Power Ranking the Biggest Twitter Beefs in Sports
Twitter has evolved over the years from something that lets us know what Johnny is having for lunch to a legitimate source of news and value.
Heck, it even played a role in toppling oppressive Middle East regimes.
But that doesn’t mean sports stars act like Rhodes Scholars every time they use it.
Read on to see the 13 biggest twitter beefs in sports, which range from the funny to the just plain absurd.
No. 18: Peter Moylan Versus Nickelback
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Is there an easier way to get people on your side than to get into a war of words with everyone’s least favorite band, Nickelback?
That is exactly what Braves relief pitcher Peter Moylan did in 2011 when he tweeted to Nickelback’s lead singer Chad Kroeger that he should attend a Foo Fighters concert to learn how to put on a good show.
Kroeger, who you would think would be used to the criticism by now, asked Moylan via Twitter if watching Braves closer Craig Kimbrel is better from the bench or on television.
Either way, it’s better than watching a Nickelback concert.
No. 17: Michael Wilbon Versus Bram Weinstein and Washington DC
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This beef didn’t start on Twitter but, seeing as how that’s just how we do things now, it predictably spilled over to the social media site.
This one began when Michael Wilbon felt the need to call Washington DC a terrible sports town in ESPN Magazine.
Had it ended there, people would have been upset but it wouldn’t have made this list.
Wilbon’s ESPN colleague Bram Weinstein responded by taking to Twitter to call Wilbon a “carpetbagger” who will have to find his sports’ passion in Phoenix.
Wilbon went to Facebook to offer a half-apology that can be seen here, and Weinstein eventually apologized for using the term “carpetbagger.”
ESPN: The Worldwide Leader in Cat Fights.
No. 16: Hope Solo Versus Brandi Chastain
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Apparently Hope Solo was under the impression that an Olympic commentator’s job is to sing nothing but praises for the U.S. team and never offer any impartial analysis.
When Brandi Chastain critiqued the defending of the U.S., Solo offered the following rebuttal via two separate tweets:
Its 2 bad we cant have commentators who better represents the team&knows more about the game
Lay off commentating about defending and gking until you get more educated @brandichastain the game has changed from a decade ago
Will let the irony of using the phrase ‘get more educated’ within those two tweets pass, but nowhere in Chastain’s job description was the word 'cheerleader.'
No. 15: Donald Trump Versus Mark Cuban
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Do you remember that one time when Donald Trump was a respected business person with a successful television show and not a bombastic parody of himself?
I know it seems like a while ago, but there was such a time.
This tussle between the ultra-rich began when Mark Cuban responded to Trump’s promise that he would donate $5 million to charity if Barack Obama showed his college transcripts and passport records.
Cuban offered $1 million to charity if Trump shaved his head.
Trump fired off a series of tweets that can be seen here, including the oh-so-predictable reminder that The Apprentice is only the best and most successful piece of programming of all time.
Cuban responded by taking a crack at Trump’s obsession with Obama’s birthplace.
No. 14: Todd Coffey Versus America
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I’m not really sure how I am going to move forward in my life without Todd Coffey being on Twitter to educate me about all things America.
When President Barack Obama was reelected last week, the relief pitcher went on a politically infused rant that included him cursing out some of his followers.
He capped it off by quitting Twitter altogether, saying he will be back in four years if we can even make it that long.
Maybe next election one of the candidates can run on a pro-Todd Coffey’s Twitter page platform.
No. 13: Lolo Jones Versus Common Sense
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I like Lolo Jones and think she is sometimes unfairly critiqued in the media considering her inspirational back story and all that she has accomplished.
However, she probably should have used a little more common sense with a few of her tweets.
When Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed in a football game playing for Rutgers, jokingly tweeted that he would beat Jones in a race, she responded back with the following:
“Get checked for a concussion. Clearly u’ve been hit in the head”
In fairness, she didn’t know who LeGrand was, but instead of offering a quick apology her next tweet started with “Great I’m gonna get murdered for that tweet.”
Throw that on top of the fact that Jones tweeted the following a week after the movie theater shooting in Colorado, and you can see why common sense should probably be used:
"USA Men's Archery lost the gold medal to Italy but that's ok, we are Americans… When's da Gun shooting competition?"
While her intentions never seem to be bad, her timing on Twitter almost always is.
No. 12: Rampage Jackson Versus Randy Couture
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It seems a little strange to me that a professional UFC fighter uses Twitter to fight his battles, but to each his own.
Rampage Jackson was not thrilled when Randy Couture picked Matt Hamill to defeat him at UFC 130 in May.
Jackson responded via Twitter by sending a number of tweets Couture’s way that included some choice words.
Basically, Jackson let us know that Couture is a has-been and fake friend while Jackson was totally BFFs with Couture for all those years.
Good to know.
No. 11: The Packers Versus the Replacement Refs and Roger Goodell
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The best part about the backlash that Golden Tate’s controversial Hail Mary catch received was that it ended the replacement ref fiasco.
The second best part was the Packers’ take on Twitter.
See this Huffington Post piece to get a full recap of all the tweets, but T.J. Lang’s reactions were the most memorable.
He basically suggested to Roger Goodell that Goodell should fine him and use the money to pay the real referees, only not so pleasantly.
At least the money would be put to good use.
No. 10: Guy Adams Versus NBC
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In the age of instant information there were thousands of people that were frustrated with NBC’s delayed coverage of the Olympic Games.
Guy Adams probably took it one step too far though.
The L.A.-based editor for The Independent sent out a number of critical tweets directed toward the peacock’s Olympic broadcasts. No harm, no foul right?
