25 Most Hated Athletes of All Time

Adam HartAnalyst IJune 27, 2011

25 Most Hated Athletes of All Time

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    There are all kinds of ways to cheat and play dirty in major league sports, but there are some players that just don't obey the rules. Whether it's by pulling another players jersey in basketball, or holding someone in football, there are plenty of players that won't play fair. Here is a list of the top 25 most hated athletes of all time.

25. Alex Ovechkin

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    Why not start the list with a hockey player. Fans don't hate him and neither do members of his own team. The people who hate him are the players that play against him. He is known for hitting people hard against the boards and playing very dirty. He gets away with many of his crimes on the ice, but when he gets caught, he is not a happy camper.

24. Michael Vick

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    Michael Vick, an American football player, a first-round pick out of college in 2001, was supposed to be one of the best football players of all time. Instead, he is on the most hated athletes of all time.

    While playing amazingly on the field, Vick was doing the exact opposite off. In 2007, Vick was arrested and sentenced to 21 months in prison after he was found guilty of being part of an illegal dogfighting ring for five years. After serving his well-deserved time in prison, Vick was released and allowed to play pro football once more.

    Many people, I for one, see a change in him and think he has completely changed his cruel old ways. Unfortunately, many people don't think he has changed. While he continues to rule the football field with the Philadelphia Eagles, he is still one of the most hated athletes of all time. 

23. LeBron James

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    LeBron James, an America basketball player, isn't hated for doing anything illegal or cheating, he is hated for being an arrogant and selfish person.

    After playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers for seven years and being the heart and soul of their offense, James decided it was time for a change. He won no championship with Cleveland and thought it would be better to move to a team where his chances of succeeding would be better.

    He didn't quietly leave Cleveland in search of a new home. He hosted an hour-long show on ESPN called "The Decision." After an hour of anticipation, James came on camera for 10 seconds and said he had decided to play for the Miami Heat to play with fellow superstars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

    This was not only a slap in the face of the Cleveland Cavaliers and their fans, but it caused such a wave of hate towards him from everyone. This is why LeBron James is on the list of most hated athletes of all time. 

22. Chad Ochocinco

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    Chad Ochocinco, an American football player, is known for his amazing catches and controversial celebrations. After touchdowns, Chad frequently goes to the Cincinnati Bengals cheerleaders and begins to flirt and dance lewdly with them. This for one is arrogant and very disrespectful.

    After six Pro Bowls and being named All-Pro three times, Chad decided to change his last name from Johnson, to the number on his jersey, Ochocinco (85 in Spanish). Not only was this move arrogant, it was just plain stupid. People began to dislike him and hate him for this. 

21. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

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    Floyd Mayweather Jr., an American boxer, hits hard and wins fights. He has won nine world titles in five different boxing weight classes. He has never lost a fight as a professional boxer with 41 wins and 25 by knockout. Yet out of the ring, he uses his punch skills at home.

    In 2010, he was accused of domestic violence. His former girlfriend, Josie Harris, filed a domestic battery report against him. He immediately posted a $300 bail and was free. Later that month, Mayweather was charged with two felony coercion charges and one felony robbery charge along with with one misdemeanor domestic battery charge and three misdemeanor harassment charges. He could face up to 34 years in prison if he is found guilty on all accusations.  

20. Latrell Sprewell

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    Latrell Sprewell, an American basketball player, did nothing exceptional on the court...except for choking his coach during a 1997 practice. This incident resulted in a 68-game suspension. He then claimed that he didn't have enough money to feed his kids. Twenty-one million dollars isn't all that much if you have to pay the bills and feed your own children. These incidents caused a media frenzy and the wave of hatred headed straight towards him.

    Latrell Sprewell: class-act. 

19. Gilbert Arenas

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    Gilbert Arenas, an American basketball player, entered the NBA in 2001 with hopes and dreams. He played for the Washington Wizards for five years (four if you count the one he sat out because of "injury") and then moved to Orlando to play with Dwight Howard.

