"Hate" was once a strong word, but now most of us toss it out there like confetti—a cheap throwaway term for anything that grinds against our grain or irks us in the least.
Most of the time it's used for the littlest things, and it's only getting pettier. And nowhere else is more hate generated over ultimately petty things than in the world of sports.
More often than not, fans enjoy hating on a team or player as much or more than they love cheering on their side. We'll hate a guy on our own team because he blows a big game (guilty), and in the same breath we'll hate a guy on the opposing side because he's too good (double guilty).
Obviously, there's a distortion in perception here, and what we see of an athlete on the field or in the media isn't all there is to that person as a human being, and the following slideshow attempts to add a dimension of humanity to the athletes out there that have garnered a sizable amount of hate from different fans for a number of reasons.
So relax your jaw, de-furrow those brows and consider giving the following stories about controversial athletes a fair shake.