For the most part, athletes are a pretty respectable lot. This is mostly out of necessity, as the public eye is on them pretty much all the time. Under such circumstances, normal people like you and I would probably crumble.
Naturally, there are exceptions to the rule, as there have been plenty of athletes through the years who have been downright disrespectful to other athletes, officials, fans, announcers, and a whole manner of other people.
Of course, athletes also have to put up with a lot of crap from other people as well. Sometimes they handle it well, and sometimes they don't. And then there are times when they get way more crap than they deserve, and somehow prove capable of taking it.
Yes sir, disrespect comes in many forms when it comes to athletes. As such, the following slideshow probably only scratches the surface when it comes to the biggest athlete disses in sports.
In the event that you think I missed something, by all means feel free to sound off in the comments section. Changes can always be made.
Unfortunately, confrontations between fans and athletes really aren't all that uncommon, and that's where we start this list off.
One of the more recent occurrences happened just this past October, when Vancouver Canucks center Rick Rypien grabbed a Minnesota Wild fan who had apparently been yelling, "way to be professional!"
I guess you could say Rypien proved the fan's point.
Feuds between certain players are also quite common. Often times, they're actually pretty humorous. Other times, not so much.
Such was the case with Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett and Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva.
Earlier this season, shortly after a November game between the two teams, Villanueva tweeted that KG had called him a "cancer patient."
He went on to say, "I'm pissed because, u know how many people died from cancer, and he's tossing it like it's a joke."
Villanueva is right. Bad form, KG. And the excuse he offered that he had actually called Villanueva a cancer to his team fooled nobody.
Everybody loves autographs, but doesn't the point of getting them have more to do with actually seeking out the athlete than it does the actual autograph?
I mean, come on, who sends baseball cards through the mail in hopes of getting them signed? That's just plain lazy.
But as foolish as the man behind the camera is, the form letter doesn't do Wes Welker and the Patriots any favors. If you look carefully, you'll notice that it gives instructions on how to get the cards signed. They're basically telling the guy, "There is a way to get this done, but not the way you did it."
Epic fail on both parts.
As bad as it was for KG to call Villanueva a cancer patient, at least he had the balls to say it to his face.
Thanks to Twitter, you don't have to do that any more. Just ask Maurice Jones-Drew, who famously called out Jay Cutler on Twitter during the NFC Championship Game.
"Hey I think the urban meyer rule is effect right now," wrote Jones-Drew, "When the going gets tough........QUIT."
Some would say that Cutler deserved to get called out, but Twitter is definitely not the best forum to do so. Moreover, he didn't need to throw Urban Meyer under the bus too.
As bad as Jones-Drew's Twitter insult looked, at least he didn't take to cursing the heavens.
That's what Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson did after he famously dropped what would have been a game-winning catch against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO..."
In the parlance of our times, smh...
All I can really say is that if there is a God, I really hope He has more important matters to tend to than Johnson's butter fingers.
Insulting somebody in person is ballsy. Insulting somebody on Twitter is gutless.
Insulting somebody via a freestyle rap, on the other hand, usually works.
But only if you do it right. In other words, not like Shaq, whose message to Kobe Bryant still lives in infamy.
And then there are athletes who just don't have any respect for anyone, like Milton Bradley.
Remember when Bradley came out and accused the league of having it out for him because of his reputation?
Well, he was close to being right, but it's actually the other way around. And then some. Nobody has it out for you, Milton. You have it out for everyone else.
If I may rattle off a few of my favorite Bradley controversies from memory, there was the time he got into an altercation with Eric Wedge when he was with the Indians, the time he was suspended for the remained of the 2004 season when he was with the Dodgers, the time he tore his ACL when he got into an argument with Mike Winters, the time he tracked down Royals TV announcer Ryan Lefebvre because he didn't like what he had to say, the time he was sent home by Lou Piniella for having a temper tantrum in the Cubs dugout, the time he...
You get the idea. Most recently, Bradley was arrested for making criminal threats to a woman. He's a real class act.
As big a jerk as Bradley is, I think Ron Artest might just have him beat.
After all, when last I checked, Bradley has yet to pull an opponent's pants down.
This whole situation is actually quite hilarious, as it's not all that often you see an athlete have his pants pulled down during a game.
