The 50 Biggest Scumbags in Sports History

Austin SchindelAnalyst IIJuly 22, 2011

The 50 Biggest Scumbags in Sports History

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    Wait, you're telling me that athletes have big egos and do terrible things to others?!? That cannot be so.

    That’s right, these athletes say the dumbest things, do the wildest stuff and think that they can get away with it because they are professional athletes.

    In all honesty, some of their actions are funny (see Simon, Randall), but for the most part, they make life hell for their coaches, teammates and/or families.

    Here are the 50 biggest jerks in sports history. Enjoy.

50. Marty McSorley

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    At the end of the game, things tend to get out of control. Emotions are running high, and as the final score seems to be setting in, people do dumb things.

    Marty McSorley assaulted Donald Brasheer and never played another minute in the NHL. It was the worst thing a hockey player could do to another; an unsuspecting cheap shot to the head.

49. Charles Comiskey

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    Many believe that he is the reason that the 1919 White Sox decided to throw the World Series. Critics say that he greatly mistreated the players and often did not pay their salaries or bonuses in full.

    Though he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939, this infamous team tarnishes his legacy.

48. Freddie Mitchell

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    He called himself “FredEx” because he claims he was always open. The only thing that was open all the time was his mouth.

    The Eagles receiver was delusional in the sense that he thought he brought value to the team. At least T.O., who talks all the time, is a sensational receiver at times.

    Mitchell just wanted the spot light and attention; sounds like a 17-year-old girl.

47. Kyle Busch

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    Brad Keslowski had choice words for Kyle Busch after an altercation between the two.

    When it comes down to it, Busch is an incredible driver and a winner, but everyone seems to hate him.

    Let’s call him the LeBron James of racing; you dislike him for irrational reasons.

46. Randall Simon

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    If they were anything but sausages, this would be less funny, but alas, they were. Randall Simon assaulted a sausage race participant with a bat, knocking it out.

    This was a major d-bag move that ended up being a playful joke. Luckily for him, nobody got seriously hurt from is actions.

45. Jose Canseco

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    If you want to vilify Canseco for coming out and exposing the steroid era for what it was, go ahead, nobody will stop you.

    What was worse about him was the way that he did it. He had always been a juicing monster that never had a reputation as a good guy. So when he came forward with all of this information, we did not believe him.

    His worst attribute is that he needs attention. He was not doing all of this because he believed in justice. It was about maintaining his lifestyle by making money off of it and embarrassing others. Seems pretty bad to me.

44. Steve Phillips

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    He was a terrible general manager and a worse husband. He almost traded Jose Reyes, did trade Jason Bay (before his prime) and fired fan favorite manager Bobby Valentine.

    He was accused of sexual harassment in 1998 and had an affair with a 22-year-old production assistant at ESPN. The first situation ended up fine for the analyst, but the second cost him his job.

43. Elijah Dukes

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    Dukes was the type of player with a lot of talent but zero discipline. He was arrested three times for battery and once for assault and to top it all off, threatened the lives of his wife and children.

    The teams he played on tried everything in their power to help him straighten up his life, but you know what they say, if you don’t want to help yourself, nobody can. 

42. Tie Domi

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    Domi registered the third most penalty minutes in NHL history and was involved in several notable incidents.

    First, Domi was suspended eight games for sucker punching Ulf Samuelsson. Then he was fined $1,000 for spraying water onto a fan. Finally, he threw an elbow and knocked out Devils’ defensemen Scott Stevens.

    He was suspended for the rest of the playoffs.

41. Ricky Watters

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    With Ricky Watters, what you need to remember is, “For who, for what?” He was insanely talented but also could not stop running his mouth.

    For what it is worth, many believe he belongs in the Football Hall of Fame, but without that mature attitude, he will never get in.

40. Ashley Cole

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    Cole was caught red-handed cheating with several women, and his wife, Cheryl Cole took him back. Then he just could not have enough. The couple split up after new allegations that he has more extramarital relations with more women.

    You would think that someone of his status would know that he could not keep his actions secret, but then again he may just not be that smart. 

39. Fransisco Rodriquez

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    K-Rod is the definition of a hothead. He has very emotional celebrations when he completes saves and has gotten in argument with everyone from former Yankees pitcher Brian Bruney to his bullpen coach.

    His masterpiece came in 2010 when he beat up the father of his girlfriend. Apparently he was angry that the Mets lost the game and was taking his anger out on whoever was closest to him.

38. Tiki Barber

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    Barber was a tabloid junkie toward the end of his career and after his retirement. Half-way through the 2006, he spoke about his lack of desire to play and the end of his career.

    He then went on to criticize his former quarterback Eli Manning, calling his pre-game speeches comical.