Well, Adams then decided to tweet the email address of NBC executive Gary Zenkel and urged people to complain.
Adams was suspended from Twitter, but his account was later reinstated after public outcry.
In other news, NBC broke the news earlier today that a sprinter by the name of Usain Bolt is the favorite to win the 100m race in London.
No. 9: Jason “Mayhem” Miller Versus Dana White
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No Twitter beef on this list resembles a fight between jilted high-school lovers more than that between Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Dana White.
To see all the drama unfold click here, but Miller was cut from the UFC and handled it by publicly bickering with his former employer White.
The beef ultimately included a suicide plea, a random drug testing reference and Miller repeatedly letting us all know that he is happier than he has ever been.
And in case you were worried about Miller don’t worry—he is now a warrior for peace and an ultimate fighter for justice.
No. 8: Maurice Jones Drew Versus Jay Cutler and the Bears
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Maurice Jones Drew will never have a chance to play in a League Championship Game if he stays in Jacksonville his entire career, so he must have felt it necessary to go after someone who did get that shot.
When Jay Cutler went down with a knee injury and didn’t return in the NFC Title Game against the Packers, Jones Drew tweeted the following:
Hey I think the urban meyer rule is effect right now... When the going gets tough........QUIT
Fellow Bears, including Brian Urlacher, took offense to Jones Drew’s tweet and stood up for their quarterback in the aftermath.
What’s more, some pointed out that Jones Drew himself missed the last two games of the season with a knee injury even though Jacksonville was in the hunt for a playoff spot.
As a Bears and Buckeyes supporter (note the Meyer reference) I may have some trouble remaining neutral here, so let’s just move on.
No. 7: Bill Spooner Versus Jon Krawczynski
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I guess you can never be too careful as an NBA referee in an age of message board complaints and conspiracy theories.
Associated Press writer Jon Krawczynski tweeted the following after Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis argued a call with official Bill Spooner:
Ref Bill Spooner told Rambis he'd 'get it back' after a bad call. Then he made an even worse call on Rockets. That's NBA officiating folks.
Naturally, Spooner filed a lawsuit against the AP and Krawczynski for defamation.
Of course, anybody who has ever watched an NBA game knows make-up calls happen all the time.
Whoops, please don’t sue me.
No. 6: LeSean McCoy Versus Osi Umenyiora
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The NFC East never gets any publicity from the media, so the players have to create it themselves.
LeSean McCoy started the verbal sparring with Osi Umenyiora by tweeting that Umenyiora was overrated and the third best lineman on his own team. Umenyiora responded by wishing McCoy a happy Mother’s Day since it was his special day.
I guess whenever you have a chance to take a shot at moms everywhere, you have to take advantage.
What’s more, Umenyiora has described McCoy as Lady Gaga, she and a little girl.
McCoy then pointed out that he lied and Umenyiora is actually the fourth best lineman on his own team.
Maybe next time Umenyiora should just flash his rings McCoy’s way instead of implying that he is a female.
No. 5: Matt Hasselbeck Versus Antonio Cromartie
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The NFL lockout had everyone on edge, including "father of the year" Antonio Cromartie.
Cromartie started this social media scuffle by criticizing the player union's inability to reach a deal and dismissing the idea of player solidarity.
Matt Hasselbeck posted on Twitter that somebody should ask Cromartie if he knows what CBA stands for in reference to the collective bargaining agreement.
Cromartie responded by ever-so-intelligently tweeting that he will smash Hasselbeck’s face in.
Good times, good times.
No. 4: Bernard Berrian Versus John Kriesel
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The Vikings may have a winning record now, but they started 0-4 in 2011, which didn’t sit well with State Rep. John Kriesel.
Kriesel ridiculed Bernard Berrian’s comment that he is always open via Twitter.
Berrian responded by telling Kriesel to “sit down n shut up.” The thing is, Kriesel is an Iraq war veteran who lost his legs in action.
Stay classy Berrian.
The two reportedly spoke afterwards and amended their differences, so at least there’s that.
No. 3: Kyrie Irving Versus Jessica Jackson
I guess life as the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft has its downside too.
Kyrie Irving filed a police report in 2011 against a woman that he claimed threatened him on Twitter.
Jessica Jackson, who went by the Twitter handle “RealMissHawaii,” also posted videos on YouTube where she talked about Irving in a threatening way.
Hooray social media.
A judge issued a restraining order against her, but she allegedly broke that by contacting Irving again.
It really sounds like she has it all together.
No. 2: Rashard Mendenhall Versus Common Sense
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Common sense claimed another victim when Rashard Mendenhall took to Twitter the night that Osama bin Laden was killed.
The country was in a celebratory mood upon hearing the news of bin Laden’s demise, which led to rallies and celebrations across the nation.
Mendenhall tweeted "What kind of person celebrates death?"
Had he stopped there, Mendenhall would probably not be on this list. However, he went on to question Al Qaeda’s role in the 9/11 attacks and seemed to be buying into conspiracy theories.
Champion went on to drop Mendenhall as an endorser.
It’s safe to say that was probably the most expensive of Mendenhall’s tweets.
No. 1: Voula Papachristou and Michel Morganella Versus Olympic Ideals
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There really is nothing like failing to follow through on your lifelong Olympic dreams because of a stupid tweet you sent.
That is what happened to Voula Papachristou and Michel Morganella when they were both removed from their respective Olympic teams.
Papachristou, a Greek triple-jumper, tweeted the following:
With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitos will be gettin' some home cookin'!
Not to be outdone, Morganella, a member of the Swiss soccer team that lost to South Korea, tweeted that the South Koreans “can go burn” and then called them a “bunch of Mongoloids.”
You must have really made your countries proud guys.