Sports Lists

Athletes Who Really Hate the Media

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2014

Athletes Who Really Hate the Media

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Although part of being a pro athlete is having to answer to the media, that doesn't mean getting a microphone and camera shoved in their face is welcomed.

    Sure, some players love the attention they get during an interview. But others, well, as we saw during Super Bowl week, there are a few who just can't stand talking.

    That's why I'm taking a look back at some of the athletes who look as if they just hate the media.

Brandon Phillips

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    Want to know how much Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips really hates the media—well, at least on this occasion, anyway?

    Enough to barrage into his former manager's office to lash out.

    After Phillips caught heat from a reporter who questioned both his production and high position in the batting order, the former All-Star ripped into the guy with vulgarities that can't be mentioned here.

    Seeing Dusty Baker's classic reaction with the camera still rolling just adds to the awkwardness.

Phil Kessel

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    I'm not so sure Toronto Maple Leafs right winger Phil Kessel necessarily hates the media, but like a few others on this list, he's sure as hell uncomfortable when in front of the camera—as fellow writer Amber Lee so appropriately mentioned.

    Just watch any one of the dude's interviews and you might actually find it a better idea he hides from interviews, because he seems to be quite bad at them.

Randy Johnson

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    Editor's Note: Johnson comes in at 1:40 of the video.

    After being traded to the New York Yankees back in 2005, pitcher Randy Johnson was on his way to a physical in order for the swap to be approved.

    Seeing he's 6'10", it's pretty damn easy to recognized him on the street—as camera guy Vinny Everett did.

    Instead of greeting the exposure with open hands, "The Big Unit" gave the lens a handful while rudely yelling at the guy, with Everett yelling, "Welcome to New York," as Johnson walks away from the confrontation.

    Ironically enough, Johnson has now found a love for the camera himself, working as a photographer at numerous events.

Bobby Bonilla

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    With one of the most hilarious lines ever muttered by an athlete in an interview, former New York Mets outfielder Bobby Bonilla told this reporter to, "shove that mic up as far as you can stick it."

    Not really the best way to avoid questions from the media, Bobby.

    Of course, this came after a similar meltdown towards author Bob Klapisch—who wrote a book about the collapse of the '92 Mets—when "Bobby Bo" said, "Make your move, 'cause I'll hurt you," to Klapisch, before swatting away the mic of another crew recording it all.

Randy Moss

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    Former NFL wide receiver Randy Moss has had a few memorable moments with reporters—remember that time he interviewed himself?

    But it wasn't until after hanging up his pads after last season he really showed how much he hated the media.

    You see, even though Moss is on TV as an analyst, he refuses to acknowledge being a part of the media—for whatever reason—making me think he hates it more than any of us could imagine.

Russell Westbrook

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    Losing absolutely isn't fun.

    Sure, sports are supposed to be fun and all, but when someone gets paid a lot of money to play them, it's hard to take moral victories in anything.

    That seemed to be the attitude of Oklahoma Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook last year following a loss to the Utah Jazz.

    Russ finished with 22 points, but he was in no mood to chat with reporters, reacting surprised by one of their questions before abruptly ending the interview.

Jim McMahon

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    George Rose/Getty Images

    Former NFL quarterback Jim McMahon was quite the rebel during his playing days—and no more did he show that more than with the media.

    Besides mooning a helicopter full of media members, he really got into it with then-San Diego reporter T.J. Simers once, refusing to answer the journalist's questions by blowing his nose onto him.

    Gross.

    What's not gross? That amazing get-up McMahon is sporting in that picture right there.

Kenny Rogers

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    MATT SLOCUM/Associated Press

    Editor's Note: Rogers comes in at 2:05 of the video.

    While country singer Kenny Rogers is known as "The Gambler," the former MLB pitcher who shares the same name went all-in with a cameraman back in 2005.

    Showing his displeasure for being recorded, the southpaw shoved two cameramen and tossed a camera to the ground, actually forcing one of the guys—Larry Rodriguez—to be treated at the hospital.

