controversial The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History  

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List Rules Athletes in any sport that have been embroiled in controversy - domestic disputes, sex scandals, cheating accusations, anything really

Sports stars are one part celebrity, one part athlete. Like so many celebrities, some sports stars are prone to scandal. These sports stars are were involved some of the biggest controversies of all time, and many remain controversial figures to this day despite being retired.

O.J Simpson is perhaps the biggest controversial athlete of all time, for "not killing his ex-wife" in 1994. Remember when one of the best NBA players of all time, LeBron James, took his talents to South Beach? That was definitely a case of a sports star who caused controversy. And then, of course, there's Anna Kournikova, who has caused controversy simply for being beautiful.

Which athletes do you think are the most controversial of all time? What is your definition of controversy? Is it off-the-field antics like the domestic drama surrounding Tiger Woods, or is it on-the-court antics like John McEnroe's famous profane meltdowns?

Which is worse, steroids or biting off someone's ear? The choice is yours! Vote up the stars who've caused the most controversy and if we missed any scandalous athletes, add them to the controversial sport stars list!
list ordered by

1
+ - 312 52
O. J. Simpson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
O. J. Simpson age 70

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2
+ - 246 75
Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Mike Tyson age 51

3
+ - 218 76
Lance Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

4
+ - 135 45
Aaron Hernandez is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

5
+ - 188 90
Dennis Rodman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Dennis Rodman age 56

6
+ - 152 79
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Michael Vick age 37

7
+ - 152 84
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Barry Bonds age 53

8
+ - 152 92
Tiger Woods is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Tiger Woods age 42

9
+ - 86 42
Ray Rice is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Ray Rice age 28

10
+ - 127 73
Tonya Harding is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Tonya Harding age 47

11
+ - 83 51
Ray Lewis is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Ray Lewis age 42

12
+ - 124 78
Caitlyn Jenner is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

13
+ - 72 39
Johnny Manziel is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

14
+ - 127 80
Alex Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

15
+ - 125 76
Pete Rose is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Pete Rose age 76

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16
+ - 122 87
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

17
+ - 66 48
Ben Johnson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Ben Johnson age 54

18
+ - 69 41
Jose Canseco is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Jose Canseco age 51

19
+ - 78 55
Luis Suárez is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Luis Suárez age 30

20
+ - 75 50
Mark McGwire is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Mark McGwire age 54

21
+ - 82 58
Kobe Bryant is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Kobe Bryant age 39

22
+ - 93 82
Muhammad Ali is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Muhammad Ali age 75

23
+ - 60 41
Hope Solo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Hope Solo age 34

24
+ - 53 40
Lawrence Taylor is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

25
+ - 49 32
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Tom Brady age 40

26
+ - 69 46
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Terrell Owens age 44

27
+ - 23 10
Colin Kaepernick is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

28
+ - 54 35
John Rocker is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
John Rocker age 41

29
+ - 65 46
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
John McEnroe age 58

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30
+ - 68 50
Sammy Sosa is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Sammy Sosa age 47

31
+ - 10 2
Darren Sharper is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

32
+ - 51 43
Isiah Thomas is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Isiah Thomas age 56

33
+ - 65 57
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Shoeless Joe Jackson Died at 64 (1887-1951)

34
+ - 27 19
Patrick Kane is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Patrick Kane age 29

35
+ - 57 50
Allen Iverson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Allen Iverson age 42

36
+ - 50 43
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Ty Cobb Died at 75 (1886-1961)

37
+ - 41 39
Sonny Liston is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Sonny Liston Died at 38 (1932-1970)

38
+ - 48 42
Plaxico Burress is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

39
+ - 22 13
Paolo Di Canio is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

40
+ - 79 76
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
LeBron James age 31

41
+ - 19 11
Paul Gascoigne is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

42
+ - 16 8
Tyson Fury is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Tyson Fury age 29

43
+ - 37 34
Zola Budd is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Zola Budd age 49

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44
+ - 49 36
Manny Ramírez is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

45
+ - 18 13
Alberto Contador is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

46
+ - 38 38
Floyd Landis is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Floyd Landis age 42

47
+ - 14 10
Jerrod Mustaf is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Jerrod Mustaf age 46

48
+ - 16 15
Jason Kidd is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Jason Kidd age 44

49
+ - 29 30
Gerald McClellan is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

50
+ - 14 14
Jake Plummer is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Jake Plummer age 41