For many sports fans, sports provide a gateway to easing our minds off of real life problems. Your relationship may be on the rocks, rent money is due, or you just need a break from the rigors of the real world. Having the ability to go to a sporting event and drink some beer with your buddies is so common in today’s society, that there are often fans that take their love of the game a little too far. Sure, it’s cool to dress up in black and grey at Oakland Raiders’ games, but outside of the arena you still look like a fool.
Whether our hatred for certain athletes come from jealousy or not, there is always that one athlete fans cannot stand. It may not even be that they are jealous of their massive contracts, but rather that you envy their lifestyle and the people they associate themselves with. While I certainly do not hate New England Patriots’ Tight End Rob Gronkowski, I definitely hate the fact he gets to party it up with porn stars and drink for free everywhere.
Other fans’ hatred of athlete comes as a result of allegations of cheating or admissions of guilt. Betraying the fan base is a big no-no in professional sports, and it seems that its all too common place now a days. Most fans can understand the fact that athletes have families and they do their best to provide for them. However, leaving a city in favor of a slightly bigger contract is a quick way to betray the city that you once called home.
The following is a list of the most hated athletes in sports. Amongst the list of athletes you will find cheaters, liars, and plenty of arrogance to go around.
10. Johnny Manziel – NCAA Football – Texas A&M University
Ohhh Johnny Football. Even though he isn’t even a professional athlete (yet), he is one of the most hated athletes in the United States. But love him or hate him, there is no denying his athletic accomplishments were some of the greatest in recent college football history. The 2012 Heisman Trophy Winner became the first freshman QB to ever throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000, as he led the Aggies to a Cotton Bowl victory. During that offseason, Manziel began making headlines for his off the field antics, including being kicked out of a University of Texas frat party and his early exit from the Manning Passing Academy. His arrogance on and off the field is pretty annoying, but only time will tell if life in the NFL will be able to knock him down a peg.
9. Tim Tebow – Former New York Jets and Denver Broncos QB
During his days at the University of Florida, Tebow was the man. He led the Gators to the National Championship in 2007 and 2009, along with winning the Heisman Trophy during his 2007 season. While he was in college, he showed fire and a desire to win. Unfortunately for him, his outspoken Christian views and the fact that he’s so damn nice have led many fans to hate him. He appeared in a 2010 Super Bowl ad for Focus on Family and started the phenomenon of “Tebowing” where people would get down on one knee and pray. While his NFL career fizzled out, he does a lot of work in the Philippines and is currently an analyst for ESPN.
8. Sidney Crosby – Center – Pittsburgh Penguins
Similar to the others on our list, Crosby is a great athlete, and he has the accolades to back that up. However, Crosby is hated by almost every hockey fan outside of the Steel City for several reasons. First off, he’s a wuss. He stands by idly while his teammates square off in scuffles and he takes cheap shots. He does not play hard and he constantly whines. Secondly, he plays for the Canadian National Team and scored the game winning goal for gold against the United States. That’s plenty of reason for millions of American hockey fans to despise the best player in the NHL.
7. Floyd Mayweather Jr. – Professional Boxer
He’s fast, strong, and arrogant. With a record of 45-0, I suppose he has a reason to be arrogant. But to continually call out opponents and proclaim he is the best; c’mon, bro! As the highest-paid athlete in the world, I don’t think he knows exactly what to spend him money on anymore. That’s why you can usually find him at the casino dropping several million dollars on a sports bet, which more often than not is a loser. Not only does his mouth get him in trouble, but so do his fists outside of the ring. In 2002, Mayweather was charged with domestic violence and battery, with several other charges being filed over the next 10 years, ranging from coercion, battery, harassment, and domestic violence.