    During his final years with the Wizards, Arenas was plagued with injuries on his knees and ankles. After sitting out almost all the season, people started to get suspicious. It turns out he faked injuries. After that, he brought unloaded guns into the locker room to have a "fight" with fellow teammate Javaris Crittenton. Another star became one of the most hated athletes of all time. 

18. Sammy Sosa

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    Sammy Sosa, a Dominican Republican baseball player, is one of the best home run hitters ever. He has hit more than 600 homers and has an astonishing 1,667 RBI. Although he looks like an amazing guy, look again. He took PEDs and corked his bat.

    To have an amazing guy like Sammy Sosa exposed as a fraud is heartbreaking. Although he is OK in most people's hearts, he is still one of the most hated athletes of all time. 

17. Albert Haynesworth

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    Albert Haynesworth is an American football player. He was once making amazing tackles on the field, then, he was injured every game and became seriously out of shape. After missing games and being too tired to participate in practice, 355-pound Albert had a stomping accident on the field.

    During a game, center Andre Gurode fell to the ground and had his helmet taken off by Haynesworth. Haynesworth then proceeded to stomp on his head opening a severe wound on Gurode's forehead. After this "little" incident, Haynesworth had some problems with the law. He was given fines for his involvements in traffic accidents on the interstate and sued by a stripper claiming he had impregnated her and given her no financial aid.

    Haynesworth truly is an evil man.

16. Marion Jones

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    Marion Jones is an Olympic sprinter. During the 2000 Sydney Olympics, she started running faster than anyone and was running races she never ran before. She won five medals there and was the star of the Olympics.

    After the Olympics she was questioned about whether she had taken PEDs. She said "no." For seven years, she continued to lie to journalists and federal officers. In 2007, she admitted to having taken PEDs and was stripped of all her medals and prizes she had won at the Olympics.

    She was a liar, a cheat and one of the most hated athletes ever. 

15. Brett Favre

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    Brett Favre, an American footballer, played amazingly throughout his career. He then retired. Then came back to play once more. Then retired. Then said it is time for a comeback. These events aren't enough to land him on a most hated list are they? Of course not.

    That's why he sent indecent pictures on his phone. Favre is an immature little man who should have just retired when he said he did.

14. Tonya Harding

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    Figure skating is a gentle sport where girls come on the ice, skate around the ice and do a jump on the ice, right? WRONG!!

    During the 1994 US National Championship, US figure skater Tonya Harding convinced her boyfriend to smash her competitor, Nancy Kerrigan's, knee. Neither of them were able to compete, and Tonya was then hated by the world and exiled from the skating world.

    Ah, what people will do to win.  

13. Charles Barkley

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    Don't you just love it when NBA stars encourage kids to become professional athletes. Charles Barkley loved doing it. Whether it was when he spat on a little girl or when he preached to the world why he hated white people, Charles sure knew how to motivate his fans. He isn't that good at golf either.

12. Kobe Bryant

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    Kobe Bryant may be one of the best players ever, but he doesn't seem like that great of a person.

    On the court, he's arrogant and causes his team many unnecessary losses by ball hogging and wanting the spotlight. Off the court, he's been accused of rape.

    In 2003, Bryant was charged with sexual assault and pretty much admitted that he did it but felt it was consensual in a statement he made during his trial, though the charges were later dismissed when the accuser informed the court she was unwilling to testify.

    Nonetheless, this resulted in a major PR hit for Bryant. When players think they're superior to everyone in the world because they are good at a sport, that's when they start to become hated. 

11. Ron Artest

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    Ron Artest is an exception. I don't hate him. I just think he is really stupid. He's an efficient basketball player and can be a real team player. The only thing that brings him down is his occasional stupidity like drinking and fighting.

    Changing your name to something logical like "Peter Jennings" is fine. But when you change it to something that sounds like a children's super hero is plain stupid. The new Ron Artest is now "Metta World Peace." I'm not a hater. I like you "Metta." I just think changing your name is kinda stupid.   

