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Top 25 Sleazebags In Sports History

Sleazebags In Sports History
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The sports world is normally where athletes strive for excellence on and off the court, but for some athletes, one half of that equation is often ignored. With the NBA now Donald Sterling-free for the first time in over 30 years, now is the time to rank him among sports worst of the worst. Here are the 25 biggest sleazebags in sports history.

25. Latrell Sprewell

Latrell Sprewell Timberwolves
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25. Latrell Sprewell

Latrell Sprewell Timberwolves
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Sprewell did nothing that was noteworthy on the court during his NBA career, but he was mostly known for choking P.J. Carlesimo, his coach during a 1997 practice with the Golden State Warriors. This incident resulted in a 68-game suspension, the longest in NBA history until Ron Artest's in 2004. He then angered most of the working class in America by stating that a three-year, $ 21 million contract wasn't enough to feed his family back in 2004.

24. Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger Steelers
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24. Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger Steelers
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A two-time Super Bowl champion, Ben Roethlisberger has been one of the best quarterbacks in the past decade, but his past off-field transgressions continue to cloud his career. A motorcycle crash in 2005 nearly cost him his life and the Steelers their chance at Super Bowl XL. Also, he has twice been accused of sexual assault, but no convictions have ever been made.

23. Isiah Thomas

Isiah Thomas Pistons
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23. Isiah Thomas

Isiah Thomas Pistons
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The leader of the "Bad Boy" Detroit Pistons of the late 1980s, Isiah Thomas directed the dirtiest team in NBA history, which led to his omission from the 1992 Dream Team. He was also the commissioner of the Continental Basketball Association but folded it after not even five years before joining the Knicks. In New York, Thomas was part of a nasty sexual harassment lawsuit against an executive.

22. Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant Lakers
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22. Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant Lakers
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Kobe Bryant may be one of the best players ever, but he has alienated a lot of people. On the court, he's been difficult to play with due to his ball hogging and poor shot selection. Off the court, he's been accused of rape. In 2003, Bryant was charged with sexual assault, and although the charges were dropped, it was only because the accuser was unwilling to testify.

21. Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson
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21. Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson
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Once the NFL's best running back, Adrian Peterson played just one game in 2014 before being placed on the NFL's exempt list. Peterson abused one of his sons by using a "switch" which left bruises all over the kid's body. In another incident, Peterson allegedly used money from his charity, All Day , Inc. to fund some lewd behavior involving four women and two brothers.

20. Floyd Landis

Floyd Landis
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20. Floyd Landis

Floyd Landis
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An American cyclist, Floyd Landis infamously turned on his former partner in Lance Armstrong while admitting to taking PEDs during his Tour De France career. Landis went on to win the 2006 Tour after Armstrong retired for the first time but was stripped due to his PED use. In 2007, Landis was banned from the sport for two years and has become a national disgrace since.

19. Ray Rice

Ray Rice Ravens
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19. Ray Rice

Ray Rice Ravens
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The face of the NFL's new domestic violence policy, Ray Rice struck his fiancee Janay Palmer in an elevator of an Atlantic City Casino. After the video of the incident went viral, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Rice for just two games. After a second and more egregious video was released, Rice was indefinitely suspended and released by the Baltimore Ravens.

18. Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods
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18. Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods
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Arguably the greatest golfer of all time, Tiger Woods' reputation took a significant hit on the night of Nov. 25, 2009. Woods crashed his Cadillac SUV into a fire hydrant, which led to the revelation of his numerous extramarital affairs. While married to Elin Nordegren, Woods was alleged to have at least a dozen affairs with other women. Woods has not won a Major Championship since the scandal.

17. Ron Artest

Metta World Peace Knicks
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17. Ron Artest

Ron Artest Knicks
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Before changing his name to Metta World Peace, Ron Artest was one of the NBA's most disruptive and troubled personalities. In 2004, his actions led to the Malice at the Palace, resulting in an 86-game suspension, the longest non drug-related suspension in NBA history. Artest has also had numerous incidents involving flagrant fouls and character concerns, including pulling down Paul Pierce's shorts back in 2004.

16. Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez
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16. Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez
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Instead of catching passes from Tom Brady during the 2013 season, Hernandez, a former Florida Gator, spent most of the season behind bars following his alleged role in two different murder cases. After his alleged involvement in the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, the Patriots released Hernandez and immediately distanced themselves from him. Hernandez is still incarcerated as he awaits his murder trial.

15. Brett Favre

Brett Favre Vikings
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15. Brett Favre

Brett Favre Vikings
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Brett Favre played amazingly well throughout his future Hall of Fame career. He retired once, then came back to play. He then retired again only to come back once again. Off the field, Favre also sent indecent pictures on his phone to Jenn Sterger, the Jets "Gameday Host," back in 2008.

14. Lawrence Taylor

Lawrence Taylor Giants
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14. Lawrence Taylor

Lawrence Taylor Giants
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By far the greatest defensive player in NFL history, Lawrence Taylor's famed career would be overshadowed by numerous off-field problems and post-career scandals. L.T. failed several drug tests in his career and after retiring he was arrested twice in three years for trying to buy cocaine from undercover cops. In 2009, Taylor was arrested again for allegedly paying an underage girl $ 300 to have sex with him.

13. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Jose Canseco, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmiero, Mark McGwire (Steroid Era)

Baseball Stars Congress
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13. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Jose Canseco, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmiero, Mark McGwire (Steroid Era)

Baseball Stars Congress
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Individually, all of these players are among the best to ever play at their respective positions. However, each contributed to baseball's demise in the early-to-mid 2000s, making them all worthy of being grouped together on this list. Canseco was the snitch who started everything while McGwire, Palmeiro and Sosa either lied to Congress or failed to testify. Bonds and Clemens were charged with perjury in connection to their own cases.

12. Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis
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12. Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis
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To most fans, Ray Lewis is one of the greatest linebackers to ever play, but to some, his actions led to the deaths of two kids in Atlanta following Super Bowl XXXIV. Eventually he testified against the other two men indicted and served a year of probation for obstruction of justice. His legacy will forever be shrouded in mystery due to this incident.

11. Michael Vick

Michael Vick Jets
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11. Michael Vick

Michael Vick Jets
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In 2007 and approaching the prime of his career, Vick was implicated in an illegal interstate dog-fighting ring that he had been running for five years. He pleaded guilty in August of '07 and eventually served 21 months in prison, never playing again for the Atlanta Falcons. Vick has somewhat managed to rebuild his image following this disgusting episode, but there will be some who still won't forgive him for what he did.

10. Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez
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10. Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez
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Rodriguez, who used to be one of the top players in baseball, has been continually linked to steroids and has even admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs. Injuries then started to take a toll on him and the New York Yankees were using every measure to get out of his contract. After being linked to the Biogenesis scandal, A-Rod was suspended for the entire 2014 season.

9. Roger Goodell

Roger Goodell
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9. Roger Goodell

Roger Goodell
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The NFL has been blessed to have some good commissioners like Pete Rozelle and Paul Tagliabue, but Roger Goodell clearly isn't one of them. The current commissioner repeatedly downplayed the impact that concussions had on traumatic brain injuries, as mentioned in "League of Denial," botched the BountyGate case involving Jonathan Vilma as well as the two-game suspension of Ray Rice following his domestic violence case.

8. Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson
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8. Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson
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A former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, Mike Tyson went from one of boxing's most dominant fighters to its most controversial. After losing to Buster Douglas in 1990, Tyson's life and career would spiral downward. In 1992, Tyson was convicted of raping Desiree Washington and served three years in prison. In 1997, Tyson infamously bit off part of Evander Holyfield's ear, which resulted in a disqualification.

7. Pete Rose

Pete Rose
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7. Pete Rose

Pete Rose
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After his retirement as a player from the game, Pete Rose vehemently denied betting on baseball as the manager of the Cincinnati Reds. The allegations made against him were serious enough that Rose was banned for life by then commissioner Bart Giamatti. Rose eventually admitted to betting on games, but that didn't come until 2004. Rose was also sentenced to five months in prison for tax evasion.

6. Rae Carruth

Rae Carruth Panthers
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6. Rae Carruth

Rae Carruth Panthers
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A former wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers, Carruth hired a hitman named Van Brett Watkins to shoot Carruth's then-pregnant-girlfriend Cherica Adams as they were coming back from a movie. Adams died a month later from the incident, and his son, who survived the shooting, is suffering from cerebral palsy. Carruth was charged and convicted of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and was sentenced to 18-24 years in prison.

5. Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong
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5. Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong
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Once an American hero for coming back from cancer to win the Tour De France, Lance Armstrong is now an American disgrace with nothing to show for it. From 1999-2005, Armstrong won seven consecutive Tour De France titles, but was later stripped of each title and banned for life after admitting to PED use. Armstrong was engaged in "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen," according to USADA.

4. Donald Sterling

Donald Sterling Clippers
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4. Donald Sterling

Donald Sterling Clippers
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In over 30 years as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling had only two winning seasons and he never seemed to care that his team was any good. Before being banned for life this year by Adam Silver for racial slurs he made that were caught on tape, Sterling was sued several times for sexual harassment and racial discrimination, including once by his former GM Elgin Baylor.

3. Ty Cobb

Ty Cobb Statue
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3. Ty Cobb

Ty Cobb Statue
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One of the dirtiest players of any sport in recorded history, Ty Cobb was hated by fans, opposing players and even his fellow teammates. Cobb was known for sliding with his spikes up when he stole bases, was openly racist and allegedly stabbed a black night watchman. He was also accused of being involved in a scheme to fix a game.

2. Jerry Sandusky

Jerry Sandusky
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2. Jerry Sandusky

Jerry Sandusky
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The defensive coordinator of Penn State's 1986 National Championship team, Jerry Sandusky was the perpetrator for one of the worst criminal sprees in modern U.S. history. In 2011, following a two-year grand jury investigation, Sandusky was arrested and charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse of young boys over a 15-year period from 1994 to 2009. In 2012, Sandusky was convicted on 45 of the 48 remaining charges and was sentenced to life in prison.

1. O.J. Simpson

O.J. Simpson
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1. O.J. Simpson

O.J. Simpson
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Simpson was tried on two counts of murder following the June 1994 deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. He was acquitted in the criminal trial, but was found liable in a civil trial. In 2008, Simpson was found guilty of robbery and kidnapping after storming a Las Vegas-hotel and taking sports memorabilia at gunpoint. Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison.