sports Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments  

Originally by
28k votes 3.6k voters 59k views 103 items Follow Embed

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
+ - 569 195
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 Photo Apps

2
+ - 571 369
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tom Brady age 40

3
+ - 834 500
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
LeBron James age 31

4
+ - 745 560
Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

5
+ - 977 891
Tim Tebow is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tim Tebow age 30

6
+ - 577 462
Kobe Bryant is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Kobe Bryant age 39

7
+ - 481 405
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Michael Vick age 37

8
+ - 541 518
Tiger Woods is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tiger Woods age 42

9
+ - 453 429
Lance Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

10
+ - 483 445
Pete Rose is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Pete Rose age 76

11
+ - 435 342
Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Mike Tyson age 51

12
+ - 425 323
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Lionel Messi age 30

13
+ - 451 371
Muhammad Ali is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Muhammad Ali age 75

14
+ - 308 226
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

15
+ - 334 272
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 37 Celebrities Who Played High School Basketball

16
+ - 236 224
Ray Lewis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Ray Lewis age 42

17
+ - 223 208
Richard Sherman is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

18
+ - 218 190
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

19
+ - 162 156
Tony Romo is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tony Romo age 37

20
+ - 267 290
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

21
+ - 103 82
Cam Newton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Cam Newton age 28

22
+ - 232 207
Alex Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

23
+ - 173 168
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Terrell Owens age 44

24
+ - 92 53
Johnny Manziel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

25
+ - 185 187
Ndamukong Suh is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Ndamukong Suh age 30

26
+ - 45 6
Colin Kaepernick is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

27
+ - 135 133
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

28
+ - 151 127
Dennis Rodman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Dennis Rodman age 56

29
+ - 116 99
Ronda Rousey is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Ronda Rousey age 28

Cities With the Best Sports Fans The Worst Foods to Eat on a Date

30
+ - 169 169
Randy Moss is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Randy Moss age 40

31
+ - 193 198
Mark McGwire is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Mark McGwire age 54

32
+ - 99 69
Bill Belichick is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

33
+ - 150 157
Chad Ochocinco is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

34
+ - 195 210
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
+ - 155 125
Charles Barkley is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

36
+ - 63 53
Caitlyn Jenner is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

37
+ - 53 43
Dwight Howard is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Dwight Howard age 32

38
+ - 69 64
Adrian Peterson is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

39
+ - 64 73
Metta World Peace is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

40
+ - 48 30
Marshawn Lynch is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

41
+ - 143 142
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
John McEnroe age 58

42
+ - 68 57
Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments

43
+ - 125 161
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 Best Slashers and Serial Killers Movies on Netflix

44
+ - 63 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
+ - 121 122
Paul Pierce is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Paul Pierce age 40

47
+ - 59 66
Sidney Crosby is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Sidney Crosby age 30

48
+ - 60 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