Whether an athlete plays on a team or in an individual sport, attitude is an important factor. No one wants to be around someone who is consistently throwing fits and attacking everyone from opponents to fellow teammates both on and off the field.
There are some players who act as a glue on their team and bring everyone together. They make good locker room speeches and they always have the right snippet to mutter in the down-trodden huddles when the scoreboard seems to predict an utterly hopeless outcome. They’re the kind of players that make a positive contribution to their team on a level beyond the statistics and the scoreboard.
There are other players, however, who seem to do their best to cause as much tension as they possibly can. They seem to feel no responsibility to control their impulses and are often a fire storm of friction, wreaking havoc on their team and – in the age of such heavy media scrutiny – ultimately, themselves.
Talent can, sometimes unfortunately, sweep a lot under the rug. A star athlete will get a lot more free passes than the third-stringer who is throwing tantrums. However, sometimes even all the talent in the world can’t help a bad attitude. Honorable mention to DeMarcus Cousins who will most likely be a fixture on this list if he continues in the vein that he has.
10 Johnny Manziel
9 DeMarcus Cousins
8 Randy Moss
7 Michael Vick
6 John McEnroe
5 Alex Rodriguez
4 Claude Lemieux
3 Michael Jordan
2 Sean Avery
1 Terrell Owens
Oh, T.O. In a trend that’s pretty prevalent on this list, he’s another player who is incredibly talented yet has had a lot of trouble in the league because of his attitude. No matter how good you are on the field, if you’re constantly stirring up trouble off the field, no one is going to want you on the team. Owens has celebrated touchdowns by disrespectfully posing on the opposing team’s logo and autographed the game ball in-game. He has mocked the celebration dances of other players (notably Ray Lewis), commented in interviews about the inadequacy of his multi-million dollar contract (so scarce he could hardly feed his family, apparently), been suspended for attitude in training camp, insulted his own franchise and team mates, and spit in DeAngelo Hall’s face. There’s not much he hasn’t done.
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