Bigger Jerks in Sports Than We Realized

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistOctober 30, 2013

Bigger Jerks in Sports Than We Realized

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    A little while back, I gave you some examples of beloved athletes who may have been unbelievable in their sport, but weren't exactly the nicest guys around.

    Some of them were just stubborn, narcissistic guys. While a few actually committed some pretty major crimes—what's up, O.J. Simpson.

    Like those legends, there are some current people in sports who may appear to be nice guys, but do some pretty low stuff.

    That's why I'm honoring them, because these guys have proven to be bigger jerks than we first thought they were.

Albert Pujols

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    He may appear to be one of the nicer, more humble guys in sports, but underneath all that reserve, is Angels first baseman Albert Pujols actually a jerk?

    Some people in St. Louis might believe so—though that might just have something to do with him taking big money and splitting town a few years ago.

    Depending on who you ask, Pujols may or may not be an ass.

    But the time he threw his glove at teammate Erick Aybar after the infielder tugged on Big Al's surgically-repaired right elbow, he definitely appeared to come off as one—fair or not.

Scott Boras

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    While most people worth $100 million are usually spoiled jerks who flaunt their money, it's actually the ability of Scott Boras to get others to do it that makes him land on this list.

    Arguably the most powerful agent in sports, Boras is known to drive up the price for all of his clients, using strategic maneuvering to get them the most money—while making owners dig deep into their pockets.

    He's a shark, who's terrific at his job and doesn't care about anyone but the well-being of his clients.

    For players, that's a very good thing. For fans who want to see their hometown guys stick around for a long time, not so much.

    To stroke his ego even more, Jay-Z even called out Boras on his newest album—but Hova also mentions Miley Cyrus, so maybe it's not quite an honor after all?

Tony Parker

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    He's a hell of a point guard, but there's more than meets the eye with the Spurs' Tony Parker.

    We probably all know about his divorce from mega-hottie Eva Longoria, but people forget the entire reason they had "irreconcilable differences" in the first place.

    It's because Parker was sending inappropriate texts to Erin Barry—who also happened to be the wife of teammate Brent Barry at the time.

    Parker might have three NBA rings, but for being a total sleezeball, he's not wearing that wedding ring anymore.

Bo Pelini

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    Even before the crazy stuff (Editor's Note: NSFW) he said about the fans of his Nebraska Cornhusker program, Bo Pelini was a little bit more intense than other coaches—just watch him on the sidelines during any game.

    And while telling an entire fanbase to "F off" is an awful move—especially when it's your own—screwing over a Navy officer by breaking a promise might even be worse.

    Pelini seems to be a jerk on a ton of different levels.

Scottie Pippen

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    Maybe we're all to blame for the actions of former Bulls forward and Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen after he punched some random dude coming out of a Malibu restaurant?

    That might sound egregious, but after giving so much love to teammate Michael Jordan and underappreciating "Pip's" game, could he have lashed out because of us?

    Who really knows the answer? But one thing's for sure, it was a total jerk move on Pippen's part.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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    I once got called a "self-entitled prick" by a drunk dude after a wedding because I left an empty tray on a table by accident.

    That might have nothing to do with Paris Saint-Germain and Swedish national team star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but that's a pretty good description of what people think of "Ibra."

    He may get a bad rap, but he's proven to have a short temper—he's gotten sent off nine times in his career—and has seemingly caused drama at nearly every club he's ever played for—including calling his former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, a coward.

    Zlatan has a ton of talent, but he's not short on jerk mojo either.

Jim Irsay

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    Oh how quickly some people forget.

    For 14 years, Colts owner Jim Irsay had arguably the best quarterback in the game lining up under center for his team, filling the seats, winning or going to Super Bowls and, indirectly, helping build a new stadium.

    I guess that all left when Peyton Manning signed with the Denver Broncos though, because Irsay seems to have forgotten about it all if some of his latest comments are any indication.

    Even after the Colts beat the Broncos a few weeks ago, Irsay still wasn't letting the beef between he and Manning go, suspiciously alluding that Peyton didn't want to win more than just one Super Bowl.

    I'd kind of beg to differ on that one, Jim.

Kevin Garnett

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    Though I admit to have been a fan of Kevin Garnett's when he played in Minnesota—everyone liked the underdog, right?—I just can't find the strength to cheer for the guy anywhere in me.

