25 Most Polarizing Athletes Today

25 Athletes We Can't Stop Talking About, For One Reason Or Another

Peyton Manning
USA Today Sports

Polarizing - to divide or cause to divide into two contrasting groups or sets of opinions or beliefs.

There are lots of athletes who fall into the polarizing category. They're the type of athletes who people love and/or hate. But one way or another, people are reacting to them.

Here's a look at the 25 most polarizing athletes in today's sports world:

1. Tony Romo

Tony Romo
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1. Tony Romo

Tony Romo

Being a member of the Dallas Cowboys will cause a lot of people to love/hate you. When you're the Cowboys quarterback, it gets even worse.

2. Tiger Woods

World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship - Final Round
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2. Tiger Woods

World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship - Final Round

Even if you hate Tiger, you likely still want to see how he does when he competes. Even after all these years, he's far and away the most popular figure in golf.

3. Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler
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3. Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler

There's a ton of love/hate it when comes to the Bears QB. Even some of the hardcore Chicago fans don't like him.

4. Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin
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4. Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin

Some basketball fans think Lin is the best thing since sliced bread, others feel he's tremendously overrated.

5. Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick, Slid 4, Jerome Miron,
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5. Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick, Slid 4, Jerome Miron,

Even though she struggles to be competitive at times, NASCAR fans are still intrigued by Patrick. Could it be because she's easy on the eyes?

6. Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant
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6. Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

There isn't a whole lot of middle ground with the Black Mamba. Either you're a fan, or you can't stand the guy.

7. Tom Brady

Tom Brady
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7. Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Brady seems to be growing on football fans after all these years, but there are many who still hate his guts.

8. Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson
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8. Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson

There's not a whole lot of hate towards AP, mainly because he's so good at his job, but even Vikings-haters want to see him run the football on Sundays.

9. Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook
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9. Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook

Arguably the most talented guard in the NBA, Westbrook gets a lot of people talking with his up-and-down play and crazy wardrobe.

10. Lolo Jones

The Today Show Gallery of Olympians
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10. Lolo Jones

The Today Show Gallery of Olympians

Even though she's failed to attain her dream of winning an Olympic medal to this point, people still love to see what Lolo is up to. Her popularity arguably got her on the 2014 women's bobsled team in Sochi.

11. Metta World Peace

Metta World Peace
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11. Metta World Peace

Metta World Peace

MWP always has people talking. Sometimes the guy gets a bad rap, but overall he's a good dude.

12. Sidney Crosby

New York Rangers  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Seven
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12. Sidney Crosby

New York Rangers  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Seven

When you're one of the NHL's most popular players, you're going to be polarizing on some level. Many people outside of Pittsburgh are not fans of Crosby.

13. Jeff Gordon

Jeff Gordon
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13. Jeff Gordon

Jeff Gordon

Gordon is an all-time great in the world of NASCAR. He has a loyal base of supporters, and a nearly equal amount of haters.

14. Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard
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14. Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard

Howard started out as one of the most popular players in the NBA, but he's now one of the most hated. That'll happen when you cry and request a trade.

15. Michael Vick

Michael Vick1
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15. Michael Vick

Michael Vick1

Dog lovers will forever hate Vick, and you can't blame them. Others will say he deserves a second chance to redeem himself. Since his stint in prison he's definitely been on his best behavior.

16. Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony
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16. Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

Anthony's popularity has been on the decline for years. But depending on his free agency decision this upcoming summer, he could regain some fans.

17. Serena Williams

Serena Williams
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17. Serena Williams

Serena Williams

When you think of women's tennis, you have to think Serena Williams. She's been dominate for a long time, plus she's not afraid to run her mouth, which has made for interesting television in the past.

18. Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather Jr
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18. Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather Jr

Even though Mayweather is pretty much a bad guy in the world of boxing, people will pay to see him lose. The only problem, is that he's never lost a pro fight.

19. Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter-Greg M. Cooper-USA Today Sports
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19. Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter-Greg M. Cooper-USA Today Sports

While there might be some Jeter-haters out there, they're certainly few and far between. He and Mariano Rivera are in their own level of MLB popularity.

20. Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski
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20. Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski

The NFL's biggest bro always has people talking for one reason or another. It could be because of a viral Vegas video, or it could be because of an amazing TD grab.

21. Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig
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21. Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig

MLB desperately needs new stars, and it looks like they've got a sure one in Puig. The guy is charismatic and just flat out fun to watch.

22. Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson
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22. Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

If Stephenson could get out of his own head he'd be a lot better off. His ball skills are top notch, but sure has some growing up to do.

23. Ronda Rousey

Dec 27, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey on stage for the weigh-in for her UFC Women's Bantamweight Title Fight against Misha Tate (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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23. Ronda Rousey

Dec 27, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey on stage for the weigh-in for her UFC Women's Bantamweight Title Fight against Misha Tate (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Five years ago who would have thought that arguably the most popular UFC fighter would be a woman? Rousey is great for the sport of MMA, whether you like her or not.

24. Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel
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24. Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel

Manziel can't even ride an airplane without it being a story. He's the epitome of polarizing in today's NFL.

25. LeBron James

Charlotte Bobcats vs Miami Heat
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25. LeBron James

Charlotte Bobcats vs Miami Heat

It doesn't get much more love/hate than LeBron James. Either you think he's the greatest thing since MJ, or you hate that he could give MJ a run for the GOAT title.


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