Floyd Mayweather Jr. and 20 Athlete Reputations Ruined by Indiscretion
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been hit with eight criminal charges, four of them felonies, stemming from an altercation he had with his ex-girlfriend.
According to ESPN.com, Mayweather threatened the life of his ex-girlfriend while hitting her and also threatened to beat two of their children in a fight that occurred in early morning hours last week. Mayweather is also being charged with felony theft and coercion, along with misdemeanor battery and domestic violence.
The welterweight legend, nicknamed "Money," is one of the most recognizable figures in professional boxing. His fight with "Sugar Shane" Mosley earned him $20 million alone.
However, it seems the more power you give an individual, the greater the temptation mounts for that individual to misbehave.
Here are twenty examples of reputations ruined by indiscretion.
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The pressure of keeping up with Lance Armstrong must have been too great for cyclist Floyd Landis. All of his accomplishments have been stripped away after admitting to using PEDs.
Cyclists are usually the shining example of mental toughness and physical stability. However, Landis tarnished his reputation and career by showing the world he was not super human and made a human mistake.
To add to the matter, Landis also accused Armstrong of doping in his confession, but no evidence has surfaced to support Landis's claim.
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Fighting, shooting, stealing, lying: The rapsheet goes on and on for Adam "Pacman" Jones. To still have an NFL career after everything this man has been through is baffling to most. While serving a season-long suspension for his acts off the field, Jones appeared on TNA wrestling to make ends meet. After being released by the Titans, he was signed by the Cowboys. After being released by the Cowboys, Jones is giving it yet another shot with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jones's ability to find his way on to multiple NFL rosters is a testament to the level of forgiveness the league has become accustomed to.
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To be fair, several baseball players at the beginning of the steroid era could have their names on this slide. The Hall of Fame is forever changed by the revelation that some of the best hitters in Major League Baseball from the 90s to today were using Performance-Enhancing Drugs.
What set aside players like Rafael Palmeiro and Roger Clemens was their blatant denial to Congress, with later evidence revealing the use of steroids. Once living legends of the game, players like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Tejada, David Ortiz, and countless others are now living under the shadow of their indiscretions.
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By now, everyone knows Tiger had a major secret that finally surfaced in 2009 following a freak auto accident in Florida.
The world's No. 1 golfer had a unique addiction that, when uncovered, created a worldwide shock wave. Woods's admission to sex addiction not only cost him endorsement deals, but forever tarnished his spotless reputation as a clean role model.
Since the confession, sex addiction rehab, and attempt to return to normal life and competition, Tiger has struggled and clearly isn't the same athlete, nor person.
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How many baseball players can you count that have over 3,000 career hits and are not in the pro baseball Hall of Fame?
Pete Rose is one of the best hitters to ever live, yet his decision to bet on baseball, and subsequent denial for years, not only ruined his reputation, but earned him a lifetime ban from the the Hall. Certainly, his decisions had major consequences, and it's a shame he will pay for it for the rest of his life.
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Being accused of sexual assault once in a career can do some damage, but twice in one year is enough to make a player public enemy number one. Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is currently serving a four-game suspension for his indiscretions off the field. He will likely be cheered in Pittsburgh, but no one will forget who the man really is under the helmet.
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John Daly's name was included in the top golfers of the world discussions in the late 90s. In his personal life, Daly was a victim of substance abuse, and his life would soon unravel. Daly has since made a comeback to the game that made him a millionaire, but his reputation will forever precede him.
Many fans still remember the way O.J. Simpson carried the ball at USC, and how his professional football career was starting out. Simpson was even gaining acting gigs in mainstream feature films like The Naked Gun.
However, the infamous car chase and murder trial of his wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ron Goldman, in their home began a downward spiral for the one-time great running back. Simpson was acquitted, but he has since lived up to his reputation, and is currently serving a prison sentence for theft and assault with a deadly weapon, amongst various other counts listed in the second video.