10. Tiger Woods

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    Oh goody, more media space for Tiger Woods' infedelity case. I guess everything else in the world has to wait. Many of you may be surprised to see Tiger in a position higher than five. The reason being is simple. What Tiger did wasn't that bad compared to what a lot of other guys have done.

    Although he did cheat on his wife with 11 (is it higher now?) mistresses and let down millions of people around the world, he didn't affect people that badly. Of course, you can look at it like he was such a role model before this, and now he is just awful. Just keep in mind he still is one of the best golfers ever. 

9. Jack Tatum

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    Jack Tatum was an American football player who played from 1971-1980 for the Oakland Raiders and the extinct Houston Oilers. He is not known for his playing skills but for his ability to hit hard and tackle.

    His aggressive way of playing sent a Pittsburgh Steeler receiver to the hospital. During a 1978 exhibition game, Tatum hit New England receiver Daryl Stingley so hard, he was paralyzed. In his book, Tatum said "They call me the Assassin." 

8. Barry Bonds

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    Barry Bonds, American Baseball player, did something that no athlete should ever do. He took Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED) to make him stronger and a better hitter in baseball. While he did win an astonishing and record-breaking seven MVP awards and 14 All-Star appearances, he is still one of the most hated players in baseball history.

    He broke the record for all-time home runs in a career, but he did it while taking PEDs. What makes him even more hated is he said he never knowingly took any illegal steroids in front of a grand jury. He is and will always be one of the most hated athletes of all time.

7. Cristiano Ronaldo

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    Cristiano Ronaldo, arguably the best soccer player in the world, is nothing more than scum off the field. While his wife and babysitter are looking after his children, he's off partying and having affairs with many different woman.

    While his shooting and scoring are amazing on the field, he becomes the biggest jerk off it. Well done, Ronaldo. 

6. Ben Roethlisberger

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    Ben Roethlisberger can throw touchdowns like nobody's business on the field. Too bad he's not building a family and becoming a role model for future NFL stars.

    He is too busy going to his sexual assault trials. Ben Roethlisberger has been convicted on two sexual assault charges yet hasn't served any jail time. He is hated by everyone except Pittsburgh fans who he continues to impress on the field. 

5. Floyd Landis

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    Floyd Landis is an American cyclist. He admitted to having taken PEDs throughout his biking and racing years. There is not much else to say.

4. Terrell Owens

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    Terrell Owens has many positive factors. He is an amazing athlete and has a lot of skill. The problem is his ego, and his negatives overshadow those positives.

    His massive ego could have its own zip code and could never accept the blame. This guy is an annoyance for any team or anybody that has to talk to him or play ball with him.

3. Kurt Busch

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    Kurt Busch may be a talented NASCAR driver, but he sure is an arrogant jerk as he thins he is the best. He has been rude to police officers, other racers and officials. He's just an all-around jerk to almost everyone.

2. O.J. Simpson

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    O.J. Simpson may have been one of the best football players of his era, but he sure was crazy. He was accused of brutally murdering his ex-wife and her boyfriend yet the jury miraculously found him innocent on all charges.

    All the evidence was present to convict him, and he got away with killing two innocent people. Yet, unhappy people got their revenge when O.J. was arrested for robbery and sentenced to 33 years in prison. O.J. Simpson can easily be considered one of the most hated athletes of all time.

1. Ty Cobb

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    Ty Cobb, American baseball player, is widely considered one of the best players ever. Yet, he is the most awful man and should go to hell for everything he did off the field. Here is a list.

    • Sharpened his spikes to make infielders fear injury every time he took a base
    • Probably fixed games
    • Had a long history of domestic violence
    • Fought a black groundskeeper during a practice and then choked his wife when she intervened
    • Attacked a heckler in the stands
    • Slapped a black elevator operator for no reason then when a black night guard intervened, he stabbed him to death
    • After his son failed out of Princeton, Cobb came home to beat and horsewhip him.

    Ty Cobb is the most hated athlete of all time.


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