Fame, power and cash—lots and lots of cold, hard cash—can transform a person in an instant, but countless examples of celebrities, executives, politicians and…yes… athletes, have shown that there are limits to how deeply these things change who we are.
Some people steal, because they’re broke and hungry, or have a substance abuse problem; but others have no clear underlying motive and simply lack—or ignore—that barrier of conscience or fear that keeps most of society from swiping anything that isn’t nailed down.
Regardless of wealth or status, there are folks who like to steal. The fact that someone is an All-Pro or future Hall of Famer doesn’t necessarily preclude their desire to walk out of a store without paying for something.
Call it greed; call it kleptomania; call them dummies; more than one label likely fits an athlete busted for treating a pharmacy or electronics store like their own personal, free buffet. It’s not about the money, because plenty of athletes who earn more than enough to not have to resort to outright theft do it anyway.
What isn’t surprising is that some—not many, but some—of the people in sports who we admire and root for might have a problem with stealing; what is surprising is some of their bizarre decisions about what to steal.
Let's take a look at some of the craziest things athletes have stolen.