    KG is a sure-fire Hall of Famer and one of the great players of the past 20 years, but because of a few incidents, he's also a major jerk.

    There was the incident with the L.A. Lakers ball boy. And that time he attempted to end any chance of Channing Frye from having kids. Oh, and don't forget about the whole Charlie Villanueva looks like a "cancer patient" allegations.

    Yes, and then there was the Carmelo Anthony incident in which Garnett said Melo's wife, "tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios," which pissed off the Knicks superstar so much that he hunted down the Celtics team bus.

    Matter of fact, I don't know why Garnett's not actually higher on my list after seeing all of these?

LeSean McCoy

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    There are two types of people who love Eagles running back LeSean McCoy—Philly fans and people who have him on their fantasy football team.

    Other folks though? Ehh, let's say they may be a bit impartial.

    That's because McCoy caused a serious stir when he verbally attacked the mother of his child earlier this year on Twitter, causing him to briefly delete his account.

    It's called being a gentleman, dude. Maybe McCoy should learn a thing or two in what it's all about.

Patrick Kaleta

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    I don't know many things about the Sabres Patrick Kaleta off the ice—besides the fact that he has a charity to help people smile—but my mind's made up based on what I know of him on the ice that this guy is a real jerk.

    That's probably the general perception of someone who has been suspended or fined seven times for his bullish actions, including a 10-gamer recently.

    I'll applaud any guy who goes out there and plays hard, but what Kaleta does is just downright thuggish and has no place in the game.

Johnny Manziel

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    I know that Johnny Manziel is one hell of a football player, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and a potential lock as a first-round pick in the NFL when he declares for the draft, but he definitely shops at the jerk store, too.

    "Johnny Football" is easily the most polarizing athlete in college sports, and has shot up the charts in all of sports, putting every one of his moves under a microscope.

    So all those money celebrations and taunting penalties should be toned down.

    One other thing, who in the hell is running the PR department at A&M these days? Hearing Manziel say he wanted to party with Charlie Sheen, Rob Gronkowski and Tiger Woods probably didn't help people ease up on Manziel too much.

Josh Sale

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    I don't blame you if you aren't familiar with current Tampa Bay Rays prospect, Josh Sale.

    Considering he can't seem to get on the field thanks to his absolutely ridiculous actions, you may never know a thing about the former first-round pick.

    This guy's such a jerk that, after being suspended 50 games for PEDs, he was indefinitely kept on the sideline by the Rays for tossing coins at strippers and tweeting about the entire experience.

    Sex, drugs and baseball might sound like a good time, but Sale should dial it back a bit.

Greg Schiano

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    When you're the head coach of any team regardless of sport, the first thing I'd think would be high on the list of requirements is earning the respect of your players.

    If that's the case, the Buccaneers' Greg Schiano earns a resounding F, because his players simply seem to roll their eyes at everything he says.

    Clashing with former quarterback Josh Freeman was one thing, but when 53 grown men whose jobs and livelihoods are on the line hate you, you've got to be doing something wrong.

Ryan Braun

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    I don't know why so many people are quick to defend the Brewers Ryan Braun in the aftermath of his PED suspension this season?

    Sure, Braun plays in the small market of Milwaukee—making him a much more affable guy to root for unlike someone in New York or Los Angeles—but that doesn't discount the fact that he lied to millions when he had a chance to just keep quiet.

    It's how the game is played, I get that, but Braun is still a major jerk for doing the same thing that Grade-A jerks Alex Rodriguez and Lance Armstrong did—lied about cheating.

Brandon Meriweather

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    There's an unwritten rule in sports that all but says no athlete should ever mention another dude's personal life.

    Well the Redskins Brandon Meriweather just stomped on it, hard.

    After getting some flak from Bears wideout Brandon Marshall about how the safety conducts his business, Meriweather fired back with some prior actions of Marshall, in which he was accused of assault on a woman—among other things.

    Meriweather also didn't earn points by saying, "You’ve got to end people’s career. You’ve got to tear people’s ACLs and mess up people’s knees now. You can’t hit them (that) way, you can’t hit them high anymore. You’ve just got to go low.”

    It's unfortunate that Meriweather wasn't with the Bears before Marshall got there, otherwise they may have had a better understanding of each other.