Real Or Fake: 15 Gruesome (And Funny) Sports Injury Memes

Injuries in sports are never funny. Some athletes have injuries that are completely horrific. People remember Joe Theisman's horrific leg injury many years ago; his leg lay broken on the field as onlookers gasped. And many a football player has suffered awful and sometimes gruesome injuries right before our eyes. Injuries are a serious part of sports. But sometimes, some athletes take a day off or two even when they aren't really injured. Maybe they're tired and just need a little rest. Years ago, major league baseball player Mike Marshall, who used to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers back in the 1980s, went on the disabled list for "General Soreness." Enough said.

Nowadays, the NBA is having a firestorm of issues with these kinds of random days off. Imagine you playing hooky from work and just taking a day for yourself. That's the equivalent of what NBA players have been doing of late. However, on their sick days, they get paid in full; in fact, they get paid big-time whether they play or not. Players have been sat in droves in the NBA to keep them "fresh." There's quite a bit of debate going on about teams sitting their best 3 players at the same time and "punting" games. There have also been other instances when some believe athletes may have faked an injury or not played through a minor issue. Either way, an athlete taking a day off has spurred some pretty funny memes about injuries. Some are real, and some are fake. Either way, they're interesting to look at. Let's take a look at Real or Fake: 15 Sports Injuries.

15 Down on the Pitch

Soccer fans are well aware of their treasured sport, futbol, and the various things that happen during the game. In a beautiful sport that combines elements of grace, skill, athleticism, and Academy Award-winning acting. Soccer has got a bit of a reputation for its players falling to the ground as if bullets were being sprayed across the field at their legs. And most of the time, these players do fall with the slightest wind or little bit of contact. They constantly attempt to corrupt and influence the officials into making bad calls. In this case, what appears to be a terribly broken ankle may be no laughing matter despite the mocking caption. Now, so many players fake on a regular basis that this ironic picture is the perfect blend of comedy and reality.

14 Toughness Test

This mocking meme is a stereotypical reaction to the comparison between the athletes in these two sports. Hockey players have somewhat of a reputation of playing through any and all injuries. They rarely miss time on the ice unless they absolutely cannot compete. The same cannot be said of an NBA player. Basketball players, as stated earlier, tend to be a tad more sensitive to pain and tend to take a few more minutes off when they have the chance. Now, unfairly, this meme is mocking what could be an MCL strain versus a cut on the face. But it's the imagery that rings true. Hockey players who break a finger while on the ice or get a nasty cut will ask the trainer to tape or stitch them up, and they barely miss a moment. An NBA player who's tired from the night before very well may get a "day off." It certainly is an interesting distinction between the mindset of the athletes who compete in each sport.

13 Knee Issues

Well, nothing says disgusting like a terrible knee injury. Cutting and moving are literally some of the most important parts of being a successful athlete, and knee joints are very important. So when an ACL or MCL injury occurs, it can be one of the most gruesome around. Of all athletes, soccer and basketball players tend to be mocked for their lack of perceived toughness. In this terrible image, there's nothing to laugh about. The meme obviously pokes fun at soccer players and their inability to properly react (or their overreactions) to soccer injuries. It's definitely a comical view of soccer injuries until you actually focus on the injury itself, and then you wish it would just disappear. Ouch!

12 Basketball vs Hockey

Here, we have another fan of hockey poking fun at basketball players. LeBron James is one of the most identifiable athletes in the world. He's the "Michael Jordan" of his time. He's a standout superstar who dominates his sport. So when he reacts as if he tore his ACL when, in fact, he just has a cramp or an ankle sprain, the meme crowd grows loud. In this display, we once again have the hockey fans jumping right down the NBA's throat. Obviously, hockey players don't come back after dying in a game, but the point of the humor is well received. Hockey players will do everything and anything to get back on the ice while basketball players not only have a single game to worry about but their all-important image. And the risk of further injury also creeps into their minds. We get the point: Hockey players = #tough.

11 Romo No More

Tony Romo has been a much-maligned quarterback during his run with "America's Team." However, Romo has gone from a relative unknown to leading the Dallas Cowboys to numerous successful seasons. Along the way, Romo has also amassed some of the greatest numbers on a team rife with Hall of Fame quarterbacks like Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. But Romo got the injury bug. And every time he hit the deck, Cowboys fans had to cringe. He's had a multitude of bad luck, injuries, and interceptions at the worst times that have led people to be unfairly critical of the solid quarterback. His numbers are almost legendary, all but in the most critical times of all: playoff wins and championships. Tony Romo has had a career plagued by close calls and injuries, and this meme further displays the frustration Cowboys fans have endured during his tenure, fair or not.

10 Peek-a-boo

Soccer fans around the world have to get sick and tired of their players hitting the deck like a sniper is taking them out from the rafters. It gets even worse late in games if one team is winning by a single goal. Then, players start to hit the ground like they haven't had a drink of water in seven years. In this display, a player actually fakes being injured and then is comically caught staring through his hands to see if anyone is paying attention. If the ref doesn't mind him, he'll get up and start sprinting around with a fake grimace before returning to 100% full-go. If the ref pays him mind, he'll remain on the ground, hoping to score a free kick or a yellow for the other team. It's somewhat of an ongoing and terrible joke played by soccer players as they constantly aim at tricking referees instead of playing hard.

9 Battle of the Sexes

We once again stop in on the incredible world of futbol where even its best players, like Ronaldo, fall to the ground and cry foul. They scream as if in unimaginable pain before rising to sprint for the next through-ball. Now, let's take a look at the women who play the same exact sport. You'll see the female race exude toughness that's expected of any athlete. They rise through pain and fight through injuries to remain on the pitch. These women will stop at nothing to be successful and rarely (we say rarely because there are a few who take dives, but far less often than their male counterparts) take dives on the field. They'll continue playing through almost any and all injuries while the men on the field writhe in the fetal position after every contact foul or stiff breeze.

