The dumbest professional athletes might not be the least intelligent athletes around but each is responsible for at least one really dumb decision, incident or mistake that forever tainted their reputations. From the football players
who can't seem to stay out of jail to the baseball players who lie about steroid use
to the basketball players who can't seem to stop cheating on their gorgeous NBA wives
, all of these men and women are known nearly as much for their very public gaffes as they are for their athletic ability.
It's really easy to single out the many NFL players who have, or currently are, serving time in the clink for legal issues but few measure up to the many (alleged) crimes of O.J. Simpson. After being acquitted of murdering his wife and her friend in 1995, the former Heisman Trophy winner found himself sentenced to 33 years in prison after an armed robbery/kidnapping incident in Las Vegas.
Though other pro football players have done other horrible things, few can compare to the idiocracy of Simpson. Quarterback Michael Vick fought dogs on his own property. Plaxico Burress shot himself with his own gun in a night club. Brett Favre (allegedly) sent pictures of his junk to a team staff member. All stupid moves and all, with the exception of Favre, paid a huge price for the poor decisions.
Other dumb athletes either are not very book smart, like those who have scored record lows on the Wonderlic aptitude test (which measures how smart a football player is based in a series of different styles of questions) such as Vince Young and Morris Claiborne, or simply thought they could get ahead without anyone noticing. No one will ever forget those baseball players connected with the steroid era, like the shamed Sammy Sosa or Barry Bonds, or even athletes like Tonya Harding who decided to hire a hitman to take out her closest competitor, Nancy Kerrigan. Spoiler: All of them were caught and it wasn't pretty.
So from the athletes who did dumb illegal things to the ones who lost the respect from their fans after very public adultery incidents to those who are just not smart, all of these athletes are examples of why it's important to for NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL players to abide by the law (and by pop culture laws and not land in any scandals or sordid situations) and play nice. Just because you're a rich and famous professional athlete doesn't mean you're above the law or even remotely close to being a genius.