Ex-Athletes Who Have Become Full-Time Trolls
Do you retire from the game and go fishing? Or stick around and do some deep-sea trolling?
It's a difficult question for many.
Most former athletes can't hang it up and head straight for Alaska, fly pole in hand. Sports are the only thing they know—or at least the only thing keeping them from shoving off into the ocean on a block of ice. So they hang around the sport, and many aren't content to remain on the edges.
That's when some turn to trolling—the act of teasing, deriding or clowning on others for the sake of their own entertainment.
The following is a list of the ex-athletes who have made trolling their way of life. Each was chosen for his penchant for stirring the pot and/or general "LOL NOOBZ" attitude.
These are ex-athlete trolls, and they pwn us all.
Gilbert Arenas is kind of like the fraternity legend who dropped out of school but keeps coming back to visit like he never left.
Agent Zero left the NBA in 2012, but the fact that he's still receiving millions from the Orlando Magic until 2016 has led him to transition into the role of the social media trash-talker. One of his favorite activities seems to be trolling Roy Hibbert, who is struggling mightily through a logic-defying, awful slump.
Troll Moment: Arenas posted a picture to Instagram of two garbage cans on top of each other with the caption "BREAKING: ROY HIBBERT SEX TAPE LEAKED!!!"
You may know Steve Elkington from...well, you know him from being that stodgy ex-PGA pro who tweeted a lame joke about Michael Sam throwing handbags at the 2014 NFL combine.*
Elkington deleted and apologized for his tweet later, claiming he was criticizing ESPN for bringing up Sam's sexuality.
Troll Moment: "ESPN reporting Michael Sam is leading the handbag throw at NFL combine...No one else expected to throw today." Nailed it.
*Elkington still golfs professionally, but if you're no longer on the PGA Tour at age 51, you're an ex-pro in my book.
Right when the heat began to crank up on Lance Armstrong's PED-payoff scandal in 2012, the seven time Tour De France winner former pro cyclist tweeted out an innocuous image of himself laying around his house in Austin, Texas.
The picture happened to include a panoramic view of his yellow jerseys framed on the wall, but, you know, no big deal, bro. Definitely no "try to take them" subtext here.
Troll Moment: "Back in Austin and just layin' around..."
When he's not trolling the criminal justice system with good-times butt-slappery, Chad Johnson is online messing with his own followers.
The former NFL receiver (and future CFL SUPERSTAR!) routinely drops unsolicited trollish wisdom on his followers, just to see how people react. Granted, it's nowhere near Marshall Henderson's level of social media "research."
Troll Moment: "[Lady parts] & Fifa don't depreciate RT @Zeralyn: Black people have to stop buying bags,shoes,jewelry, cars and buy things that don't depreciate."
Calling John Rocker a "troll" is probably too kind, but his xenophobia and gay-hate aside, his Twitter interactions belong in some kind of Internet jackass museum.
Just check out his timeline, which is filled with name-calling, swearing and ugly jokes. He gets online for the sole purpose of talking trash to strangers, making him the Oxford definition of a troll.
Troll Moment: "U should thank god for drunks. It's the only time anyone thinks u look betr than h--------t."
Of the many things Diego Maradona has been in his life, subtle is not one of them.
The former Argentinian striker doesn't mince words when it comes to football or family, so when he he called his (soon-to-be-ex) son-in-law Sergio Aguero a pansy in a radio interview in 2013, no one's jaw neared the floor.
Maradona's daughter, Giannina, is in the middle of a nasty divorce with the Manchester City striker, and Maradona claimed he wanted to be in court to see if Aguero "says anything."
Troll Moment: "He's a wimp, who I don't even want to name."
But then again, there's a kernel of truth in every troll.
Troll Moment: "I think he felt kind of slighted at how honestly, at probably the way the team, well actually the city, just embraced me while I was there considering when he got drafted they [Eagles fans] didn’t want him there and things like that."
Chipper Jones isn't a bad guy, but him speaking his mind hasn't exactly been rewarding in terms of fan responses.
During a radio interview prior to the 2013 MLB Wild Card Games, Jones picked the Los Angeles Dodgers to beat the Atlanta Braves and advance to the next round. He was right, but that didn't matter.
"You pick against your boys, Chipper? You go right to hell!" was the general reaction.
His former team retaliated by refusing to catch a first pitch Jones was slated to throw, and the Braves great ended up tossing to the team mascot. Long story short, Jones stored up the bitterness from this moment and unleashed it on his former teammate Tim Hudson in a later tweet.
Troll Moment: "What if Huddy takes the mound for the first time in SF next yr, and no one is there to catch the 'first pitch'? Maybe the mascot? #karma"
Since leaving the MLB and opening the proverbial Pandora's Box on the league's rampant steroid issue, Jose Canseco became a quiet little goat herder with a penchant for painting. Or so he might believe in his own strange mind.
Anyone who follows Canseco on Twitter knows that he's about as put-together as goose droppings and an Internet trolling fiend. Between his Bill Nye Twitter drive-bys and his theories on "ancient gravity," he sounds more like a vagrant hurling meth wisdom at the side of a moving box car than a functioning member of society.
Troll Moment: "Titanic 100 years wOw. Global warming couldve saved titanic. Sad to say."
Is Donovan McNabb's Twitter serious? Or just the greatest troll account ever managed by a professional athlete.
This is an honest question considering McNabb drops fire-starter tweet after fire-starter tweet on his personal account. They're not incendiary in nature, but their messages are just so wide-eyed and caramel corny that they start flame wars. His inability to have anything even resembling an opinion is trollish in and of itself. McNabb may actually be the biting edge of Internet annoyance.
Troll Moment: "Could this be the end of Aaron Hernandez NFL career? Your thoughts?"