Best New Feuds in Sports
The feud is not something unique to the rich and famous—if it was, like limitless credit cards or VIP-only Oscar afterparties, there would be no Family Feud or "Hello...Newman."
But your feud with the downstairs neighbor who reliably blasts wuss-rock from 7:00 a.m. to "???" every Sunday isn't featured on the New York Post's Page Six.
Athletes and other sports celebrities, like their counterparts in Hollywood and the major media, rarely need encouragement when the spotlight beckons.
And a weirdo feud between two personalities who are the personification of a bad joke when they walk into a bar together is sure headline-grabber.
2014 has produced a bumper crop of awesome feuds between sports stars and their celebrity nemeses; some represent freshly-brewed conflicts, while others are simply reignited but longstanding.
These are the best new feuds in sports.
DeAngelo Hall and Richard Sherman
Key Players: Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman
Feud Origins: Twitter, March 2014
Dirty Details: In March, Hall and Sherman engaged in a Twitter exchange that was initially friendly, if not a little condescending on the part of Hall, but it quickly devolved into something less savory and the two were quickly exchanging barbs. The feud unfolded over a few days.
Current Status: This beef looked to be squashed until Hall decided to throw a little shade Sherman’s way at Redskins training camp in late July. Although it looks like Hall is just using the Super Bowl champ to get attention for himself, so this one isn’t active again unless Sherman responds.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Nelly
Key Players: Boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Rapper Nelly
Feud Origins: Public comments, May 2014
Dirty Details: The feud first made headlines when TMZ reported that Nelly said that he was never friends with Mayweather, who he accused of trying to “bang” his ex. If that’s true, it may have been Mayweather’s way of getting back at Nelly for dating his ex-fiancee Shantel Jackson.
Current Status: Within the last day Nelly publicly denied the feud with Mayweather and then immediately insulted him. This one is not only still very much active, it’s white hot and looks to have some serious staying power.
Morris Claiborne and Terrance Williams
Key Players: Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne and wide receiver Terrance Williams
Feud Origins: Public comments, July 2014
Dirty Details: In classic Cowboys fashion, the two teammates made training camp a public spectacle when they used the media to air out a disagreement about the level of intensity that should be brought to practice. Williams said Claiborne went overboard in the first padded practice, Claiborne (basically) said Williams was being a baby.
Current Status: Consider this one squashed. Although things got a little heated at the time, both Williams and Claiborne agreed that they were still friends and the beef would stay on the football field where it belongs.
Quandre Diggs and Kevin Durant
Key Players: Texas Longhorns cornerback Quandre Diggs, Oklahoma
City Thunder forward Kevin Durant
Feud Origins: Twitter, July 2014
Dirty Details: For some reason Diggs recently decided to tell the world that Durant unfollowing him on Twitter has really been grinding his gears. At Big 12 media days Diggs said, “I thought we were supposed to be U.T. forever. I understand, LeBron is my favorite player, but K.D. is a close second. He followed me, then unfollower me, which I think is disrespectful.”
Current Status: It just happened, so clearly it’s an active situation for Diggs, but unless Durant actually decides to respond, this beef is squashed. That’s assuming it was ever anything but a personal pity party to begin with—after all, Diggs said his public hissy fit was so Durant “can see this and know that I want him to follow me back.”
Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman
Key Players: Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman
Feud Origins: Twitter, July 2014
Dirty Details: Recently Peterson announced his five-year, $70 million extension via Twitter, which is a bigger contract that the one Sherman received earlier this offseason. Sherman responded with an unflattering stat and a picture of his Super Bowl ring.
Current Status: According to AZCardinals.com’s Darren Urban, Peterson said that as far as he’s concerned, the whole thing is just good fun and the product of healthy competition. Sherman has not commented further, but considering this is a division rivalry, it’s safe to say this one is still active.
Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco
Key Players: Retired MLB sluggers Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco
Feud Origins: Publication of Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big, 2005
Dirty Details: Formerly teammates affectionately known as the Bash Brothers, these guys were bros right up until the time Canseco plunged a knife into McGwire’s back. The mostly one-sided feud has been on the back burner for years but was recently reignited, at least for a moment.
Current Status: In July 2014, Canseco decided he wanted McGwire’s forgiveness, tweeting various self-serving overtures and offering a long overdue apology. Consider the feud squashed though because McGwire made it clear that he wants absolutely nothing to do with Canseco’s circus.
Michelle Beadle and Stephen A. Smith
Key Players: ESPN personalities Michelle Beadle and Stephen A. Smith
Feud Origins: Public comments/Twitter, July 2014
Dirty Details: As one half of First Take’s perpetually-screaming demonic duo, Stephen A. Smith, who can’t match wits with Skip Bayless, usually overcompensates with sheer volume—in both the volume of his voice and the overall volume of words spoken.
Recently he took the devil’s advocate role in discussing the suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, going on at some length about the role women play in provoking men into beating them up and asking they not do that.
Fellow ESPN employee Michelle Beadle took to Twitter to vent her disdain and disgust for Smith’s grotesque comments, which earned him a one-week (likely paid) suspension (or what the rest of us call a vacation).
Current Status: If ESPN has anything to say about it—and of course they do—consider this feud squashed. Smith never commented publicly on the Beadle aspect of the incident and she’s been silent ever since speaking up on Twitter. It’s hard to imagine these two getting cozy at the company Christmas party, but don’t expect any more public squabbling.