8 Mental and Physical Toughness

Coaches are well known for their drive and pushing their players to be the best they can be. They're constant drivers for success and are often behind pushing a mentality of doing everything to get on the field of battle. They're the equivalent of military captains, shouting orders and wanting to compete for every inch during an athletic event. Some injuries, however, fall into the category of "holy crap!" This would be one of those injuries as the knee has clearly given away, a gruesome leg injury in basketball. In this case, the players will likely be out 6-12 months, depending on their recovery schedule and how serious they tore the ligaments. It's a rough injury that used to end careers. These days, it only diminishes an athlete's effectiveness but is still a catastrophic hit to one's value. Sometimes, coaches need a bit of restraint.

7 Academy Award Ceremony 

We've been pounding soccer pretty good on this front. But is there any better picture in the world that captures the likeness of players faking injuries? See, one of the funny things about soccer is that the players don't know who's going to fall and fake an injury and at what time. So when three players are involved in minor contact, all in the same 8x8 foot space, it's pretty funny that they all fall. Now, they don't know at first that their teammates have also hit the ground. They all must do their best to fake an injury to stall time on the field and kill their opponent's momentum. In this case, once you fall, you gotta play out the sequence despite two other teammates doing the exact same thing just a few feet away. Just hilarious.

6 Hockey Men

Soccer is the most popular sport around the world. Known as "futbol" through most of the world, the sport draws thousands upon thousands to watch the skill of their athletes competing. Competition is fierce in soccer with fans from both sides becoming desperate in their support of their squads. That's why it gets frustrating when players fake injuries. Meanwhile, a hockey player takes a puck or stick to the face, bleeds everywhere, and misses a single shift. He's right back on the ice to continue to battle, bloodied and all. The reputation soccer players around the world have garnered has been well deserved. They're some of the fittest individuals around, but they often display a lack of toughness that's displayed throughout the sport.

5 Derrick Rose

It seems that once a great player gets a serious injury, he just can't get out of the cycle of being hurt. This is the case with Derrick Rose, who was one of the NBA's most explosive players, the "new hope" of the Chicago Bulls in the post-Michael Jordan era. Sadly, the injury bug caught Derrick Rose in a serious way and limited his career there. Year after year, he suffered serious leg injuries. The fans of Chicago were heartbroken and frustrated at the same time. This meme represents a comical view on his injury journey, but the fans hope for him to return renewed and healthy. Obviously, bionic legs aren't going to do much for Derrick Rose on the basketball court, but fans were hoping his leg injuries were things of the past. This meme represents that. On a side note, Rose, this past year, was a member of the New York Knicks and actually had a "mostly" healthy season!

4 Football vs Futbol

Two sports that yield two completely different kinds of results. When you see J.J. Watt, you're looking at a mountain of a man. Literally the size of an NBA forward while sporting an incredible amount of muscle and thickness, Watt is one of the NFL's most feared and explosive defensive linemen. His career has been made by his athleticism, and only serious back surgeries have kept him off the field. Here, a broken nose is secondary to his focus on killing the quarterback. And when fans compare futbol to football, it can be an interesting comparison of toughness versus grace. In this comical photo, yet again, three players from the same soccer team have hit the deck in hopes of getting the referee's attention and stalling time. Football players ignore symptoms of concussions in order to remain in the game. Soccer players grab various parts of their bodies for no reason and begin screaming. Sometimes a sport can be great, and then sometimes, it can be extremely frustrating.


Robert Griffin the 3rd (AKA RG3) stepped onto the NFL field in hopes of offering a plethora of talent and special ability. He had both arm strength and speed, a rare combination for quarterbacks in the NFL. However, Griffin's gifts as a running quarterback, as well as his competitiveness, eventually got the best of him. Instead of protecting his body, he often aggressively took contact, not realizing how different it would be in the NFL as opposed to college football. He quickly found out, though. This photo montage shows an injured Griffin fighting to come back into a game he should never have been playing. He paid terribly for it, reinjuring his right leg via the "stanky leg" dance. It was a sad sight, and the quarterback has never been the same since.

2 The Perfect Sports Collage

If there was ever a perfect sports montage, this has to be it. The hilarity of this montage showcasing the different sports and their players' mentality toward injury has never been so perfectly described as in this montage. It's absolutely hilarious but also a true statement of the toughness of sports. There are just certain sports that come to mind when you think of "iron man" mentality. Obviously, we've spoken about the tremendous will of a hockey player. We've seen the NBA players who are more "fragile," we'll say. And then, there's the rugby player. Yeah, he's a whole other animal. First off, no pads. Yeah, full contact without pads or helmets. These dudes are SERIOUS business. Rugby athletes get a big nod, and when you read this meme, you get the picture.

1 The Ultimate Truths in Sports

One rule of thumb is to never put yourself in the position of questioning the will and strength of some of the greatest athletes on earth. But sometimes, you see injuries, and you just shake your head. Again, we see a collection of injuries and notices that have come through in different sports leagues. Baseball can be a very long season. We're talking 162 games. But the physical contact involved can be minimal. However, some players have seemed to take a break or two when maybe they could've gotten back sooner. The NBA, we've killed here. As for the NFL and the "skill" position players, we definitely see running backs get nicked up and miss quite a bit of time. "Turf toe" has to be two words that annoy every fan of the NFL. God help you if your favorite player has a sore toe. That running back will literally disappear for nearly half the season. And then there's the rugged hockey player who breaks his face and keeps playing. Sometimes, stereotypes in sports exist for good reasons.

More in Entertainment