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The former New York Giants wide receiver is currently serving a two-year prison sentence after shooting himself in the leg with a hand gun without the necessary permits to carry it.
It is difficult to understand why someone with so much success and power would need to carry a firearm, but maybe things in Burress' life were going bad under the surface, and the shooting incident was the mode for exposure.
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Michael Vick was once the epitome of the professional football athlete: endorsement deals, commercials, and amazing highlight reels. But, a hobby in his private life would be his undoing.
Vick was spear-heading a dog fighting ring, with a location at his own house discovered by animal control authorities and detectives. Instantly, he was labeled a "monster" and "heartless." His career will never be the same. Following a jail sentence and a return to football as a backup, the world may never be ready to see him succeed again.
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The list for Mr. Tyson is so long, it is difficult to find a beginning point. Assault and battery, substance abuse, verbal slander and death threats, and a bout with cannibalism have made Mike Tyson a legend for all the wrong reasons. Once the king of modern boxing, Tyson is now a social pariah, accepting cameo roles in feature films to support himself.
The beginning of the end was perhaps the biting of Evander Holyfield's ear, leaving a chunk missing and the ear bleeding. After attempting to match the first ear by biting the other one, Tyson was disqualified while going down in sports history as having the most bizarre meltdown of the last century.
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Kobe Bryant has spent years rebuilding his reputation after an incident in a Colorado hotel room. While first maintaining his innocence, Bryant later confessed his actions weren't wise that night.
Arguably the best player in the NBA, or at least his era, Bryant is still escaping the memories of that fateful night and its fallout.
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Rae Carruth is currently serving a 24-year sentence for conspiracy to commit murder after his baby's mother was shot and died a month later while in a coma. His biological son was born with cerebral palsy. While he continues to deny the crimes, his career is over.
The gunman, Van Watkins, testified against Carruth and remains imprisoned.
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Believe it or not, Darryl Strawberry is probably the only success story on this list. While his reputation as an elite baseball player still lives on, his struggles with substance abuse, violence, and criminal arrests were the main focus of the later years in his career. His reputation was forever tarnished by the way he chose to live his life outside the game.
However, Strawberry is the founder of the Darryl Strawberry Foundation, benefitting children with autism. His continued community involvement is a heart-warming true testament to second chances taken in life.
Phillips's career never really took off in the NFL, and his life outside professional football never really straightened out. Phillips is still in prison, serving a total of 31 years for crimes such as: assault with a deadly weapon (using his car to run over victims), abuse, and assault against his girlfriend in 2009.
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Sosa cheated the game of baseball and its fans. His steroid use and bat corking make Sosa the biggest fan letdown in decades. Once again, the Hall of Fame debate rises to the surface. Sosa is extra special for his cheating efforts.
The former U.S. track and field star was forced to return her medals and convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury for her denial of PED use to a Federal Grand Jury. Jones was sentenced to six months and 200 hours community service. Once a shining example of U.S. athleticism, Jones is now better known for cheating and lying about it.
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The Olympic swimmer was America's newest hero, setting the record for gold medals won in a single Olympic games.
However, shortly after the competition, Phelps began endorsement deals and commercials, only to have photos surface of him smoking marijuana. While the act may not end his career, his golden-boy image is forever gone.
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Isaiah Rider had a promising career just beginning while with the Minnesota Timberwolves when he was charged and convicted of possession of cocaine, battery, and evading a police officer. He served seven months and returned to basketball.
However, his reputation was destroyed and his playing career never materialized.
Certainly the most bizarre case of ruining a career goes to Leslie Hylton, a West Indian Cricketer. More famous for the way he died than his abilities as a Cricket Bowler, Hylton was executed by hanging in 1955 for the murder of his wife. He remains the only Test Cricketer to have been executed.
For more fallen athletes, check out:
For another entertaining slideshow, read: Snap, Crackle, Pop: The Top 25 Worst Sports Injuries of the Last 25 Years