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
585 218
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
darren-bell added Diego Maradona age 55

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2
597 381
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
RebeccaStroud added Tom Brady age 40

3
868 513
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
LeBron James age 31

4
767 574
Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
ravi2 added Michael Jordan age 54

5
991 903
Tim Tebow is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tim Tebow age 30

6
594 474
Kobe Bryant is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Kobe Bryant age 39

7
556 527
Tiger Woods is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tiger Woods age 42

8
495 413
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Michael Vick age 37

9
464 436
Lance Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

10
497 450
Pete Rose is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Pete Rose age 76

11
445 348
Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Mike Tyson age 51

12
446 331
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
maxcool724 added Lionel Messi age 30

13
319 233
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

14
343 274
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Barry Bonds age 53

15
456 380
Muhammad Ali is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Muhammad Ali age 75

Baseball Teams with the Most Annoying Fans 37 Celebrities Who Played High School Basketball

16
242 228
Ray Lewis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
slantsix added Ray Lewis age 42

17
229 212
Richard Sherman is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

18
227 195
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
wiabux added Cristiano Ronaldo age 32

19
165 159
Tony Romo is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tony Romo age 37

20
57 7
Colin Kaepernick is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Dave_7672 added Colin Kaepernick age 30

21
236 209
Alex Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

22
106 85
Cam Newton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
terry-collins added Cam Newton age 28

23
268 294
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Pete Price added Manny Pacquiáo age 39

24
97 54
Johnny Manziel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
terry-collins added Johnny Manziel age 25

25
176 170
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Terrell Owens age 44

26
188 189
Ndamukong Suh is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Ndamukong Suh age 30

27
136 135
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

28
155 130
Dennis Rodman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Dennis Rodman age 56

29
119 100
Ronda Rousey is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
DavidTeasdale added Ronda Rousey age 28

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30
170 170
Randy Moss is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
PepDekker added Randy Moss age 40

31
195 198
Mark McGwire is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Mark McGwire age 54

32
100 70
Bill Belichick is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
tconnfurn added Bill Belichick age 65

33
151 158
Chad Ochocinco is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
PepDekker added Chad Ochocinco age 39

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

35
157 125
Charles Barkley is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

36
66 55
Caitlyn Jenner is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
slaft added Caitlyn Jenner age 66

37
55 44
Dwight Howard is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Dwight Howard age 32

38
71 64
Adrian Peterson is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
surag added Adrian Peterson age 32

39
66 73
Metta World Peace is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
wiabux added Metta World Peace age 38

40
73 57
Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
slaft added Shaquille O'Neal age 43

41
49 30
Marshawn Lynch is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
terry-collins added Marshawn Lynch age 31

42
145 142
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
John McEnroe age 58

43
127 161
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Ty Cobb Died at 75 (1886-1961)

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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
49 34
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
ryanjjjj8 added Bill Russell age 83

46
62 45
Wilt Chamberlain is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Wilt Chamberlain Died at 63 (1936-1999)

47
60 67
Sidney Crosby is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Sidney Crosby age 30

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

49
121 123
Paul Pierce is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Paul Pierce age 40

50
55 48
Aaron Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Aaron Rodgers age 32