    His life took a turn for the worse after he was caught having impregnated a 23-year-old NBC intern. He said that he would hide out at his agent's house and called it an Anne Frank thing.

    Really Tiki? 

37. Reggie Jackson

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    Everyone knows about the infamous fight between Jackson and Billy Martin in the dugout, but how about the classic interview that got the whole ball rolling?

    During an interview shortly after he joined the Yankees, Jack proclaimed himself the "straw that stirs the drink," referencing his importance to the organization and the success of the team.

    That summer, tempers flared despite a World Series title.

36. Rasheed Wallace

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    Fun fact about Rasheed Wallace: He has never committed a foul in his entire life, and every referee is out to get him.

    He is the all-time leader in technical fouls with 304, making him an unlikely candidate for any referee’s T-Mobile fave five.

    What a technical foul does is a) make your teammates babysit you, b) give you a very short leash with the officials and c) marks you as a troublemaker.

    None of the attributes are desired by any franchise looking for a winner.

35. Kenny Rogers

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    After Rogers would not talk to the media following reports of a contract dispute, the Tigers’ pitcher took his frustrations out on a cameraman.

    (Go to 2:05)

    Rogers was suspended 20 games and fined $50,000 for the altercation after attacking the cameraman. Was it the right move? No. Did he get his point across? You bet.

34. Bobby Knight

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    Knight was cited in 1997 for allegedly choking one of his players during a practice. Knight was then given a zero tolerance policy that was allegedly broken when he had an altercation with a student.

    Knight was a passionate coach, but sometimes, he went over the line. There has always been criticism of his coaching antics. He was a great coach, but how much can one team tolerate? 

33. Phillip Rivers

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    He has had a childish feud with Jay Cutler and has yelled at fans and his own teammates. He thinks he is the best quarterback in the league and lives with a chip on his shoulder that impedes his ability to actually be the best.

    He is the classic quarterback with great stats but is not a winner.

32. Bill Parcells

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    Parcells is the Brett Favre of coaching. He retired from the Giants and then went onto the Patriots and then the Jets and finally the Cowboys.

    The problem was not that he switched jobs; it was the fashion that he did it in. 


31. Kevin Garnett

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    We don’t want to confuse passion and hard work with being a jerk, but Garnett has shown that he can be a dirty player according to several NBA players.

    He sets very hard picks and taunts any player he has a chance to in order to get in their head. He is a punk that is great but uses too much emotion from time to time.  

30. Cristiano Ronaldo

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    Ronaldo falls under the category of people we hate because he is good, makes a lot of money and gets with every woman on earth. Then again, there are also plenty of legitimate reasons to hate him.

    He flops left and right, complaining to the referees. There is nothing that is worse than a good faker who likes doing it. He skills are undeniable, but it is impossible to watch a match with him without him whining about a call he didn’t get.

29. Keyshawn Johnson

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    Just Give Me the Damn Ball! was not in Oprah’s book club or a NY Times best seller. It was rant by a young and immature punk receiver who wanted everyone to know what he wanted.

    After a trade to the Buccaneers, Johnson would again feud with coaches and ride the bench for the remaining seven games of his tenure. He was shipped off again to another team where he could air his dirty laundry some place else.  

28. LeBron James

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    This is not some anti-LeBron rant that results in him being listed as the biggest jerk in sports, because he is not.

    Our hatred for James comes from the way he handled leaving Cleveland and how the whole situation played out. I do not think he gets it though.

    Every time he opens his mouth and says something very controversial, he is leaving himself open to new judgments.

    He quit on his team in Cleveland, fueling the fire against him and choked in Miami.

    And then he said this, leaving us with a terrible taste in our mouth.

27. Latrell Spreewell

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    Choking your coach and fighting anyone that consents is not my idea of good teammate.

    Despite making every team that he was on better, Sprewell could not get on an NBA team after the '03-'04 season because of contract disputes.

    He claimed that he needed to feed his family, and the contract offers he was receiving were offensive. I do not know what supermarket he was shopping at, but they were grossly overcharging him.

26. Diego Maradona

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    There are few athletes more polarizing than the former soccer star. Cocaine is a serious drug that can ruin people and end any positive relationships they have. Maradona was one of those people who fell victim to the nose candy.

    In addition to his addiction, he ratted out his entire Argentinean national team after he was sent home from the 1994 World Cup. He coached Argentina’s 2010 World Cup team to a disappointing finish and was not retained.

    People compared him and Lionel Messi for their short yet powerful frames. That is where the comparison starts and finishes. 

25. Scott Boras

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    We hate Scott Boras because he is great at his job, makes our favorite teams lose their star players and raises salaries therefore jacking up our ticket prices.

    There is nothing wrong with what he does because it is capitalism at its best. What most people dislike is the smugness that he walks around with.

