15 Examples of Athletes Pouting
Although it’s not usually a distinction worth making, there’s a fundamental difference between someone pouting and someone throwing a hissy fit—particularly in the sports world, in which both are generally demonstrative of poor sportsmanship.
That being said, all displays of poor sportsmanship are not created equal.
While throwing a hissy fit is rarely an advisable course of action, it can often be explained away as an emotional outburst which displays an athlete’s passion for the game. In fact, there have been plenty of times when pitching a fit was praised and/or admired—it can actually make a player more relatable.
The same cannot be said about pouting. There is, quite simply, no party more unpleasant than a pity party thrown by oneself, for oneself. And again, particularly in the sports world. Athletes are rich and famous and they get to play sports for a living—making it hard to feel their pain.
Behaving like a child and pouting makes it damn near impossible to feel their pain.
Here are 15 examples of athletes pouting.
Although I don’t completely agree with this one, Saints tight end Jimmy Graham has been accused by many of pouting this offseason. Perhaps he has been pouting over his contract situation, but personally I think he’s got reason to be sour.
In March, Graham reacted to the release of running back Darren Sproles (and other things) on Twitter: “Wow unbelievable. Shocked and disappointed on everything that’s gone on this offseason.” Canal Street Chronicles blogger J.R. Ella noted the reaction was less than positive.
A few weeks later Graham, apparently still feeling combative, reacted to the NFL officially banning the touchdown celebration he’s known for. Said Graham, “I guess I’ll have to lead the NFL in penalties next year!”
Yeah…that’s just passive aggression from a dude still pouting about his contract.
In January 2012 Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin decided to forgo the NHL All-Star game. Considering the monotony of these things, who could blame him, right?
Wrong. Ovechkin didn’t skip it because he wanted to spend more time with family or systematically knock some stuff off the DVR—or get drunk and take his shirt off, whatever. He skipped it as punishment to the league for suspending him for an obviously suspension-worthy hit.
Ovi told Stephen Whno of The Washington Times, “My heart is not there. I [got] suspended, so why I have to go there? I love the game; it’s a great event. I’d love to be there, but I’m suspended. I don’t want to be a target. If I’m suspended, I have to be suspended.”
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is highly competitive and passionate, which is why it’s often easy to identify what’s on his mind—it’s written all over his face. Of course, that’s nothing new for an NFL quarterback, it pretty much goes along with the job.
Rodgers pouting on the sideline over something that happened on the field is so accepted, if not expected, that it hardly even qualifies as such. Rodgers pouting about his unexpected plummeting in the 2005 NFL Draft, however, that totally counts.
Unlike Johnny Manziel’s recent fall which was somewhat masked by the circus atmosphere, until recently only a handful of players were invited to attend the draft in person, which made it impossible for Rodgers to hide for even a second.
And you know he wanted to—just look at this face. Honestly, Rodgers is still pouting about the whole thing today, which is great news for the Packers. He’s obviously one of those guys who operates best with a chip on his shoulder, and this created a very big one.
In January 2012 Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians “announced his retirement,” which is funny since he’s been working ever since. The team and Arians obviously came to some type of agreement in which he would “retire” from Pittsburgh, rather than be fired.
Attempts at amicability did nothing to dissuade quarterback Ben Roethlisberger from throwing his own offensive pity party that would last the better part of two seasons. Roethlisberger loved Arians and clearly doesn’t love Todd Haley, who he has been subtly (and not-so-subtly) taking digs at for years.
Though he has rebounded in recent months, Rory McIlroy was in a bit of a slump during the 2013 Honda Classic. Perhaps that’s why he decided to bail before the end of his round in which he sank two balls in the drink and double bogeyed his second hole.
When McIlroy disappeared he was on his way to a triple bogey on the 18th but never finished the hole. Apparently he said his goodbyes to Ernie Els and Mark Wilson, giving them two different stories for his departure, then departed.
Sounds like your classic temper tantrum followed by a pity party.
Whether or not you want to admit it, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has had a pretty successful career in the NFL to date. Though the team has struggled at times, many of Newton’s early struggles came off the field and in front of a microphone.
Well aware that he had his share of “haters” back in October 2012, Newton definitely made a bad thing worse by going off script following a frustrating loss to the Cowboys. And when it comes to NFL quarterbacks, the script is basically, “I’m sorry. It’s totally my fault. I’ll try harder.”
The past couple of games have been the same script, by the same director. It’s kind of getting boring...We just find a way to keep the game close just to see what happens at the end … and that’s not a formula to win...I’m going to bring a suggestion box. And I want your suggestions in that box, because I sure don’t know. I really don’t.
One thing Newton now surely knows? That's the kind of stuff you keep in house. Pout in the locker room about losing, don't pout with a camera in your face.
In July 2013 Alex Bogomolov, Jr. demonstrated the professional sports equivalent of a kid taking his ball and going home. Only in this case, he took his racket and went home instead.
Playing against American Bradley Klahn and down 2-1 in the third (and final) set, an aggravated Bogomolov began arguing a call with the umpire.
Because that almost never works, obviously he didn’t get the answer he wanted. That’s when Bogomolov headed to his seat, packed his belongings and left.
There’s no questioning the success AJ McCarron enjoyed as quarterback at Alabama. There is, however, a divergence in opinion that arises when dishing out credit. Some (maybe even most) say he’s simply a product of Nick Saban’s system and the ‘Bama football machine.
