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Top 15 Most Hated Athletes In Sports

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Sports most hated athletes

hated athletes
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Hate - to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest.

What does it mean to be hated? Well in sports, it means that opposing fans (fans that do not like you) pull against you every time you take to the playing surface.

A lot of fans hate a particular team.

Washington Redskin fans hate the Dallas Cowboys. Boston Red Sox fans hate the New York Yankees. Ohio State fans hate Michigan. Duke fans hate North Carolina. We could sit here and go on and on for days.

But what happens when fans turn their hate from a team toward a particular player?

We all know that fan is short for fanatic, and fans get their feelings hurt very easily. Fans want to be able to trust an athlete. They want to feel like their favorite athlete is a family member. Sometimes, it just doesn't work out for whatever reason. And often times, love can turn to hate in a hurry.

Fans may hate an athlete because he or she leaves a particular team to take a position with another. They will also turn against an athlete for missing that game winning shot, that game winning field goal, or for suffering a big loss in a particular game.

That's what makes sports great. One man's trash is another man's treasure so to speak. For every fan who loves an athlete, there may be two or three who have a deep disdain for that same person.

So, as we talk about fan hate, let's take a look at the 15 Most Hated Athletes in Sports.

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No. 15 Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong
Presse Sports-US PRESSWIRE

This seven time Tour De France champion is not immune to hate. Fans far and wide have screamed for years that Armstrong used performance enhancing drugs. Although never convicted, Armstrong decided to end his fight against the U.S. Anti Doping Agency in 2012. Subsequently, he was banned for life and was to forfeit any titles, medals and winnings, dating back to August 1, 1998.

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No. 14 Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders

Primetime....Primetime....Primetime....That was the nickname of the best cornerback to ever grace an NFL field. Deion Sanders was not only cocky, but brash and high stepped his way to plenty of hate from opposing fans. Whether it was his attitude or his unwillingness to tackle, Sanders was definitely a player people loved to boo.

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NO. 13 Chad Ochocinco

Chad Ochocinco
Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Much like Deion Sanders, Chad Ochocinco, formerly Johnson, was hated by many when he took the field on Sundays. Whether it was his end zone antics or his struggles with quarterbacks and head coaches, Ochocinco was the butt of many fan's jokes. After being an All Pro three times, Johnson changed his last name to Ochocinco, and with that, came plenty of criticism.

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No. 12 John McEnroe

John McEnroe
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

John McEnroe was a tennis legend, who in his career, won seven Grand Slam singles titles, nine Grand Slam men's double titles and a Grand Slam mixed doubles title. He yelled at umpires and made famous the phrase, "you can't be serious, " which years later would become the title of his autobiography.

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No. 11 Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant
Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Kobe Bryant dominated the minute he hit the floor in NBA arenas. The kid from Philly made the jump from high school straight to the pros and immediately took on all comers. Bryant teamed with Shaquille O'Neal to win three consecutive NBA titles from 2000-2002. The duo subsequently broke up and Bryant was left to fin for himself. Obviously, he did fine, as he won back to back championships with the Lakers in 2009-2010 and earned Finals MVP in both.

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No. 10 Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Money Mayweather is what they call him. Whether it's his cockiness or his ring entrance alongside rapper 50 Cent, there's something about him fans love to hate. Mayweather has never lost a professional fight. He has 41 wins under his belt, with 25 of those being of the knockout variety. Mayweather comes from a family of boxers. His father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., was a former welterweight contender who fought against Hall of Famer Sugar Ray Leonard. Floyd's uncle Roger, now his trainer, won two World Championships.

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No. 9 Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez
Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

A-Rod is the nickname of one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Rodriguez was the youngest player to hit 500 home runs. Couple that with fourteen 100-RBI seasons, the most of any player in history, and you have the makings of one of the all time greats. Rodriguez became the highest paid player in baseball history in 2007 after he signed a contract worth $275 million over 10 years. Throw in an admittance to using performance enhancing drugs, and you have a player fans love to hate.

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No. 8 Ron Artest

Ron Artest
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Ron Artest has been a solid NBA basketball player over his career. He gets after it on defense, and when hot, can stretch defenses with his ability to knock down the perimeter jumper. What's comical is Artest decided to change his name to "Metta World Peace" and that's when the hate really began.

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No. 7 Brett Favre

Brett Favre
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Brett Favre is a sure fire Hall of Fame quarterback, no doubt about it. What rubbed the community of Green Bay the wrong way was the fact that Favre wouldn't retire. The Packers offered him $40 million to hang it up as a Packer, but that wasn't enough for Favre. He played for the New York Jets and then with division rival Minnesota Vikings before finally calling it quits.

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No. 6 Terrell Owens

Terrell Owens
Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

Terrell Owens has as much athletic ability as anyone ever to play in the NFL. His antics ran short with teammates and more importantly fans. Owens had an ego problem that plagued him his whole career. He tried to make a comeback in 2012, as he was invited to training camp with the Seattle Seahawks, but was ultimately cut. Owens is now broke, taken to the cleaners by the mothers of his children. A sad story indeed.

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No. 5 Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch

Rowdy, that's what they call him on the Nascar circuit. Busch attacks every race with reckless abandon. His act has worn short with Nascar fans who love to cheer against him. Putting an opposing driver in the wall is nothing for Busch, as he goes full throttle and pushes the envelope on every single lap.

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No. 4 Lebron James

Lebron James
Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Lebron James finally won an NBA Championship in 2012, but that didn't stop the haters from ripping him. James broke hearts in Cleveland, when he decided to take his talents to South Beach. He was the heart and soul of a Cavaliers franchise, a player fans thought would lead them to the promised land atop the NBA mountain.

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No. 3 Mike Vick

Mike Vick

Mike Vick, much like Terrell Owens, is one of the most gifted athletes to ever step foot on an NFL field. Unfortunately for Vick, he was arrested and sentenced to 21 months in prison for running an illegal dog fighting ring. Vick did his time, apologized, and returned to the football field, but is still not received well with some fans and dog lovers.

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No. 2 Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds
Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

Bonds broke baseball's all time home run record, but it's an honor that will always be tainted. He also won an amazing seven MVP awards and although he never admitted to using performance enhancing drugs, fans aren't stupid and that's why Bonds is number two on the list of most hated athletes.

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No. 1 Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Tiger Woods went from the penthouse to the outhouse. Woods was a role model, who broke the hearts of golf fans and sports fans alike. While he didn't commit murder, he did cheat on his wife, which made him a villain in the sports world.