6. Dwight Howard – Center – Houston Rockets
If I could compare Dwight Howard to anything, it would be to a toddler that kicks and screams when things don’t go his way. Beginning in November, 2011 as a member of the Orlando Magic, Howard had a falling out with the organization and fans, demanding a trade or that head coach Stan Van Gundy be fired. From there, Howard went to play for Los Angeles, where he appeared to be indifferent and pouted when the Lakers wouldn’t shop around Kobe Bryant, the face of the franchise for over a decade. He went on to blame everybody except himself for the Lakers’ lackluster season and finally signed with Houston this past offseason. God bless Texas, right?
5. Tony Romo – QB – Dallas Cowboys
Aside from playing for “America’s Team”, Tony Romo does plenty on his own to warrant disdain from fans. Playing QB for the Cowboys is a tall task by itself, but with owner Jerry Jones always breathing down your neck, there is bound to be some stress. However, it doesn’t give him a free pass on our most hated list. Since being a Cowboy, he has yet to make it to the Super Bowl despite having over 25,000 passing yards. Romo is also known for his epic collapses down the stretch of the season and towards the end of games, going 0-3 in games where the team’s playoff hopes are on the line. If that’s not enough, Romo’s latest contract extension is worth $119 million, quite a chunk of cash for a QB that hasn’t been in the playoffs since 2006.
4. LeBron James – Forward – Miami Heat
LeBron James will probably end up as one of the greatest players to ever play in the NBA, so good for him. But for now, he is one of the most hated athletes in all of sports. His arrogance is unrivaled and he loves the spotlight. Not necessarily a bad thing, but consider this; he was born and raised in Cleveland and started out his career in a Cavs jersey. During free agency in the 2010 offseason, James teamed up with ESPN to announce he was taking his talents to South Beach, Miami. Not only had he left his hometown for more money, he took over the airwaves for an hour with his massive ego! Since then, he has been very successful, but he is quick to deflect blame when things don’t go his way. His latest example was him blaming the mask he was wearing due to a broken nose for his slight decline in production.
3. Ryan Braun – Outfielder – Milwaukee Brewers
Since his rookie season in 2007, Ryan Braun quickly became one of the best players in the majors. Since winning the Rookie of the Year Award in 2007, Braun has been to the All-Star game five times and won the NL MVP Award in 2011. Everything sounds good, right? Wrong. In 2011, Braun’s urine test tested positive for an extensive level of testosterone caused by performance enhancing drugs. Braun faced a 50 game suspension and the MLB decision to suspend him was ultimately overturned due to a technicality in regards to how the urine had been collected. In 2013, Braun’s name came up during a PED investigation into the Biogenesis clinic and resulted in Braun’s 65 game suspension. There is no denying he is a hell of an athlete, but to vehemently deny his involvement with PEDs and then admit it after the MLB had concrete evidence against him puts him at number 3 on our list of most hated athletes.
2. Lance Armstrong – Cyclist (USA)
After successfully beating testicular cancer, Lance Armstrong became the face in the fight against the disease. Because of his cancer ordeal and the fact that he won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times, it didn’t take long for Armstrong to become one of the most hated athletes in the world. Armstrong’s arrogance and defiance of allegations of doping were enough to drive cycling fans crazy, and he even went on to bash his own teammates on occasion. Although he was accustomed to the allegations, the years of abuse finally took their toll on Armstrong and charges were brought against him the the USADA for doping and trafficking performance enhancing drugs. He was subsequently banned for life from sports sanctioned by the WADA and he didn’t bother to fight the charges, citing the emotional toll it would take on his family.
1. Alex Rodriguez – Third Basemen – New York Yankees
A-Rod has been at the top of the most hated list ever since his days in a Texas Rangers uniform. For starters, he signed a deal worth over $200 million with the Rangers, which is enough for people to hate him based on the amount of Bennies he would be rolling in. Secondly, he left Texas for even more money to play for the evil empire in NYC, so nearly all baseball fans hate him for that. Lastly, he is an arrogant cheater that has been accused and found guilty of using PEDs. While his list of accomplishments should no doubt have an asterisk next to his name, at least for the 2014 season we won’t have to watch him as he is currently serving a season-long suspension for his role in the Biogensis clinic scandal.