyed by his lackadaisical attitude. He failed three drug tests, and actually got suspended in 2004. Ricky was a very good running back, but his attitude was not liked by the NFL. Ricky has admitted to having anxiety problems in the past, perhaps that explains some of his more reprehensible behaviors. Ricky was a Dolphins star certainly. Fortunately for Williams, what he did on the field will not be forgotten, as he racked up chunks of yards each game, and was an exciting player to watch. But does the league miss Ricky? Probably not, and its all because of his negative behaviors.
12 Keyshawn Johnson
Keyshawn was a stereotypical cocky wide receiver. In every football movie, the guy who is the most mean and arrogant is usually the wide receiver. Keyshawn was just like this, rude on and off the field throughout his career. I mean, he has a book called Just Give Me the Damn Ball. Johnson would often fight with his coaches, and on the Buccaneers he would start arguments with Jon Gruden, a fantastic head coach. Though he killed it in the NFL, and his statistics prove that, the fans did not appreciate his cocky attitude.
Many NFL fans did not like him, and even his own teams, as he seemed to wear out his welcome wherever he went. No matter how good you are, its important to remember the virtue of humility.
11 Bryan Cox
The Miami Dolphins linebacker would be brutal to fans. On many occasions, he spit in crowds, and into the faces of away fans. He played 12 seasons in the league. Cox was known for his raunchy behavior on and off the field. Another crazy thing he would do is just flip off people for no reason. He was a hothead, always angry at anything. His inability to control his bad attitude and his overall lack of good nature are the reasons people hated him.
He was a good defensive player, and did win a Super Bowl, but there is more to life in the NFL than being a skilled athlete. He now is a coach for the Atlanta Falcons on the defensive side. I'm sure he got his attitude together, as being an NFL employee requires some level of proper social skills.
10 Jack Tatum
The Oakland Raiders safety was dirty on the field. Tatum, known for being on the wrong side of the "immaculate reception," tore up offenses. Tatum played 10 seasons in Oakland, and his nickname "The Assassin" was well deserved. He was a fearless competitor and violent when tackling people. He caused hundreds of injuries to quarterbacks and running backs, and he scared the hell out of players. He is a three-time Pro Bowler, and he actually won a Super Bowl too. Tatum is an NFL legend who will always be remembered for his demeanor on the field. During his playing years, fans disliked him because they didn't want their home team to face him.
His most infamous hit occurred in a preseason game against New England, when Darryl Stingley was paralyzed after colliding with Tatum following a slant route.
9 Randy Moss
You hated Randy Moss. Admit it. Though it was spectacular if you had him on your fantasy team, if you didn't, you would be pissed one way or another. Moss annoyed the hell out of teams and fans that he played. He would make stupendous efforts to get in the defenders' heads every game, and probably did so each time. He spit on fans, mooned fans, and cursed opposing coaches (allegedly).
Moss was a beast though. He was very good on the Vikings, and absolute monster on the Patriots. By the end of his career, he had no more to prove, and he will undoubtedly be inducted into the Hall of Fame one day. Randy now works on television, and I'm sure his attitude has gotten a little better over the years.
Just ask fans in Oakland what they thought of his time there.
8 Bill Romanowski
Bill was mean to people on the field. I mean, it's football, so you're not going to be bringing flowers to your opponents or anything, but still, you should not trash talk too much. He would also beat up teammates, and in one instance, threw a football at one of his buddies. He spit in teammates' faces, talked back to his coaches, and wasn't friendly with his fans. He also once kicked a teammate so hard that he (allegedly) bled profusely out of his nose.
Romanowski won a Super Bowl with the Broncos, proving that morals don't matter in success in the NFL. Personal success maybe, but for the team, he delivered. Romanowski was a tormenting linebacker who would do anything to get in your head. Fans despised him.
7 Conrad Dobler
Conrad Dobler would intentionally hurt people on the football field. He would illegally do certain things, which developed into a habit. He never cared, nor did he say sorry for his intentional actions ever in his career. Dobler made three Pro Bowls, but along the way, he made many enemies. His own teammates weren't too fond of him, knowing not to push his buttons too much. If they did, he would get violent with them.
