12 Current Jerk Athletes Good Enough to Get Away with It

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2013

12 Current Jerk Athletes Good Enough to Get Away with It

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    Not sure about you, but one thing I never want to be referred to as is a jerk.

    Trying my hardest to be respectful and treat everyone in a proper manner, it can be tough when another person thinks less of you.

    That is, of course, unless it's warranted.

    Just as I wrote a few weeks back about the biggest jerk athletes that aren't even that good, today I'm giving you the ones who were just as shallow, but because of their talent, are often forgiven.

    These are the current athletes who can actually get away with being a-holes.

Lolo Jones (Olympic Athlete)

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    Maybe I'm jumping the gun on this one since Lolo Jones isn't actually terrific at either one of her sports per se, but she has competed in the Olympics in '08 and '12, so she has to be pretty talented, right?

    What pisses me off about her jerkness is that she seems to act entitled despite never actually accomplishing anything.

    Jones may be a mega-hottie, but with no Olympic medals to hang around her neck, I find it a bit dumb she's picking fights with people and accepting all the attention she gets from the media.

    Hell, even her track teammates seem a little put off by all the recognition she's getting for being merely mediocre.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal National Team)

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    I could sit hear and talk about how Cristiano Ronaldo is a jerk because he dates super hot ladies, makes millions of dollars and is arguably the greatest player in the world at his sport.

    But instead of going the jealous route, I'll just stick to the facts.

    Ronaldo's a jerk because he's cocky as all hell, once saying, "I am handsome, rich and a great player, because I am envied," in an interview with Tony Manfred of Business Insider

    Doesn't matter what the dude says or how many dives he takes, CR7 backs it all up with his unmatched soccer skills.

Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals)

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    Now don't get me wrong here, I think that Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is a complete stud, and a guy who is in rare company when it comes to baseball skills.

    But if you asked me if I'd be friends with him—even as bro as he appears—I'm not sure we'd get along great.


    Because the dude is a total jerk, with a history of showing up opponents and having a sense of entitlement.

    Even though he's a guy people will either love or love to hate, Harper looks like his talent will always outweigh anything negative he might do.

Shaun White (Action Sports)

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    If there's one guy who can stake the claim as being the Mike Jordan of his sport, it's definitely action sports star Shaun White.

    Evolving both winter and summer sports (snowboard and skateboarding) into the mainstream, White has accomplished more than some athletes could ever dream of—and the dude's still only 26.

    With two Winter Olympic gold medals and a ton more from the X Games (summer and winter), it seems White believes he's earned to be a jerk though, getting arrested for vandalism and generally considered cocky.

    As with other people on this list, I'm a big fan of "The Flying Tomato," but it doesn't mean he doesn't have some jerk moments.

DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles)

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    As one of the fastest, most elusive players in the NFL, Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson has been able to rack up some serious highlights in his five-year career.

    And thanks to being so electrifying, dude has some seriously high opinions of himself.

    Lacking any sense of leadership and often prematurely celebrating or showboating, I'm guessing a ton of guys would love nothing more than to lay him out to shut him up.

Mario Balotelli (AC Milan and Italian National Team)

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    There is no question that Mario Balotelli is a jerk. He puts himself on a pedestal, fights with coaches and teammates and yes, even toys with the idea of getting a statue of himself.

    But as good as he is, I'm not sure he's good enough to get away with all of his shenanigans.

    Don't get me wrong, Mario's an immense talent and one of the most interesting players in the world. But by all accounts he's selfish and narcissistic, making it tough for people to like him.

    Being the Chad Johnson of soccer though, he's just too appealing to let fall into oblivion.

Serena Williams (Tennis)

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    With 16 Grand Slam singles titles, Serena Williams has already supplanted herself as one of the all-time greatest women's tennis players ever.

    As good as she is though, Serena doesn't necessarily respect people around her all the time.

    Threatening a line judge once before, disrespecting opponents and even showing just how big a jerk she is when talking about things other than tennis, Williams not only scares the hell out of me, but she doesn't seem to be as great a person as she is a tennis player.

Kyle Busch (NASCAR)

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    NASCAR driver Kyle Busch has enjoyed a nice little stretch here lately—climbing all the way to fifth in the Sprint Cup Standings—but I'm not sure any success he has on the track will erase his jerk perception.

    With some run-ins with fellow drivers in the past, Busch has suddenly become the most hated man in a sport known for short tempers and arrogant drivers—and his brother, Kurt, might be a close second.

    I wonder if the leash would be shorter for a guy who doesn't have some of Kyle's career achievements on his resume?

Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)

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    As much as I wish every athlete had the drive and dedication that Kobe Bryant has, part of Bryant's greatness is the fact that he's a huge jerk.

    Displaying a cold demeanor and not looking for any friends, Kobe won't let anyone or anything get in the way of being the best.

    Often spatting with teammates (ShaqSmush ParkerDwight Howard), mocking reporters at times and really just being a sore loser, Bryant's intensity and competitiveness is really what lands him on this list in the first place.

    With five rings and numerous other accolades, I guarantee that he wouldn't give a damn though.

Tiger Woods (PGA Tour)

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    We all know that Tiger Woods is one hell of a golfer—after all, he's won 14 Major titles—but at what expense has he achieved that status?

    While most fans love Tiger, as he's still one of the most transcendent athletes ever, his on-course personality (Note: NSFW) and surliness is something that does rub people the wrong way.

    Like all great athletes, Woods cares about one thing, winning, and in his mind, if you're not with him, you're against him.

    That mentality is what's made him who he is, but comes off as rather jerkish.

Alex Rodriguez (New York Yankees)

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    Am I smoking crack by putting Alex Rodriguez so high?

    After all, I am the same guy who put him atop my list of jerk athletes who aren't even that good.

    So how can A-Rod find himself on both lists?

    Well, as bad as he's been lately, there was a time when he was absolutely the best player in the game, and because of that status, the dude got a major pass on things.

    He's already once admitted to cheating, has recently received a 211-game suspension for allegedly doping again (which he's appealing) and is in love with himself so much, you'd think that it was love at first sight—after seeing his own reflection.

    Baseball may still be a game where it's three strikes and you're out, but you wouldn't believe it with all the chances Alex has been given by people.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. (Boxing)

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    Carrying an undefeated boxing record (44-0) and earning nearly $30 million for a single fight, boxing-great Floyd Mayweather Jr. definitely has a reason to be confident, but his cockiness and jerk attitude comes out a little bit too often.

    Whether that's from talking crap to an 80-year-old journalist, tweeting pics about how much money he has or declaring that he's better than some of the all-time greats, "Money Mayweather" isn't afraid to voice his opinion.

    Add in his jail sentence for a domestic dispute, and it's easy to see why he tops the list here.

    Mayweather might just be the cockiest athlete going right now, and because of that, his jerk score knocks out anyone else.