Matt Leinart and Dean Cain
Key Players: NFL free-agent quarterback Matt Leinart, actor Dean Cain
Feud Origins: Public comments, July 2014
Dirty Details: Unemployed actor Dean Cain recently took aim at unemployed quarterback Matt Leinart while speaking to TMZ. Cain warned Cleveland Browns rookie Johnny Manziel about “going Hollywood,” noting that it can backfire and citing Leinart as an example.
Current Status: Days after the initial comments, Leinart tweeted: “Put 7 years in, pretty sure that’s 7 more than 99% of the world. Some people should stick to their day job because they couldn’t cut it!” He then added, “Stick to being D list!” That was less than a week ago, so this feud is definitely active.
King Mo and Rampage Jackson
Key Players: MMA fighters King Mo and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
Feud Origins: Twitter, June 2014
Dirty Details: The feud between these two actually took root a few months back when Rampage defeated King Mo by unanimous decision at Bellator 120, a rematch from Bellator 110, before finally boiling over to Twitter a month later. They traded a number of insults far too salty to be repeated here, but you can click over to MMAFighting.com to see the whole exchange.
Current Status: Although Rampage has reportedly been contemplating retirement, the feud between him and King Mo is active until one of them officially hangs it up.
Chandler Parsons and James Harden
Key Players: Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons, Houston Rockets guard James Harden
Feud Origins: Public comments, July 2014
Dirty Details: Parsons recently signed with the Mavericks as a free agent, prompting Harden, his former teammate in Houston, to refer to him (essentially) as an easily-replaceable role player. Parsons called Harden’s statement “ridiculous” and cited it as an example of why he wanted to move on to begin with.
Current Status: With Houston and Dallas in the same state and same division, Parsons and Harden certainly haven’t seen the last of each other—not by a long shot. And since neither has made any public attempts to walk this one back, the feud is definitely still active.
Donald Sterling and Shelly Sterling
Key Players: Current Los Angeles Clippers owners Donald and Shelly Sterling
Feud Origins: Racist recordings, April 2014
Dirty Details: This one all began when private recordings of Sterling saying ridiculously racist things were made public by TMZ in April.
The fallout was swift and harsh for Sterling—he received a lifetime ban from NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who vowed to force the sale of the team. Initially, it looked like Mr. Sterling was going to step back and allow Mrs. Sterling to negotiate the sale, but days later he declared war on the NBA and his estranged wife.
Current Status: This one is active until the Clippers sale goes through. Although Mr. Sterling recently suffered a major setback in his fight against the sale, his attorney vowed it was just “one stage of a long war.”
David Price and David Ortiz
Key Players: Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price, Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz
Feud Origins: Rays-Red Sox game, June 2014
Dirty Details: The feud between these two division rivals actually began quite some time ago but remained dormant so long that it was more or less forgotten until recently.
In typically ridiculous baseball fashion, it was reignited when Price took it upon himself to settle some invisible violation of the sport’s absurd "unwritten rules" by intentionally whipping a fastball at Ortiz’s hip. A violation, which, by the way, that dated all the way back to Game 2 of the ALDS in October 2013.
Current Status: Price wanted to make it active again, and Ortiz followed suit. Said Ortiz, “I have a lot of respect for the guy, man, but it’s over. I’ve got no more respect for him. … [This] means it’s a war. It’s on. Next time he hits me, he better bring the gloves on.”
Tito Ortiz and Dana White
Key Players: Retired MMA fighter Tito Ortiz, UFC President Dana White
Feud Origins: Public war of words, dates back to 2003
Dirty Details: Ortiz and White have traded accusations, insults and threats for years now, but it really escalated in 2007 because Ortiz was unhappy with how his expiring contract was handled.
August 2013: Ortiz remarks that working conditions under White amount to “slavery.”
August 2013: White accuses Ortiz of ruining Cris Cyborg’s career.
October 2013: Ortiz and Ken Shamrock threaten to “expose the truth” about White.
January 2014: White claims he used to beat the “living s**t” out of Ortiz at boxing.
February 2014: Ortiz steps down as Cyborg’s manager, citing White as a factor.
April 2014: Ortiz accuses White of steroid usage.
May 2014: White responds to Ortiz’s UFC Hall of Fame request by asking, “Who gives a s**t?”
June 2014: Ortiz refers to White as a “chick” who is basically obsessed with him.
Current Status: Uh…active…now and forever.
Richard Sherman and Michael Crabtree
Key Players: Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree
Feud Origins: On the field
Dirty Details: This feud has been building between the heated division rivals for awhile now, but Sherman really took it to the next level with that epic interview after defeating Crabtree’s Niners in the latest NFC Championship Game. Sherman’s sideline chat with Fox Sports' Erin Andrews made a million headlines, but he laid it on thick in the postgame press conference, repeatedly emphasizing Crabtree’s alleged mediocrity.
Current Status: On July 9, Sherman reaffirmed his dislike of Crabtree. On July 10, Crabtree said he wasn’t interested in talking about Sherman. On July 11, Sherman said talking about Crabtree was “getting old.” None of which matters because these two hate each other and this feud is absolutely still active.
T.I. and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Key Players: Rapper T.I., Boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Feud Origins: Cheating scandal, May 2014
Dirty Details: According to various reports, Mayweather and T.I. brawled at a Las Vegas strip club, which included flying chairs and blows being exchanged between the two, resulting in visible injuries to the rapper. Because reasons behind the feud are just conjecture at this point, let’s just say it has something to do with Mayweather’s relationship with T.I.’s wife, Tiny.
Current Status: Although Mayweather apologized for the incident, his comments about his relationship with Tiny were too incendiary for this feud to be squashed. Divorce rumors are still swirling around T.I. and Tiny, who recently discussed ignoring Mayweather on the red carpet. This beef is active.