Conrad wasn't liked by fans nor management. What kept him alive and well in the NFL was his good blocking, and athletic capabilities. Dobler had good technique, as noted by his coaches, but his attitude was unchangeable with him. He was a lost cause when it came to his attitude.
6 Michael Irvin
Michael Irvin is obviously one of the greatest wide receivers who ever played. Cowboys fans praised him, but ask fans of other teams what they think about him and you will get an inverse answer. He was cocky and not pleasant at all, even to his own teammates. He wanted the ball nearly every play, yelling at his QBs to get him the rock. He got arrested in 1996 for drug charges, which didn't help his image. Eagles fans hated this guy with their lives. Bird fans would boo and scream when he came on the television, or to Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. Irvin made a name for himself on the field, but off the field he had issues for sure. He now is respected and works on television, but he had some problems in his youth with arrogance.
5 Ray Lewis
Many non-Ravens fans did not like Big Ray Lewis. I didn't like Ray Lewis until he retired. I still don't love him because he has a really shady past. As we know, he was charged with murder in 2000. Like Kobe Bryant's case, people believe he got away with the charges because he is famous. It is quite possible, as wealth often times helps in the court room (Can anyone say O.J. Simpson?). Ray would go on to win two Super Bowls, but he still has a history with crime. Lewis was not liked by fans because of this, but also his egotistical manner on and off the field. Ray had an attitude as if he was a god, the best defender to ever step foot on an NFL turf field.
4 Greg Hardy
Greg Hardy was a very good defender for the Cowboys and the Panthers. However, he got charged with domestic violence, and made very inappropriate comments during the Cowboys season in 2015. Hardy thinks he is innocent, for some reason, which is troubling. He is highly hated by NFL fans because of his attitude and overall actions. Anyone who beats women or other people will not be liked by the NFL organization or people in general.
Even people who do not follow football know who he is, which is truly how you know he is a bad guy. It's good that no team has signed him, showing that domestic violence will not be accepted in the NFL, though the NFL still has some repeat offenders on its payroll.
3 Johnny Manziel
Idiot. This is the one word I would use to describe him. Manziel had it all. He was a starting QB for the Browns. He was not so great, but hey, he made it to the NFL. Johnny blew everything away with his partying. He hung out with Drake and other rappers at clubs before going to practice. Johnny would always be anywhere but with the team, and he eventually got released as a result of his stupidity. Manziel had real potential as a mobile quarterback with an accurate arm. It turns out he had no ambition to play like a pro in the NFL in the first place. The Browns should have known this before, as he had trouble in college with alcohol and partying as well.
At this point, Manziel's career already looks like it's over.
2 Terrell Owens
As I mentioned in the introduction, Terrell Owens wasn't liked by fans. He was so good, and that really annoyed people. Owens had a demeanor, similar to Ray Lewis and really to everyone on this list, that said he was the best thing since sliced bread. Owens had a fantastic career, but his snarky comments and rudeness to coaches and fans didn't help his image. Many found him funny, but the majority of people who weren't fans of the Cowboys or Eagles/49ers, weren't fans of him. T.O. was really cocky, and always predicted that he and his team would dominate every game. He never won a Super Bowl, but he valued his own successes on the field. He is now retired, and holds many records in the NFL.
To this day, people have mixed feelings about him, which is probably why he's yet to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
1 Michael Vick
When Michael Vick was charged with holding dog fights, the whole world hated him. People protested, the NFL was furious, and even Falcons fans couldn't hold back the hate. He missed the 2007 and 2008 NFL seasons, and was protested when he came back to the league in 2009. This guy turned around his image by the end of his career, but for a long time, nobody would want him near their team.
The Eagles took a chance on him and it worked out for a little bit. Vick earned the nickname "Convick," a fun little play on words. Vick spent some time in prison, and when he got out, he was beyond stressed by the constant protesting he had provoked. No player has ever incited so much negative commotion during their career then Michael Vick.