    Of course, teams will pay whatever it takes to retain their top draft picks, and he knows it.

    It is the type of situation where we think we can do what he does, despite that being the furthest thing from the truth. He finds every loophole and can make me seem like I’m worth $5 million a year.

24. Pete Carroll

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    Right before the USC Trojan program received sanctions from violations stemming from the Reggie Bush ineligibility, coach Carroll jumped ship to the NFL.

    He stated that he did not know that Bush had taken improper benefits, but that seems highly improbable. It is hard to respect a man that clearly was running away from his problems and did not want to deal with life when it got real.

23. Tim Donaghy

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    Donaghy may have all the argument in the world that he is the scapegoat and the face of a widespread referee corruption, which is alleges.

    But, he is also guilty on every level and has fixed NBA games, including key playoff games.

    He then wrote a book, hoping to make money off of the incident and bring to light issues that he thought the NBA needed to address.

    What he is doing in exposing the NBA, which is somewhat commendable, but he has no credibility and seems to be trying to make a dollar.

22. Tiger Woods

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    Some men still root for his golf skills while others enjoy his infidelities. Woods was part of one of the biggest scandals in sports history and still leaves us wondering what really happened on that Thanksgiving evening.

    The more time that elapsed, the more women that came forward and revealed their relationship with arguably the greatest golfer of all time.

    To some, he is still a hero, but to others, he ranks as one of the biggest jerks in sports.

21. Sean Avery

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    They had to create the "Avery Rule" because he started a busch league move that screened the goalie.

    Avery has also been known for putting his foot in his mouth during interviews and continuously annoying players with his on ice antics.

    He has been suspended at one point indefinitely for remarks called “unacceptable and antisocial” by the NHL.

20. Albert Haynesworth

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    The $100 million may not be 100 percent to blame for the situation in Washington, but we know that he has not been the best at mending the wounds.

    Before that, he was ejected, suspended and fined for stomping on Andre Gurode’s head. Later that season, he slammed Maurice Jones-Drew into the ground causing concern that Haynesworth was bad for the game.

19. John Calipari

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    Two separate vacated Final Four appearances, at two different schools lead us to believe that this is not a coincidence.

    What makes it worse is that once the schools received these infractions, he left the program in search of a better job.

    Now that he coaches at the University of Kentucky, where he is continuously recruiting blue-chip one-and-done athletes, some may say it is only a matter of time before a new set of allegations surface.

18. Art Modell

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    The city of Cleveland went to bed one evening with the Browns in their dreams and the hope of a new season with better outcomes. They woke up to a nightmare.

    Art Modell, under the cover of night moved the franchise without alerting a soul, so that he could slip out unnoticed. He now joins LeBron James in the Cleveland Hall of Shame.

17. John Rocker

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    Alright, so we take it John Rocker is not on the short list of people to be either the Mayor of New York City or the head of GLAAD.

    In a 1999 interview with Sports Illustrated, Rocker gave his opinion on the people of NYC.

    He said,

    “I would retire first. It's the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the [No.] 7 train to the ballpark, looking like you're [riding through] Beirut next to some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It's depressing.”

    …I really don’t think there is any proper context for that. Rocker got the good old New York treatment from the crowd and made a name for himself as the biggest villain in New York sports.

16. Isiah Thomas

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    To this day, I believe that there has to be some information that Thomas holds over James Dolan that kept him from being fired for so many years.

    Thomas settled out of court with the help of MSG over a sexual harassment case that embarrassed the franchise. This all occurred after he had been running the team into the ground for the better part of five seasons.

    Somehow, Thomas avoided direct responsibilities for his actions including illegal pre draft workouts.   

15. Kobe Bryant

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    #loser

    Just because LeBron is the athlete that is easiest to hate right now, we need to keep Kobe on the radar of athletes with the biggest attitude. He wanted to be traded back in 2004, and don’t forget about his diva style actions on draft night 1997 when he forced his way onto the Lakers.

    He complains and moans about every call and Kobe makes everything about him.

    And don’t ever forget this memorable quote

14. George Steinbrenner

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    Nobody was a meaning owner that Steinbrenner. He left as a revered man who produced winning franchises in the late 1990s but before that, got into legal trouble and faced a ban from the MLB.

    In 1990, “The Boss” paid Howie Spira $40,000 to dig up dirt on Dave Winfield, solidifying the end to any positive relationship that the two had.

    Steinbrenner was all about winning, which eventually worked out for him. During the tough Yankee years, he was simply the worst owner in sports.

13. Randy Moss

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    It is hard to defend a guy like Moss who has a long resume of doing dumb things that embarrass him and the team.

