By Freddie Vickers @fredvic9 on October 10, 2012
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.
So let's take a look at 20 of the most hated athletes in sports.
Hernandez barely makes this list because he technically was an athlete for a few years, but he doesn't deserve the respect that comes with being a professional athlete. He was found guilty of murdering Odin Lloyd, and has been sentenced to life in prison, where he'll root after wasting an opportunity so many others would love to have.
While Barkley wasn't necessarily hated during his NBA playing days, it's his time as a broadcaster that has really earned him the "hated" label. People can't stand his ridiculous rants, the ludicrous things he says or his incessant need to go against the grain.
No one likes a liar, and Braun was among the worst when it came to baseball. Although he later admitted to taking PEDs, he dug his own grave before that and permanently stamped the word "hated" across his forehead. When you lie to that many people for that long, you're bound to be seen as a pariah for the rest of your life.
As the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, Romo was already destined for hate based solely on occupation. However, his lack of cool in the clutch and overall tendency to make costly mistakes at the worst times (see 2007 NFC Wild Card vs Seahawks). To make matters worse, he once dated Jessica Simpson, which seemed to get men everywhere riled up when she was still in her prime.
No matter what he does, Shaq seems to find haters. First, it was his me-first attitude during his playing days and inability to make things work with Kobe Bryant. Then, it was his inability to stick with one team, instead choosing to bounce around from team to team in hopes of winning a title. Finally, it's his obnoxious voice that we must all listen to when he pops up on Inside the NBA babbling nonsense with Barkley.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. Suge Knight Pay Bail
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 48 wins under his belt, with 26 of those being of the knockout variety. Mayweather comes from a family of boxers. His father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., was a former welterweight contender and his uncle won two World Championships.
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 5 million over 10 years. Admitting using PEDs doesn't help either.
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. He's also known for Malice in the Palace, during which he stormed the stands and got into a fight with a rowdy fan. What's comical is Artest decided to change his name to "Metta World Peace" and that's when the hate really began.
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 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.
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.
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.
LeBron James finally won his two NBA Championships in Miami, 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. Then, he did it to Heat fans, going back to the Cavaliers in 2014, proving against the loyalty is a lost art. No matter what side you're on, it's easy to understand why people aren't too fond of "The King."
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. Now, no NFL team wants him since his talent has dried up.
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 No. 2 on the list of most hated athletes.
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. Even when it looked like he'd finally figured it out with Lindsey Vonn, he found a way to screw that up too.
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