The life of an athlete, especially a professional one, is not all lollipops and rainbows. The amount of money being generated in today’s sports economy makes it possible for even an average player to set himself and his family up for life, but that financial security comes at a price.
Aside from the normal scrutiny that comes with being hated by fans of rival teams and having their every misstep—whether on or off the field—covered on SportsCenter, the advent of blogging and social media makes it easy for anyone to voice an opinion that can be read by millions.
However, even that cost is not high enough for a select few athletes, who for various reasons have emerged as the epitome of all that is wrong with professional sports in the minds of millions of fans, despite generally being recognized as some of the top performers in their game of choice.
If there’s truth in Machiavelli’s belief that it is better to be respected than loved, then these 25 athletes better hope that they have plenty of respect because the love is hard to come by.