20 Dumbest Professional Athletes of All Time

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Dumbest Athletes in Sports

Fab Melo
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The phrase “student –athlete” has become an oxymoron as more and more collegiate players are sacrificing academics for athletic glory. There are a few examples like Jeremy Lin (Harvard grad) and Andrew Luck (Stanford grad) among others, who stayed all four years and received degrees from universities with incredible academic requirements, but they are rare exceptions.

Unfortunately, the trend has translated well into professional arenas. For the most part, professional athletes make ridiculous sums of money but are unable to spell “ridiculous”. They often repeat the same mistakes over and over again, yet their abilities on the field allow them two or three … or six do-overs.

This is not a new phenomenon. Athletes have been stupid for a while. These are the 20 dumbest professional athletes of all time.

This is not just a list of pros who have had legal issues with drugs, firearms and fights, etc. Though the players who fall under this category are stupid indeed, if it were that kind of list, there would be way more than 20 guys on it. Rather, it’s a list of players who have had moments that cause us, as fans, to just sit there perplexed and think, “Why? Why would you do that? You idiot!”

We are all human beings and are prone to making mistakes, but these are blunders that could have (and should have) easily been avoided had they just stepped back for two seconds, took a deep breath and thought about what they were about to do.

If I missed any examples feel free to comment in the section below.

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20. JaMarcus Russell

Russell
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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20. JaMarcus Russell

russell
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19. Ben Roethlisberger

Big Ben
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
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19. Ben Roethlisberger

roethlisberger
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18. Ndamukong Suh

Suh
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
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18. Ndamukong Suh

Suh
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17. Kevin Brown

Brown
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
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17. Kevin Brown

Brown
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16. Bill Gramatica

Gramatica
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
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16. Bill Gramatica

Gramatica
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15. Dwight Howard

Howard
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
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15. Dwight Howard

Howard
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14. Albert Haynesworth

Haynesworth
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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14. Albert Haynesworth

Haynesworth
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13. Gus Frerotte

Gus
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
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13. Gus Frerotte

Frerotte
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12. Zack Greinke

Greinke
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
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12. Zack Greinke

Greinke
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11. John Rocker

Rocker
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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11. John Rocker

Rocker
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10. Fab Melo

Melo
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
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10. Fab Melo

Melo
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9. Joba Chamberlain

Joba
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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9. Joba Chamberlain

Chamberlin
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8. Keith Ballard

Ballard
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
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8. Keith Ballard

Ballard
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7. Mike Tyson

Tyson
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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7. Mike Tyson

Tyson
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6. Meta World Peace

Artest
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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6. Metta World Peace

World Peace
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5. Bobby Valentine

Valentine
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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5. Bobby Valentine

Valentine
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4. Adam "Pacman" Jones

Pacman
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Adam "Pacman" Jones

Jones
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3. Alex Rodriguez

Rodriguez
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Alex Rodriguez

Rodriguez
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2. Michael Vick

Vick
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Michael Vick

Vick
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1. Plaxico Burress

Plaxico
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Plaxico Burress

Burress

Around the Web

  • LiamT

    you need to look up luis suarez! :)

    • James

      This is America. We don’t like soccer, especially not guys who bite people — but yes, he’s very stupid

      • joseph zeleke

        Speak for yourself……I love……..FOOTBALL!

      • Negroponte

        What if I told you America is a whole continent spanning from Canada all the way to Argentina?

  • kryptonstarchild

    Umm what about Antonio Cromartie with 10 kids? lol

    • James

      Haha he’s not dumb for having kids, he’s dumb for not remembering their names off the top of his head. Still, a very good choice

  • Katy Price

    Does OJ Simpson ring a bell????

    • James

      Yes, but he was also in the Naked Gun movies so he gets a pass. If we’re gonna count murderers Aaron Hernandez needs to be on it too and Ray Lewis gets honorable mention.

      • S B

        Add Rae Carruth to list of dumbassedness.

  • Ikki

    “Mike Tyson [...] can barely form sentences.”

    This is simply untrue.

    • James

      I was going for a hyperbole that might make people chuckle. I guess I missed the mark.

  • bill

    So only male pro athletes are capable of being stupid? You need to stop buying into all this feminist bigotry….

    • James

      Which female athlete did you have in mind?

      • TheWrightStuff5

        Tonya Harding?

        • James

          Yeah that was stupid, but more so sinister and pathetic. If this was Top 15 Assholes she’d be in the top 5

  • Eric

    Javale Mcgee!?

    • James

      Yep. I missed him, my b.

  • torpedo

    where is Antoine Walker

    • James

      Yeah he’s a good choice, but a lot of pro athletes piss their money away. The list would need to be way longer if that was the criterion.

  • BillyBubba

    You missed Gus Frerotte. To celebrate a touchdown, he head-butted the Redskins’ Stadium, and was out for the rest of the game.

