Athletes always seem to be feuding with someone these days thanks to social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook that, for better or worse, provide instant gratification to any athlete who wants to take his or her beef public.
And that’s in addition to the throngs of reporters constantly pushing a microphone in their faces and aiming a camera in their general direction, creating the perfect environment to stoke the fire of generalized hostilities.
Now that everyone has their own stage, tensions that would have once gone unnoticed are now front (gossip) page news. Here are some of the weirdest feuds in sports.
During the 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend, rapper Lil Wayne publicly attacked each of the Heat’s "Big Three" during a performance prior to the game, adding “And I f****d Chris Bosh’s wife.” Wayne was reportedly huffy over being ejected from a Heat game a week prior.
Adrienne Bosh didn’t respond directly, but actress Gabrielle Union, who is engaged to Bosh’s teammate Dwyane Wade, tweeted: “Some people attack those who have the peace & joy they wish they had! Pay them no mind! Live your dream, strut & wave.”
In February 2013, fired Fox News personality Glenn Beck, the face of gold-hoarding survivalists everywhere, ignited a feud with a surprising foe—the WWE.
Angry about a storyline between Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio, Beck called out organization honcho Linda McMahon as "one of these progressive Republicans we worry about."
He went on to moan and groan about the WWE "demonizing the TEA Party" and dismissed the entire wrestling world, and presumably its loyal fans, as "stupid wrestling people."
Naturally Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger immediately shot back with a response of their own, which was filmed (hilariously) in front of a wood-paneled wall with a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag tacked up behind them.
Charles Barkley is one of the NBA’s most famous trash talkers, past, present and future. He makes a living ruffling feathers, which is exactly why he should know better than to get down in the muck with ESPN’s Skip Bayless.
Barkley and the First Take loudmouth have been engaged in a (mostly one-sided) war of words since 2009, when Barkley called Bayless an “idiot” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and referred to Bayless as one of the "two people [he would] want to kill” on TNT (h/t Deadspin).
In the years since, Sir Charles has taken a number of unpleasant shots at Bayless, who has inexplicably taken the high road during this whole thing. It might be the only thing on earth Skip doesn’t have a comment on.
In May 2011 Thunder star Kevin Durant tweeted his confusion over the (then) relevancy of rapper Lil B. Naturally Lil B went bananas and lashed out at Durant, tweeting:
KEVIN DURANT WILL NEVER WIN THE TITLE AFTER HE SAID “LIL B” IS A WACK RAPPER, “THE BASEGODS CURSE” #THEBASEGODSCURSE ON DURANT -Lil B
Apparently Lil B is still stinging from KD’s diss, because in November 2013 he was back on Twitter, challenging him to a game of 1-on-1. Durant has yet to take him up on the offer.
In May 2013 TMZ reported that former NFL wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, who now works as an analyst for ESPN, attempted to confront Canadian pop plague Justin Bieber about his reckless driving.
According to the gossip site’s sources, Johnson “had just left a party … inside of his exclusive gated community in Calabasas...when Bieber zoomed by in his Ferrari at breakneck speeds.”
Johnson had his child in the car and was reportedly “furious” about Bieber’s speeding. He then chased the Biebs home, blocking his Ferrari in the driveway and attempted to confronted him face-to-face.
Bieber surprised absolutely no one by fleeing into his home and refusing to come out and speak with Johnson about the incident. By the looks of that mugshot, it looks like the Biebs really learned a lesson.
NFL Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson was quick to take sides in the Johnson-Bieber feud—living in the same Southern California neighborhood makes his inserting himself into the story far less annoying.
Not long after the original incident, Dickerson said to TMZ, “I’ve seen [Justin] driving fast around Calabasas before in the Ferrari...It’s just not safe. I used to drive fast...but that was on the freeway...and even that wasn’t safe.”
When Bieber was arrested in Miami for DUI, resisting arrest and drag racing, Dickerson tweeted: “It’s about time! Nobody’s above the law!” Something tells me he’ll have more opportunities to gloat in the future.
In November 2013 New York Post’s Page Six reported that Knicks owner James Dolan had purchased the rights to air a number of Woody Allen movies at Madison Square Garden and was angry that Allen refused to “go on the air and talk about his movies or introduce them.”
Apparently that’s not the sort of thing Allen would “be comfortable doing.” Dolan was said to be so angry about the situation that he banned Allen from eating in MSG’s VIP restaurant.
This one really isn’t a feud, but when a basketball team tries to recruit the No. 1 celebrity fan of its hated rival, it definitely feels like there’s some kind of beef there.
Apparently the Nets have been trying to lure director Spike Lee, the Knicks No. 1 celeb superfan, away to the outer borough with praiseworthy hiring practices and…a better team.
So far Brooklyn’s spell hasn’t worked on Lee, but it looks like they are going to keep trying. They should check back again after Carmelo Anthony peaces out in free agency.
In October 2012 former Lakers teammates Kobe Bryant and Smush Parker got into a ridiculous back and forth that Bryant never should’ve started and Parker never should’ve escalated.