    For instance, he has had a detailed history of quitting on his team and quarterback when he felt like it, in addition to leaving the field before the game was over when he did not think his team had a chance of coming back.

    Then there was that whole mooning incident. I have never heard Joe Buck display so much emotion.

12. Milton Bradley

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    Milton Bradley may not be the best interview around. Check that he is the worst interview around.

    He hates on everyone but him, fights people and breaks bats whenever he gets frustrated.

    Nobody can contain Bradley because he is a grown man that is out of control. No team will take his services anymore not because he lacks talent, but he lacks the discipline to be an everyday player.

11. Bill Romanowski

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    Bill was a serial offender and wild card; you never knew what would come next.

    He kicked Arizona Cardinals fullback Larry Centers in the head, had a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit on Kerry Collins, spit in 49ers receiver J.J. Stoke’s face and broke the eye socket of a teammate who was trying to break up a fight.

    He admitted to using steroids and being a vicious monster during his day. 

10. Manny Ramirez

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    All you ever hear is “Many being Manny.” This means that Ramirez is allowed to do dumb things and get away with them pretending like he is a child, and well, boys will be boys.

    His tested positive for a banned substance twice and retied instead of facing a 100-game suspension. While he was a great baseball player for a number of years, Ramirez was the epitome of the steroid era and a consummate jokster.   

9. Gary Sheffield

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    Sheffield was the type of jerk who couldn’t keep his mouth shut and said all the wrong things, every time.

    He would not play in the inaugural World Baseball Classic because he believed he deserved compensation, he got into a fight with a fan, and made controversial racial comments about Joe Torre and Latino baseball players.

    Though he tried to backtrack, it did not take away from what he said. On top of all of this, he had steroid allegations levied against him.

    He is an overwhelmingly terrible person who made more enemies than friends during his career. 

8. Alex Rodriguez

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    Yeah, this is normal. How self-involved does someone have to be to take a picture like this?

    Don’t forget about the steroids either.  He went on national television and lied to all of our faces and then defended Barry Bonds home run record. We should have known better.

    He has blown up the tabloids and has had feuds with seemingly everyone on the Yankees including Derek Jeter, who will never be wrong as far as Yankee fans are considered. 

7. Barry Bonds

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    Bonds has been jeered at every stadium he has played in and for good reason. When reporters asked him legitimate questions about his alleged steroid use, he would blow up at them and make them feel like they were not good their job professionally.

    He now owns the career home run record, and whether you want to believe it is legitimate or not is up to each person individually. 

6. Brett Favre

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    Brett Favre might be the most talked about athlete of the decade. His back and forth retirement saga was annoying at best and abhorrent to say the least.

    Yes, we know. Throwing a football to high school kids in Mississippi means you're coming back and doing another Wrangler jeans commercial means no. I think this is actually the best system.

    Now, he is showing No. 4 to women with his camera phone. Stay classy my friend.

5. Roger Clemens

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    Clemens is the most recent alleged steroid user in the news for his ruled mistrial. The government was trying to prove that he had lied before a grand jury, much to Clemens' denial.

    During his career, Clemens was an intimidator, pitching up and in when he thought necessary. This is part of the game, but when you do this after hitting Piazza in the head a few months later, something seems fishy.

    He came back to the Yankees for an exorbitant amount of money in 2007, securing his status as a villain forever. 

4. Don King

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    Everyone knows a great deal about the big hair and loud voice of Don King. Behind all of the glitz and glamour, he is not well liked by anyone who has even done business with him.

    He pleaded the fifth amendment when asked about his relations with organized crime and was sued by big name fighters such as Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis for either under paying or not paying them at all.

    He made his name off of these athletes and never paid them what they were due. Sounds like a promoter to me.

3. Terrell Owens

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    Where do we begin with T.O.?

    He destroyed the self confidence of Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo, not to add all of the offensive coordinators that he chewed up and spat out.

    Here is a compilation of his best celebrations. None are classy or intelligent.

    He now believes he is going to have sitcom based off of his life because he is that narcissistic. 

2. Albert Belle

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    Belle was an all-time great jerk. He would refuse to talk to the media, once threw a baseball at a heckling fan and destroyed both home and away clubhouses to get out his frustrations.

    He was a very talented player that was never voted as MVP for his antics and will surely not get into the Hall of Fame for freezing out reporters whenever he would get the chance.

    There was also that whole corking every one of his bats incident. 

1. Ty Cobb

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    Cobb is a baseball legend that few know much about. He is arguably the best pure baseball player of all time, but he has many, many flaws.

    He would sharpen his spikes and slide hard into second base, hoping to hurt his opponents. He went on many tirades and was very racist.

    His feuds were between teammates, whom he thought were simply jealous and even fought with a fan.

    Overall, he was just a selfish, bad man.