Sports Lists

Athletes Who Are Scandal Magnets

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2014

Athletes Who Are Scandal Magnets

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Although we'd love to think of every athlete as being a perfect, kind-hearted person, the truth is that not all of them are.

    Like any of us, we're often reminded that they too make bad decisions, say or tweet really stupid stuff and have to pay for their actions because of it.

    That said, some take a lot more heat than others do strictly because of the weight of their popularity, their history for doing it and, maybe more importantly, because of what ridiculous thing they did.

    That's why I'm tackling the athletes who just can't seem to avoid the negative press no matter how hard they try, often being talked about more for doing something other than just playing sports.

Metta World Peace

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    He's one of the most tempered players of the past couple decades, often finding himself in some sort of trouble for doing something stupid, but Metta World Peace has surprisingly been quiet since joining the New York Knicks this season—but only because he's been mostly injured.

    Still, even when sidelined, World Peace still finds a way to grab headlines, with his brother speaking out about the team's lack of chances at winning.

    And let's not forget that he's also the player who received the longest suspension in league history for his role in the brawl against Detroit Pistons fans nine years ago.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

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    Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

    One of the most unlikable athletes on the planet, undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. may have toned down his antics a bit recently, but he's still a guy who loves grabbing any attention he can—whether that means it's good or bad press.

    On top of boasting about all the coin he collected this year—after all, his nickname is "Money"—Mayweather has grabbed headlines in the past for his hopes to battle fellow fighter Manny Pacquiao, along with an arrest and charge back in 2010 arrested for three harassment charges, grand larceny and robbery.

    We'd all get our ass kicked if ever caught talking bad about the guy, but it seems scandals and drama are just a part of his life.

Rob Gronkowski

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    He may have been injured the majority of the football season, but New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has still found a way to garner plenty of attention.

    A few years ago it was all about his pictures with porn star Bibi Jones and his partying after the Pats lost in the Super Bowl.

    And recently he was seen emceeing an event and ridiculed for potentially saying something a little bit outside the lines of acceptable—though I just think people were being a bit sensitive.

    "Gronk" is a hell of a player and even more of an entertainer, but he'd be better served to think just an extra second before saying or doing something.

Mark Sanchez

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    He may not have taken a snap this year for the New York Jets because of a shoulder injury, but that doesn't mean that former starter Mark Sanchez hasn't avoided his fair share of headlines.

    After the J-E-T-S selected Geno Smith in the second-round of last year's draft, you'd think that Sanchez would be motivated to maintain his starting role, right?

    Well, he didn't.

    Instead, he shook his bare ass with some hotties in California, got into it with his GM because of his shoulder injury—rightfully so—and then showed up with one of the worst haircuts ever seen on an athlete.

    OK, so that last one might not be scandalous, but it was certainly hideous.

Mario Balotelli

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    Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

    One of the most eccentric players in all of sports, Italian international and AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli certainly does some wild things, doesn't he?

    With a tendency of wearing his emotions on his sleeve on the pitch, Balotelli has been a mega club rat and a bit of a headache during his career—which, in an odd way, has actually helped rise his popularity.

    After joining Milan in January of 2013, the former Manchester City star was put on blast by Brit pubs when they listed plenty of his ridiculous antics.

    Between his play, wild haircuts, celebrations and scandalous behavior, Balotelli is someone who is the toast of the town for something outrageous.

Yasiel Puig

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    He may be new on the scene, but that doesn't mean that L.A. Dodgers stud outfielder hasn't distinguished himself as one who really captures headlines.

    Built like a modern day version of Bo Jackson, combining speed, power and incredible athleticism has made Puig someone who can draw a crowd.

    But just as former major leaguer Manny Ramirez did in his short time in L.A., Yasiel seems aloof and a bit stubborn in taking advice, instead opting for his own self of entitlement.

    In just the few months he played in the majors, he snubbed a World Series hero of a rival, been accused of disrespecting opponents and has had a few off-the-field moments.

    Puig's entertaining as hell, but fame may have hit him a bit too fast.

Marshall Henderson

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    Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

    On top of straight balling last year, Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson proved that he was absolutely the most outspoken player in all of college hoops.

    Enjoying a breakout year in which he helped lead the team to the NCAA tournament, Henderson irked fans and university officials with his ridiculous moments.

    Letting his passion take ahold of him, he was in and out of the lineup for a number of reasons last season, exited his team's loss to LaSalle with a couple birdies towards taunting fans and was ultimately suspended over the summer for doing so before being reinstated for this season.

John Terry

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    Throughout John Terry's career, the Chelsea captain and England national team defender has faced his fair share of criticism.

    First, Terry wasn't shy about keeping it in his pants—even around a teammates' girlfriend—bedding Wayne Bridge's lady before the 2010 World Cup. I'm sure that didn't help build team chemistry.

    On top of his sex sesh, dude has quite the racist mouth, constantly being accused of belittling other players, and receiving a four-match ban because of it.

    Sure, Terry has long been a staple for the country across the pond. But he also seems to hold onto scandals just as well as he does possessing the ball.

Johnny Manziel

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    He has been the most polarizing and recognizable college football player in the past few years, but more than his incredible play on the field for Texas A&M, the Aggies signal-caller has brought a lot of the attention onto himself from his extraordinary life without the pads.

    Making his rounds at different sporting events, clubs and posing for pics with A-list celebs, "Johnny Football" seemingly gets criticized for everything he does—even missing a point-blank layup at a Hawks game.

    It doesn't help when the bro shows up—and gets kicked out of—parties at rival colleges, or when he oversleeps at a prominent passing camp in the offseason.

    Manziel may allude tacklers when on the field, but he has trouble doing the same when off of it.

J.R. Smith

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Even before the "betrayal" Twitter photo where he called out his New York Knicks organization for releasing his brother, J.R. Smith was a lightning rod for drama and scandal.

    He gave one of the most hilarious playoff quotes last year, let his intentions on girls be heard loudly at a young age and isn't shy about complaining about his playing time or shot selection.

    Smith is a boom-or-bust player on the hardwood, and the same could be said about his decisions out of uniform as well.

Lance Armstrong

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    Handout/Getty Images

    OK, so Lance Armstrong might not be a competitive cyclist any longer, but for everything that he has done to both tarnish his legacy and the sport he participated in for so long, he has to land on my list.

    Known for his "misleading information" involving the use of PEDs throughout his career, Armstrong finally came clean last January to Oprah Winfrey, admitting that he did in fact juice during the time he was one of the most celebrated athletes ever in winning seven Tour de France titles.

    Yes, Armstrong's a kind-hearted guy thanks to his charity work, but he's also a liar who will forever be known as tyrant in his sport.

Alex Rodriguez

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    C'mon man!

    That's about all I want to say to New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez a lot of times.

    After openly admitting that he used steroids during his first few seasons in Texas after signing his mega-deal with the team in 2000, A-Rod then found himself in more controversy ever since the Yankees last won a World Series in 2009.

    His GM told him to, "Shut the F up!" following an unnecessary tweet early last season about his ability to play following hip surgery, which came after the player allegedly tried picking up chicks during a playoff series loss in 2012. 

    More recently, Rodriguez received the longest suspension in MLB history—211 games—which may or may not be upheld after his appeal.

    At one time, Alex Rodriguez was the best player in the game. Now he's just a disease best-known for the baggage he brings to a clubhouse.

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