There are plenty of reasons for fans to hate sports players. The root of hatred could simply be a rivalry, an accused crime or just the way they look. Regardless of the reason, there are a lot of loathed athletes we love to despise and look down on.
How does one get included in such a list? Well, for starters you need to be active. That rules out cheater Lance Armstrong and his giant ego, both are off the list. It also means Tim Tebow doesn’t make the list. I hope that doesn’t mean I’m going to hell. Tebow aside, we love to hate our quarterbacks, as many are represented on the list. However, no coaches are found here, we are looking for players and to be honest, it’s too easy to hate on the Rex Ryans and Bill Belicheks of the world.
Honorable mention goes to Tom Brady. If you live outside New England you probably don’t like him. He’s good looking, married to a super model, has (what appears to be) a great family and five Super Bowl rings. What’s not to hate? Of course this is like hating Duke or the St. Louis Cardinals just because they are really good at what they do.
We’ve got golfers, baseball players and more in this list. Did I mention the quarterbacks? So many… Here are your 15 most hated active athletes today:
15 Michael Vick
If this was 2007, Michael Vick would be much higher on this list. Vick was accused of running a dog fighting operation for over five years. It was on his property and fully funded by Vick. The dogs that did not perform well were destroyed in the worst ways (hanging, drowning, etc.). Eventually he pleaded guilty and spent 21 months in the slammer. Prior to the dog fighting, he was lauded as a mobile quarterback that was redefining the position. Since his incarceration Vick has bounced around from team to team, often in a back-up role. The magic is long gone in his game, and some have forgiven Vick, but many have not and still hold his past transgressions against him.
14 Jay Cutler
13 Kobe Bryant
There is more than one reason to hate Kobe Bryant. First, there is the sexual assault case that makes for very raw reading. Despite getting past this (legally) he continued to cheat on his wife, leading to divorce. Secondly, there’s chucker Kobe, the talented shooting guard that never met a shot he didn’t like. Sure, he is an amazing player that is loved around the world, but he is also hated by many who trash his game and believe he would have never won a title without the players around him. That’s debatable. After all, Michael Jordan never won without Scottie Pippen, but there’s no debating Bryant is a chucker. That is fact.
12 Johnny Manziel
I guess technically the NFL jury is still out, but they are very close to making a detrimental judgment on JohnnyManziel. Let’s not even discuss the Cleveland Browns; after the years they had, they should be the focal point of hatred, based on the practices of everyone in the organization. What really gets fans worked up over Manziel is that he really has everything and continues to mess it up. He is a millionaire Heisman winner with a golden arm and anything he wants. Women, cars, people to say yes? Check, check and check. The problem is that trouble continues to find Johnny Football. Part of it appears to be substance abuse, but he’s also been arrested for stupid stuff (fake ID) and was also linked to accepting money when in college. Maybe someday he will get it together, then fans will find a whole other reason to hate on Johnny Football.
11 Ben Roethlisberger
Pittsburgh Steeler Ben Roethlisberger continues to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He has also been a major menace off the field throughout his career. The biggest reason for the hatred of Roethlisberger is the two accusations of rape. That’s right, not one, but two accusations of rape. Apparently he is also a difficult teammate and has found trouble while out in Pittsburgh. My guess is it has something to do with the accusations that don’t just go away. People can forget a lot (especially when you bring a title to their town), but they don’t forget absurd crimes against humanity.
10 Riley Cooper
Cooper is an NFL wide receiver that helped the Eagles stay competitive for a couple seasons. Oh, and Cooper is a straight up racist. While chilling at a Kenny Chesney concert he said “I will jump that fence and fight every (expletive) here, bro.” This was recorded on a camera phone and shared with the world. My surprise is how Cooper made it through training camp without getting the crap beaten out of him every five minutes. The Eagles should have had him cut, but didn’t. Whenever someone brings up Cooper, it is usually not for his receiving skills, it’s to point out what a racist douche he is.
9 Tiger Woods
The good news for Tiger Woods is that he continues to move down the list. Despite having everything, it was found that Woods had many, many mistresses ranging from women who liked golden showers to adult film stars. Time does heal the wounds of fans who felt tricked. Granted, he is still hated by many, but there is another story forming: The story of redemption and “feeling sorry” for Woods. This is how this is expected to play out: Woods spends another two years injured. At the age of 44 he regains his stroke and rips off 4 wins (2 majors) in the course of one season, returning as the number one golfer in the world.
8 Ndamukong Suh
7 Ryan Braun
In 2011, Ryan Braun led the Milwaukee Brewers to the playoffs and won the MVP. In 2012, Braun admitted to PED use. It’s not the cheating, it’s the lying and getting guys fired that is bothersome, because it appeared he was being sabotaged when in reality he was guilty as hell. He served a 65-game suspension and even called Milwaukee Brewers ticket holders to apologize for his actions. Some have forgiven, but many still hold a grudge against the man the Brewers gave a $100 million contract extension to that now makes him unmovable, and a hated man by many in Brew Town.
6 Mark Sanchez
The guy known as “the guy who had the butt fumble” is still playing and making millions of dollars. That’s why he is hated in general; however, in New York, fans of the Jets have a much deeper hate. Mark Sanchez was the quarterback during the Ryan regime, a team that played well enough to get into the playoffs, but never get to the big game, mostly due to their inadequate play at quarterback. Need more reasons to hate Sanchez? He went to USC and has dated Eva Longoria and Kate Upton. At one point he was making $8 million a year. Yes, you guessed it, the year of the butt fumble.
5 Tony Romo
4 Philip Rivers
A lot has to do with his “frat bro” looks. Philip Rivers is Cutler multiplied by five. He’s always complaining and yelling at his own players on the field. Off the field he can’t stop having children. He currently has over 50 children (note: estimate only, no research) and constantly talks about how he doesn’t want to play in a major market. Chargers fans hate on Rivers because despite his big name, he doesn’t win the big games. San Diego has consistently been at the top of the AFC West, but only have four playoff wins to show for it.
3 Serena Williams
This one is pretty cut and dry; you say something stupid and hurtful and people hate you for it. Sometimes you are on such a high pedestal you forget who’s listening to you. That seems to be what happened to Serena Williams when she made comments about the Steubenville rape victim. One of the most powerful women in the world stated that the victim “shouldn’t have put herself in that position.” She later apologized, both publically and privately, but the damage was done and she was knocked down from her pedestal and hated by many. Loyal fans continue to support, but fringe supporters and tennis fans in general were hurt and disappointed.
2 Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
1 Alex Rodriguez
This past off-season, Alex Rodriguez took to the broadcasting booth and got rave reviews. I’m not buying it and nor should you. Before we knew of the steroids he was easy to hate, always being photographed outside strip clubs or with beautiful women that were not his wife. Then the PED denials came until eventually MLB busted him and forced a 211 game suspension. After the suspension the Yankees tried to force him out and my assumption is several options for a buyout were discussed. However, Rodriguez wouldn’t budge, insisting he played and most importantly, got every cent he didn’t technically earn. Oh, and that smirk. I hate that smirk.