Bryant called Parker “the worst,” adding, “he shouldn’t have been in the NBA but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard. So we let him walk on."
Parker then commented to TMZ that Bryant was “overrated” as a teammate and once told him “out of his own mouth that I couldn’t talk to him. That my accolades under my belt weren’t deserving enough for me to talk to him.”
And then, according to the Los Angeles Times:
"Bryant couldn’t stop laughing about Parker firing back at him. ‘I was devastated. What’s he going to do?...I gave him his little 30 minutes of fame again. I wish him the best of luck. Maybe he’ll get back to the NBA one day and can see what it’s like up close again."
Um…ouch? At his age, why does Kobe still feel the need to get down in the mud and sling it with every nobody he meets along the way?
In January 2013 the Dallas Cowboys Twitter account started a hilariously ironic feud with the Dallas Stars Twitter account.
Obviously forgetting their own irrelevance, the Cowboys tweeted: “Similarly in the category of nobody cares…the NHL is back!”
The Stars responded in kind, “At least our #9 got the job done…,” referring to their championship in 1999 and Tony Romo’s shortcomings.
Eventually the two kissed and made up, but the (obviously insane) motivation behind the Cowboys' original tweet remains in question.
Penguins Russian superstar Evgeni Malkin and Capitals Russian superstar Alex Ovechkin used to be pals. Then they weren’t pals. In January 2009, Malkin revealed the reasons behind his two-year feud with his former friend on his official website, Malkin-71.net.
“We have normal relationship...Well, we had one moment. But why remember it? Everything is in the past already. He has his own life, I have my own.
So why did the feud continue?
“Because of Ushakov [Malkin’s agent in Russia]. Perhaps, I am at fault that Ovechkin had a conflict with my agent. (smiles)"
On the future:
“I haven’t talked to him in two years,” but as for the Sochi Olympics, “I hope that injuries will pass. It’s every player’s dream to participate in the Olympics. And Ovechkin…Maybe we’ll be friends again by that time.”
Guess what! They’re not. And the circumstances behind the whole falling out are still weird and vague.
Free agent NFL wide receiver Plaxico Burress and Fabolous have a feud that dates back to 2008, when Burress accused the rapper and his crew of robbing musicians and professional athletes outside New York City nightclubs.
That’s why, according to Burress, he was carrying a gun to begin with the night he accidentlaly shot himself. Then in 2011 Fabolous took a shot at Burress in the track “Lord Knows” off his mixtape, There Is No Competition 3: Death Comes In 3’s.
Despite that pretty substantial beef, Burress and Fabolous actually both appeared on the same episode of ESPN’s morning screamfest First Take in January 2013. Nobody involved commented on the appearance, which is kind of a bummer.
Complex.com reportedly reached out to ESPN attempting to get the skinny on how they ended up on the same show, but the network declined to comment. Apparently they never crossed paths, which is probably for the best.
Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp and former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who is heading to the NFL Hall of Fame this summer, have been engaged in a childish feud for over a decade.
It started in 2002 when, according to the New York Daily News, “Sapp ripped Strahan’s single-season sack record, which came on a dive/slide by Brett Favre.” Strahan eventually shot back calling Sapp a “jackass.”
Their beef escalated in February 2014, when Sapp used his media presence during Super Bowl week to declare that Strahan “comes up short … when you really measure him up” for HOF credentials.
After all that trash talk Sapp (apparently) had a change of heart, insisting he apologized to Strahan and adding, “I’m going to beg for forgiveness because there’s a party in Canton, and I promise you, I’m not going to miss it.”
Um. So a party is behind the sudden and sharp change in Sapp’s tune?
In January 2014 former Jets “game-day hostess” Jenn Sterger, of pervy Brett Favre scandal fame, “stirred up further bad blood with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell before the Super Bowl," according to the New York Post’s Page Six.
The two apparently had a run-in at a restaurant in New York City after being seated just two seats away from each other at Milos, a Greek seafood restaurant—which may or may not have been more awkward than the “secret meeting” they had during the Favre investigation in 2010.
A Page Six spy described it as “an awkward situation,” adding, “Roger was eating dinner with Tony, and Sterger was a few tables away. It looked like he saw a ghost. He walked past Jenn...looking totally uncomfortable.”
Sterger helped fuel the flames by tweeting: “Ok. Now for a poll from the audience: do I send Goodell a drink … two tables over? If so… What kind??? #awkward.” For such an epic moment, it’s surprising she only got two retweets.
In June 2013, NBC Sports’ Mike Florio willingly entered into an ill-advised Twitter feud with Jaxson DeVille, the ridiculous mascot of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Obviously this just had disaster written all over it.
The Big Cat Country blog documented the mascot’s reply to one of Florio’s tweets and Florio’s (again, ill-advised) attempt to throw down with a man who dresses as a spandex-clad jaguar for a living (and isn’t afraid to take it all off).
Their ridiculously hilarious (or hilariously ridiculous) Twitter exchange can be read in its entirety here. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.