Making matters worse, the way in which Artest sang his apology would seem to indicate that he could have cared less that he was catching heat for pantsing Pierce.
Okay, back to the autograph seekers. And for that, we unfortunately have to rip on KG once again.
In an exchange that is quickly becoming legend, KG denied one of the Lakers' ball boys his autograph this past Sunday.
That wouldn't be so bad, but KG also had to tell the poor kid that he had "a better chance of catching Bin Laden" than he did getting his autograph.
Getting insulted by the player whose autograph you want is one thing. Getting ignored entirely is another.
I will acknowledge that Shaq has a reputation of being one of the nicer athletes out there, but he really comes off like a jerk here.
Personally, I'd rather have one of my favorite athletes tell me to go hunt down a terrorist than have him treat me like I'm not even there.
And then there are times when autograph seeking just goes wrong, as is the case in this video with Cristiano Ronaldo.
To be fair, these people don't deserve to have Ronaldo's autograph. Nevertheless, you think he would have signed it just to shut them up and get them to go away.
Tenaciousness fail on the part oft he fans. Stubbornness fail on the part of Ronaldo. Together, the disrespect is mutual.
Two things about this clip.
First of all, the language makes it NSFW.
Second, there's no way of knowing whether or not these fans did something to rub Doug Williams the wrong way.
Nonetheless, unlike Ronaldo, Williams certainly did not keep his cool, so both parties come off looking bad here.
Moving along back to player-fan confrontations, there are certain instances when it just gets downright ugly.
There is a certain term we use for disrespect in the sports world: "bush league."
And if you ask me, decking one of the opposing team's fans for no apparent reason other than he's in the way is definitely bush league.
So is judo kicking a fan. That being said, it's obvious that the fan must have said something to set Cantona off right here.
Here's a word to the wise: if a man is wearing cleats, don't say something that will piss him off.
I don't claim to be an expert on the rules of Olympic Taekwondo competitions, but I do know that it's never a good thing to kick a referee in the face.
But apparently, Matos had already been disqualified from this match at the 2008 Summer Olympics, so he must have figured he had nothing to lose.
He was later banned for life by the World Taekwondo Federation.
Way to respect the system, dude.
Armenian-Swedish Greco-Roman wrestler Ara Abrahamian won a silver medal for in the 84 kg weight class at the 2004 Summer Olympics. And after seeing this video, one supposes that he has his sights set on gold at the 2008 Beijing games.
Instead, he lost in the semi finals to Italy's Andrea Minguzzi, who went on to win gold. Abrahamian and his judge disputed the judges' ruling, and Abrahamian then went so far as to throw his bronze medal on the ground after receiving it.
Just think about all the history that he sullied by doing so. Jerk.
We may never know exactly what Marco Materazzi said to Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final. The generally accepted notion is that Materazzi insulted Zidane's mother and sister.
Whatever it was, Zidane went on record saying he would rather die than apologize to Materazzi, so it must have been pretty bad.
To this day, I'm still unsure who is more at fault here. All I know is that it makes both players look bad.
You can punch, kick and headbutt people all you want, but spitting in another man's face is the utmost sign of disrespect.
I guess this is what happens when you're stuffed full of several of BALCO's most effective products.
You have to hang with this video for the first 50 seconds or so. If you can manage that, you will be graced with one of the most ridiculous autograph seekers of all-time.
Like I said before, I love autographs. And yes, I do think that athletes should go out of their way to make sure kids get theirs before anyone else does.
But this is just ridiculous. The guy who shot this video is a complete jackass, and he deserves our ridicule.
If you thought judo kicking a fan was as bad as it gets, think again.
As you will see in the video, Sean Avery found himself in a familiar spot when he was sent to the penalty box in the first period of this game against the Nashville Predators.
If you watch to the very end of the video, you'll see that he was confronted by a woman named Sandie Griffith, who proceeded to give Avery a piece of her mind.
According to Griffith, Avery fired back by saying, "You're nothing but an old f**king c***..."
And, well, you can read the rest on the original post from NHL Fanhouse. Just know that it's pretty despicable. Even more despicable than what you've read already.
Griffith later said of Avery, "He is a low class son of a bitch."
Yes he is. Hence the No. 1 spot.