sports Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments  

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List Rules Only athletes who are among the most debated in sports.

A list of athletes who are passionately loved and hated by sports fans. These divisive, controversial sports stars inspire both love and bile from the fan community in equal measure. Is Allen Iverson among the greatest players of his day, or an arrogant ball hog? Does Tim Tebow keep pulling out these miraculous victories because of innate ability, or is he coasting off the skill and tenacity of his teammates? Is Barry Bonds a stoic hero, or the ultimate baseball villain?

These questions and more have divided sports fans and caused more bar room arguments, than any political decision in recent memory. And with good cause. This list collects the most argued-about and widely discussed figures from the world of sports. Vote for the players you love to hate (or hate to love), and if we've missed any athletes that make you bicker with your friends over beers, be sure to suggest them at the bottom of the page.

Who are the most controversial athletes? Vote on the person you think fits that bill when ranking this list.
list ordered by

1
+ - 579 209
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

Athletes with the Most Annoying Fans The Best Hulu Original Series

2
+ - 856 506
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
LeBron James age 31

3
+ - 582 379
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tom Brady age 40

4
+ - 759 568
Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

5
+ - 984 898
Tim Tebow is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tim Tebow age 30

6
+ - 590 468
Kobe Bryant is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Kobe Bryant age 39

7
+ - 487 410
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Michael Vick age 37

8
+ - 548 525
Tiger Woods is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tiger Woods age 42

9
+ - 460 434
Lance Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

10
+ - 492 448
Pete Rose is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Pete Rose age 76

11
+ - 442 326
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Lionel Messi age 30

12
+ - 440 347
Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Mike Tyson age 51

13
+ - 313 229
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

14
+ - 453 376
Muhammad Ali is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Muhammad Ali age 75

15
+ - 338 273
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Barry Bonds age 53

Baseball Teams with the Most Annoying Fans The Creepiest Sports Mascots

16
+ - 239 226
Ray Lewis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Ray Lewis age 42

17
+ - 226 211
Richard Sherman is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

18
+ - 225 193
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

19
+ - 163 159
Tony Romo is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tony Romo age 37

20
+ - 268 293
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

21
+ - 235 208
Alex Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

22
+ - 105 84
Cam Newton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Cam Newton age 28

23
+ - 175 170
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Terrell Owens age 44

24
+ - 95 54
Johnny Manziel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

25
+ - 52 7
Colin Kaepernick is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

26
+ - 187 188
Ndamukong Suh is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Ndamukong Suh age 30

27
+ - 135 135
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

28
+ - 117 100
Ronda Rousey is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Ronda Rousey age 28

29
+ - 152 130
Dennis Rodman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Dennis Rodman age 56

Cities With the Best Sports Fans 80 Great Jobs That Don't Require a College Degree

30
+ - 195 198
Mark McGwire is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Mark McGwire age 54

31
+ - 169 170
Randy Moss is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Randy Moss age 40

32
+ - 99 70
Bill Belichick is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

33
+ - 150 158
Chad Ochocinco is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

34
+ - 197 210
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Shoeless Joe Jackson Died at 64 (1887-1951)

35
+ - 156 125
Charles Barkley is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

36
+ - 65 55
Caitlyn Jenner is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

37
+ - 53 44
Dwight Howard is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Dwight Howard age 32

38
+ - 65 73
Metta World Peace is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

39
+ - 69 64
Adrian Peterson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

40
+ - 70 57
Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

41
+ - 48 30
Marshawn Lynch is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

42
+ - 143 142
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
John McEnroe age 58

43
+ - 126 161
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Ty Cobb Died at 75 (1886-1961)

Basketball Teams with the Most Annoying Fans The Greatest U.S. Vice Presidents of All Time

44
+ - 64 66
Roger Clemens is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Roger Clemens age 55

45
+ - 48 34
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Bill Russell age 83

46
+ - 60 67
Sidney Crosby is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Sidney Crosby age 30

47
+ - 121 122
Paul Pierce is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Paul Pierce age 40

48
+ - 61 45
Wilt Chamberlain is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Wilt Chamberlain Died at 63 (1936-1999)

49
+ - 48 62
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Deion Sanders age 50

50
+ - 54 48
Aaron Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Aaron Rodgers age 32