    • James

      Haha that is stupid, indeed. I still think Gramatica’s is worse though

    • LeRoy_Was_Here

      Gus Frerotte is in the list. You must have missed it.

  • Baked Goods

    Shu is also one of the ugliest athletes of all time!

  • gh

    Mike Tyson could be considered a lot of things. troubled, erratic, an asshole, and potentially mentally unstable, among plenty others. But calling him “stupid” is entirely inaccurate. Sure he may not have the vernacular or eloquence of high-society ivy leaguers, considering he was raised in inner city brooklyn, but if you’ve ever actually listened to him talk, particularly in his post-fighting days now that he’s not as worried about keeping up his intimidating tough-guy persona, it’s pretty clear that he’s actually quite intelligent, and has had some very poignant thoughts on a number of issues.

    • James

      Sorry if I offended you

      • gh

        You didn’t offend me, you’re just wrong

    • refudiate

      Are you SURE that Mike doesn’t have the eloquence of high-soiety ivy leaguers? I mean, are you prejooodissed or something? Put differently: are you saying that guys raised in inner city brooklyn should come out sounding like Mike?

    • Art Studzinski

      Mike Tyson is awesome. I love the guy. Always have.

    • Wayne Dooley

      Have you seen ‘Undisputed truth” wow what a life.

  • cthun

    To be fair Suh’s groin kick was unintentional. He was on the ground facing the opposite way, but the rest of his rap sheet is intentional.

    • James

      Nice try, Ndamukong Suh, creating a disqus account under the pseudonym cthun. Your’re not fooling anyone. And the groin kick was totally intentional — blatant even.

      • Valarauko

        You don’t know the difference between dirty and stupid.

  • DJ X Luva

    Where’s Taj “Red” McDavid on this list? McDavid made himself eligible for the 1996 NBA Draft alongside Kobe Bryant & Jermaine O’Neil-although he wasn’t on anyones top 100 prospects list, let alone the top 10 list like Bryant & O’Neil. McDavid went undrafted (the CBA & various foreign leagues passed him over as well), becoming the 1st player ever to apply for the draft & not get drafted at all, poster child for high schoolers who aren’t ready for the draft, and arguable the prime person who kicked off the NBA’s institution of the draft age limit.

  • Birch view

    give Shaun Kemp his due… something like nine kids with eight women. geez.

  • jakesdad

    {BRRRRZZZZZ!!!} Superman is JIMMIE JOHNSON!!!

  • Dave Smith

    James, While I agree with your assessment of Suh being stupid, I can not agree that he continues to be a dirty player. The groin kick may or may not have been intentional. There is only one person who knows the truth about that and it is NOT you. His two most recent fines were the result of a stupid (but I don’t see it as “dirty”) play on an interception return and a PERFECTLY LEGAL hit on a QB.

  • seabee.73

    No Charles Oakley, Ryan Leaf… what a terrible list

  • Christopher Smith

    He’s not an athlete but Jerry Jones should be at the top of the list.

    http://www.chrisinnewberg.blogspot.com

  • CoastW

    Pitchers should all take kung-fu lessons until they’re all black-belts. I guarantee there will be fewer people rushing the mound.

  • Dick Delson

    No one even accused Rocker of being a rocket scientist.

  • Dick Delson

    No one should be surprised that the Yankees got rid of Chamberlain. He’s a moron.

  • Dick Delson

    Valentine…another rocket scientist.

  • Dick Delson

    Vick…another schmuck

  • redsoxu571

    No Vince Young? Don’t think I can buy this list otherwise!

    Otherwise, Albert Haynesworth is now known to have acted out the way he did on purpose. He got his payday, then set out to get cut so he could sign one more contract and rob another team blind as well (which he did). If that’s dumb, we should all be so smart (it’s dishonest and not competitive, but if your goal is to make tons of money despite being lazy it’s genius!)

  • William Maloni

    Sorry guys, Moses Malone, who could play the game but didn’t have the IQ of a rock.

    • Jon Elmer

      Fo, Fo, and Fo

  • Jon Elmer

    No Rickey Henderson ? A man so dumb he didn’t know he was supposed to cash his paycheck

  • Wayne Dooley

    Athletes at all stages( pop warner,high school, college, pros) are taught to be physically aggressive with very little emphasis on intellectual pursuits.

  • John Duquesne

    What about Chris Bosh?

  • Mike Haddan

    Dexter Manley! by far the dumbest of all time!

  • Suse1

    Um Pete Rose? I also heard they used to call Terry Bradshaw dumb, but I say he’s dumb all the way the trophies…and the bank!

  • LeRoy_Was_Here

    What, no Dennis Rodman?

  • Steve Fischer

    Ugh the stereotypes that Ivy League Colleges are the best and all those who go to them are smart. Aaron Rodgers went to Cal Berkeley which according to the London Times reputable survey is one of the three best universities in the world. He is just as smart as Luck or Lin and way more successful .

    • Douglas Green

      I’m willing to bet that when Luck’s career is over, it will be more impressive than Rodgers’ career.

  • Matt

    How can anyone take this list seriously without Dennis Rodman on it?

  • cwaynew

    How could you leave Chris Washburn off this list. Recall the number one draft pick by the Golden State Warriors who when invited to represent the United States in the Goodwill Games famously said, “I ain’t goin no Russia”

    • Valarauko

      The list was worthless. Most of it was jerks and dirty players, not stupid people.

  • JSBX45

    Worst article writing ever?

  • S B

    Man, how can Latrell Sprewell not be on this list? Choking his coach and making ridiculous comments about how making millions doesn’t go as far as you think is the epitome of stupid.

    • x277

      Come on now cut Spree a break, its very tough to feed a family averaging just $7 million a year.

  • The_Civilian_James_Trapp

    Last January, he claimed that the Holocaust could have been prevented if not for gun control laws in Nazi Germany.

    =============

    If you read history, the first thing tyrants, and people that commit genocide, do is take the guns away from the people. Perhaps you’re stupid to not read history

    • Manny Hundal

      guns won’t really help when you are a minority in a country where the government has decided to commit genocide against you. Perhaps they might have before tanks, planes, bombs, and chemical warfare were invented, but even if every Jew had a gun, things probably would not have happened all that differently…….the only difference I could imagine is that them fighting back might have caused other surrounding countries to notice and intervene, but even that was not likely to happen with communications the way they were back then and the reluctance to get involved in combat again after the costly first World War.

    • Petra van Goor

      Except it wasn’t Hitler who introduced gun control, but the Weimar Republic that was in charge before him. Hitler in fact expanded gun ownership in 1938.

  • meowththatsright

    KEVIN BROWN HAS A PHD IN PHYSICS AND BIO-CHEM YOU WORTHLESS F*CKING WRITER.

    UNFU
    CKING
    REAL.

  • JohnKL

    Michael Vick was a ‘duel-threat’ QB? I think the columnist means ‘dual-threat,’ as in the QB’s ability to run the ball as well as pass. I swear, so many of these articles are written by complete morons.

    • WriteBrainedJR

      It’s still a dumb statement. Vick would have to be a competent passer to be a dual-threat QB…or any kind of QB, really.

  • John H. Holliday

    Rocker has been persecuted by the media for speaking the truth… Scroo the media.

  • John H. Holliday

    I’d love to hear Syracuse University justify letting Melo be a “student” athlete… It just shows that most times the expression “student-athlete” is uttered, we should laugh out loud. People who can’t read should still be in elementary school, and NOT college.

  • John H. Holliday

    Chamberlain is a monkey.

    • Lucifer

      Racist.

  • John H. Holliday

    Whenever I think of Plexiglass Burress, I can only laugh. Imagine getting sent to jail for shooting yourself!

    • WriteBrainedJR

      Burress’s stupidity hardly starts with that incident. He spiked a live ball on two different occasions when he was still with the Steelers. He’s just a moron.

  • HisMajestyOKeefe

    What about the NBA player when asked about what It felt like playing a mile high in Denver replied “we played indoors”

  • Negroponte

    your list is officially garbage since manti te’o wasn’t even on the lsit, when he should have been number one.

  • MacJacMcCoy

    Vick is on this list bc of his dog fighting but there was no room for Aaron Hernandez and Ray Carruth ? 2 guys who not only murdered multiple people (Hernandez killed Odin Lloyd and 2 guys in a drive by after a fight in a club, Caruth killed his wife an unborn child) but did it so sloppily that even the 20 dumb athletes on this list could have figured out that they were the perpetrators.

  • Curt Shaw

    OJ Simpson is not on the list??? He is DEFINITELY number ONE! He gets away with a double murder and then goes to prison for stealing his OWN stuff!

  • Josh Tufts

    Anything J.R. Smith does

  • Tim Murphy

    Sure, some of those guys did dumb things like injure themselves celebrating, but that does not translate into 20 dumbest athletes. Dumbest things athletes have done would be more accurate. We’ve ALL done dumb things, like writing a misleading headline.

  • Bedoin

    My only argument with the list is that Mike Tyson should be number one.

  • jeff cole

    I can think of a lot more that should be on the list. The 1st one being Rodman to bad the NBA doesn’t get as many interviews as football I think there is as many dumb bunnies as the NFL and MLB!

  • sjl9492

    I think the writer might be dumber than half those athletes.. Atleast the athletes made a name for themselves..

  • Arturo Redsox

    Leon Spinks gets no respect !

  • Sean Yoes

    Tyson and Vick (Tyson especially) you’re wrong about. But, Metta World Peace? No doubt!