Well, you can count AJ McCarron among AJ McCarron’s true believers. Not only did he go into combine interviews with the “All I do is win” shtick (which he ripped off from Tim Tebow), he came out of those interviews legitimately believing he’d be taken 16-35 in the 2014 NFL draft.
McCarron went in the fifth round, and he didn’t take it particularly well. He blamed NFL teams for concluding that he was arrogant, and he even criticized his former Crimson Tide teammates, who he said didn’t want it enough his senior year.
Maybe if he stopped pouting for a second, he could gain a little self-awareness.
What isn’t Alex Rodriguez pouting about these days? He’s lashed out at the Yankees, MLB, and Bud Selig over his current season-long suspension. He even toyed with the idea of suing his own union to get the punishment overturned.
But A-Rod already used up some of his best stuff pouting over his 2008 divorce from ex-wife Cynthia. According to the New York Daily News, “even his staunchest defenders don’t deny A-Rod’s eye wandered,” yet he still attempted to paint himself as an 'emotionally abused' husband.
Poor fella. Then again, we all know Rodriguez is a little sensitive—he can’t even give himself his own steroid injections.
On the decline and having officially reached the second half of his 30s, the Steelers attempted to negotiate a pay cut with linebacker James Harrison in March 2013. It has to sting an athlete when this sort of thing happens, but it’s important not to take it personally.
Harrison took it personally.
According to multiple reports, he was asked by Pittsburgh to take base cut of 30 percent, which would’ve made his salary $4.6 million the following season. Harrison declined, opting instead to sign with the Bengals for $4.45 million…over two seasons.
A year later he's out of a job and apparently wants to return to Pittsburgh. Hopefully Harrison learned his lesson: Pouting (literally) doesn't pay.
Struggling through a slump through much of last season, the Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving apparently didn’t handle his problems like a grown man. Like so many of us, Irving is certainly not above throwing himself a little pity party when the road gets rough.
In December 2013, Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal said:
Irving’s performance is baffling not only fans and his teammates, but other executives around the league. Players in the locker room have told me on multiple occasions he’s missing shots he never missed before. ‘He’s pouting,’ was the explanation I’ve heard recently from two league executives.
Well, the Cavs did just get awarded the No. 1 overall draft pick again—so maybe pouting does pay dividends after all.
In December 2013 the Cowboys melted down at home in glorious fashion against the Packers, who came back from a 26-3 halftime deficit to win 37-36. No doubt a particularly bitter pill for Cowboy Nation to swallow, but one Cowboy didn’t bother sticking around for his meds.
Wide receiver Dez Bryant, who knows how to make a headline or two, walked off the field with 1:24 left in the fourth quarter. Said Bryant, “I was very emotional…I cried when I got into the locker room. I didn’t want to show that stuff on the sideline.”
He was definitely pouting, but to be fair, Bryant was just giving the people what they want. A few months prior he had shown what was deemed an inappropriate level of emotion out in plain view, and the world about melted down.
Martin St. Louis
In February 2014 Lightning captain Martin St. Louis’ relationship with Tampa Bay’s general manager Steve Yzerman had turned so toxic over a perceived Olympic snub that he demanded a trade. According to Sports Illustrated, Yzerman’s decision not to overrule the decision to exclude St. Louis damaged things irrevocably.
The issue in St. Louis demanding a trade is that he had a no trade clause in his contract, giving him the power to really make things miserable for Yzerman. St. Louis cry-babied his way to the Rangers, the only team in the league on which he would submit to being unloaded.
What’s really insane, though, is that although Yzerman didn’t overrule the initial decision to exclude him, St. Louis was still selected as a injury replacement for teammate Steven Stamkos. So St. Louis screamed and cried, and all it got him was an Olympic gold medal and a trade to New York City, the destination city for an inexplicable number of athletes.
In September 2010 wide receiver Randy Moss, who was enjoying the most continuously productive stretch of his career in New England, decided to take his contract extension grievances public. Like very public. Like postgame press conference public.
It’s fair to say the “Patriot Way” means a lot of things to a lot of people at this point, but to no one does it mean complaining about money publicly is fair game. Said Moss, “I don’t want to talk about contracts. I just want to let you all know that I’m here to play my last season out.”
Except for that he obviously did want to talk about contracts. Moss attempted to out passive-aggressive Bill Belichick, the absolute master of that game. That’s why it came as no surprise when Moss got the heave-ho shortly thereafter for what Belichick described as “a combination of factors.”
In May 2014 Manchester City’s Yaya Toure took athlete pouting to creative new levels, with his agent joining him for the pity party, rather than advising him against publicly humiliating himself. The whole hullabaloo was because the 31-year-old didn’t feel the club had properly recognized his birthday.
Seriously. That’s a thing that happened.
Said Dimitri Seluk, Toure’s agent, “None of them shook his hand on his birthday. It’s really sick.” He also said lots of other really insane things before adding, “The most important thing is a human relationship and maybe this is his opportunity to find that. If City don't respect him, then easy, Yaya will leave.”
Seluk went on to explain all of the various birthday-related slights his client had been forced to endure, including mentioning other players (by name!) who got a cake on their birthdays. Toure attempted to write the whole thing off as a misunderstanding on Twitter, which somehow made him look even more ridiculous.
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