    It gets weirder though, as Rogers continued to threaten a separate cameraman while at the police station after Rodriguez pressed charges against the hurler.

    In all, the incident cost the player 13 games, a seat in anger-management counseling and an out-of-court settlement with Rodriguez.

Mike Richards

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Back in 2009, former Philadelphia Flyers captain Mike Richards froze out the media after the player was upset about several circulating rumors regarding the trade of teammate Joffrey Lupul.

    So following a shootout win over the Boston Bruins, Richards held true to his pledge, simply saying just six words total to three separate questions.

    Hope these reporters weren't looking for a good soundbite.

Wes Welker

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    While it's always weird to see an athlete verbally or physically attack someone in the media, I personally think it's much more awkward when the player just gets up and walks out on an interview.

    That was the case here with Denver Broncos wideout Wes Welker who, from the very beginning, looked as if he did not want to get asked any more questions during last week's Super Bowl Media Day.

    Welker did a decent job of playing a good sport—as unenthusiastic as he was in his replies—but finally reached his boiling point when former teammate Tom Brady got mentioned, leaving the headphones on the table and scooting out.

Kurt Busch

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    Steve Helber/Associated Press

    Let me forewarn you—this video of NASCAR driver Kurt Busch has some seriously strong language, so I suggest you wear some headphones before listening to it.

    The sad thing is this outburst on ESPN's Dr. Jerry Punch back in 2011 wasn't the only time the perceived jerk driver has done something like this.

    Just one year later, Busch threatened to beat up a reporter for, "asking stupid questions," proving he'd rather just be left alone on race day.

Albert Belle

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    RUSTY KENNEDY/Associated Press

    While growing up in Cleveland, former MLB player Albert Belle was one of my favorite players thanks to him crushing the ball for my hometown Indians.

    That doesn't mean I didn't know he had a bad temper, even then.

    In one instance, upset reporter Hannah Storm was in the Tribe dugout before Game 3 of the World Series, the outfielder yelled at her before walking away in anger—yet still received a $50,000 fine.

    The following season, while photographer Tony Tomsic was snapping pics of the outfielder stretching, Belle waved a finger and said, "no, no, no." Tomsic continued taking his pic from about 100 feet away, however, and was rewarded with a bloody knuckle courtesy of a ball thrown by Belle.

    Did I already mention Belle had a temper?

Tim Belcher

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    ELAINE THOMPSON/Associated Press

    One of the most famous tirades by a pro athlete ever, former MLB pitcher Tim Belcher completely went off on cameramen following a loss to the New York Yankees in the 1995 ALDS—in which the pitcher gave up the winning homer.

    Rather than describe exactly what Belcher said while the film rolled, I'll just go ahead and say it included a hell of a lot of profanities.

    If you're up for hearing the edited version of the video, go ahead and watch it here.

Dennis Rodman

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    Former NBA forward Dennis Rodman might be in the Hall of Fame for his play, but he's easily in the discussion for the G.O.A.T. in fines during his career.

    None was bigger than the one he received following a boot to the groin of a cameraman after "The Worm" fell into the baseline cameras back in 1997.

    The kick cost Rodman $1 million (in lost game salary), 11 games and an additional fine of $25,000.

    I guess Dennis is just camera shy?

Marshawn Lynch

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    I know Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch a little bit, so hearing him keep it short with reporters during Super Bowl Media Days last week wasn't much of a surprise.

    The thing is, even though 'Shawn didn't speak much, he still gave one of the most memorable quotes ever from the event, dropping the classic "I'm just about that action, boss," in an interview with Deion Sanders.

    Never a fan of the cameras, Lynch hid under sunglasses and a hood as much as possible throughout the week, even having his teammate Michael Robinson come to his rescue a few times in days following the Sanders interview.

    He may not have gone "Beast Mode" during the game, but he got that Super Bowl ring, so he can enjoy his Skittles a little bit more now.

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