Athletes Making People Look Like Ants
Forget race and religion. Let's talk about the most unspoken discrimination of all: size-ism.
In so many ways, this world was not built with the needs of giant people in mind. Tall and enormous humans are everywhere—they move among us, patiently ducking through doors and cramming into shoebox-sized automobiles.
How these rangy individuals deal with the rampant size-ism of telephone booths and stadium seats is beyond me. I can only imagine Yao Ming constantly fights the temptation to upend a Smart Car and scream "NO! Stop it! I am not too big! You people are just children!"
Fair enough, Yao. Maybe we are just ants. You and your fellow giants in the sports world certainly make it look that way. Here's the proof.
Zdeno Chara Dwarfs Kirsten Moore-Towers
"May I keep the elf? The elf is good luck."
Unfortunately for Zdeno Chara, Kirsten Moore-Towers is not an woodland sprite and therefore not a totem of good fortune to keep in your rose garden.
That being said, the 4'10" Canadian figure skater looked like a child next to the 6'9" Bruins defender when the two recently posed for a picture in Sochi.
Height Difference: 23 inches.
Dikembe Mutombo and Yao Ming Pose with Young Fan
Look at that kid. He's so happy to be hanging with these two pros. They're probably his...wait...Jeremy?
Yep, that's not a middle schooler—it's Jeremy Lin (6'3") taking a picture with the dueling sultans of swat, Dikembe Mutombo (7'2") and Yao Ming (7'6").
Height Difference: 11 inches, 15 inches.
Kristof Van Hout—Athletic, Jolly Giant
"Have some gloves, kid. Don't spend it all in one place."
Who is this monstrosity? Why is he dressed up like the Jolly Green Giant? The answers to these questions, in order, are "Kristof Van Hout" and "Because he can."
Van Hout is a 6'10" goalkeeper for Genk, and he allegedly shares the title of tallest pro soccer player in the world with Elgin City striker Peter Millar.
Height Difference: Feel free to print this and color it in.
Shaquille O'Neal and Kevin Hart
This is Kevin Hart (5'2") sitting courtside with Shaq (7'1").
They are seated on chairs that are the same height and size. No pillows, pulleys or David Blaine trickeries are at play here.
Height Difference: 23 inches.
Wilt Chamberlain and Andre the Giant with Arnold
"Who is this gnome? And can we eat him al fresco?"
Andre the Giant (6'11") and Wilt Chamberlain (7'1") look like they're deciding the best place to carry Arnold Schwarzenegger (6'2"). The three men were filming Conan the Destroyer in 1984 when this picture was taken.
Height Differences: 9 inches, 11 inches.
Funny side story—Andre and Chamberlain once carried Schwarzenegger out of a restaurant in Mexico for secretly trying to pay their bill. Good times with large people!
Gheorghe Muresan Is Your Giant
As long as the sun still rises and the rivers run, Hollywood will continue its infatuation with odd couple comedies.
One of the most deliciously forced creations of this genre was the 1998 film My Giant, starring Billy Crystal (5'7") and Gheorghe Muresan (7'7"). One played a giant man innocently living out his days in Romania, the other was a Hollywood agent looking for a new movie star. I'll let you guess who was who.
Height Difference: 24 inches.
Terrell Brown and This Lady
Rams defensive lineman Terrell Brown is 6'10" and 403 pounds. He is a phone booth-sized person, and therefore twice as large as this tiny woman.
Hakeem Olajuwon and David Stern
David Stern's height is a topic of debate. Some claim he's 6'0", others speculate he's more in the 5'7" or 5'8" range.
Either way, he never doesn't look like a small stack of waffles when the NBA Draft rolls around. The most impressive factor about this picture with Hakeem Olajuwon (6'10"), however, might be the commissioner's mustache.
There's strong, and then there's "'80s Stern 'stache strong."
Height Difference: ~10-12 inches.
Yao Ming and His Agent
Consider this picture your biannual reminder that Yao Ming (7'6") is endlessly gigantic.
Height Difference: ~20 inches.
Kareem Adbul-Jabbar and Hillary Clinton
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (7'2") towers over pretty much everyone, but seeing him next to Hillary Clinton (5'7") put his height into a whole new context.
Height Difference: 19 inches.
Jonathan Ogden and the 2013 NFL HOF Class
Warren Sapp, Bill Parcels, Larry Allen—these are large, beefy men.
Nonetheless, the 2013 class of NFL Hall of Fame inductees looked like a different breed of creature next to former Ravens lineman/current titanic person Jonathan Ogden (6'9", 340 pounds).
Height Difference: Six inches and greater.
Paul Sturgess and His Entire Team
"Oh, a grown man playing JV basketball! That's fun!"
Yes, that is a grown man, and no, he isn't sandbagging the system by playing against children. That's Paul Sturgess, a 7'7" center and currently the tallest pro basketball player in the world.
Granted, Sturgess plays in the D-League for the Springfield Armor, but you take the title when it's offered.
Height Difference: Colossal.
UC Irvine's Mamadou Ndiyae Is a Tower of Terror
He is 7'6". He is a freshman in college.
Sengalese center Mamadou Ndiaye is changing the game for UC Irvine. He blocks shots, crushes the boards and does everything else you would expect of a basketball player with a 99-inch wingspan.
Just look at this picture. That is Oregon's Joseph Young. Young is 6'2", but he looks like an American Girl Doll next to Ndiaye.
Height Difference: 16 inches.
More Jonathan Ogden and Small People
Just Get out of the Way, Kid
Anthony "Big Tone" Picard is 6'4" and 400 pounds of unstoppable force. Big Tone plays nose tackle and running back for White Swan High School on the Yakama Indian Reservation in Washington State.
Watching kids try to tackle him is like seeing drunk puppies try to bring down a taxi.
Height Difference: Just look and see for yourself.
GIF via USA Today / The Big Lead