They made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Count down our picks for the top 10 most controversial athletes in the World
10) Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is a handsome and talented football player. But he seems to invite controversies due to his behavior. Some people are of the opinion that he is a bratty and an attention seeking individual. In the year 2012, he was spotted driving his Lamborghini with his 22-month-old on his lap.
9) LeBron James
American professional basketball player LeBron James plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA. His as achieved great heights in his basketball career. But some people are of the opinion that he has a big head. He was criticized for leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in 2010. He has also been criticized for being narcissistic and arrogant which have made him an ongoing target for criticism. His attitude affected his performance, but the good news that he is working on his weaknesses and has improved his game. James’s return to Cleveland in summer 2014 helped repair his reputation among sports fans.
8) John McEnroe
Former World No. 1 professional tennis player John McEnroe was notorious for temper tantrums on court during his playing days. He defaulted from games on more than one occasion for using expletives. There was an article titled “The Top 10 Worst Moments for John McEnroe. Existence of such an article speaks volumes about his reputation.
7) Tiger Woods
The legendary Tiger Woods inspired many people worldwide until his impeccable image came crumbling down due to a sex scandal. It ruined his marriage and reputation. In the year 2009, he confessed that he had cheated on his then wife Elin Nordegren. Many women, including an adult-movie actress, came forward claiming to have had an affair with him.
6) Mark McGwire
Nicknamed “Big Mac”, Mark McGwire is an American former professional baseball player. He was a national hero in the late 1990s. But he became embroiled in a steroid scandal. He confessed to having taken PED, including human growth hormones. This confession had a negative impact on his reputation.
5) Barry Bonds
American former professional baseball left fielder Barry Bonds played 22 seasons in MLB. The New Yorker once described him as “The greatest baseball player who ever lived.” But his reputation took a beating due to his high-profile steroid scandal. His defensive, belligerent and unapologetic attitude towards the scandal did further damage to his reputation. He is yet to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
4) Dennis Rodman
Retired American professional basketball player Dennis Rodman was famous for his fierce defensive and rebounding abilities. He created a controversy by visiting North Korea twice. He was photographed acting chummy with the infamous Kim Jong-un. While playing for the Bulls, Rodman’s antics often drew more attention than his basketball skills.
3) Mike Tyson
Boxing legend Mike Tyson is controversy’s favorite child. In 1992, he was convicted of raping Desiree Washington and sentenced to six years in jail. But he was released after three years. During a boxing match he bit off a piece of his opponent Evander Holyfield’s ear. At one point in time Tyson owned three Royal Bengal tigers, without a proper license for owning them.
2) Michael Vick
Michael Vick is an American football quarterback who is currently a free agent. He was embroiled in a dog fighting scandal in 2007. Vick had promoted, funded and facilitated a dog fighting ring on his property. He had even drowned and hung dogs that did not perform well. He was sentenced to 23 months in prison for this illegal activity. After serving 21 months in jail, and two under house arrest, he was signed to the Philadelphia Eagles. The appalling dog fighting scandal cost him many fans.