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The Dumbest Professional Athletes

List Criteria: Only athletes who have been in the news for poor decisions

The dumbest professional athletes might not be the least intelligent athletes overall, but each is responsible for at least one really dumb decision, incident, or mistake that forever tainted their reputations. From the dumb football players who can't seem to stay out of jail to the dumb baseball players who lie about steroid use and the dumb 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 horrible things, few can compare to the idiocy of Simpson. Or idiot 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 their poor decisions.

Other dumb athletes either are not very book smart, like Vince Young and Morris Claiborne who 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), or thought they could cheat 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 stupid athletes who did dumb illegal things to the ones who lost the respect from their fans after public adultery incidents to those who are just not smart, all of these athletes are examples of why it's important for NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL players to abide by the law and play nice. Just because you're a rich and famous professional athlete doesn't mean you can get away with anything.

Who cares if you can't beat them on the field? Take a look at this list of the dumbest athletes of all time, and you'll immediately feel superior. Because who doesn't want to sit around and think about who the dumbest NFL players are while eating a giant bowl of nachos while downing it with an inhuman amount of beer? 

The Dumbest Professional Athletes People In Sports
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  1. 1
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    Got off for the double murder of his ex-wife Nicole and Ron Goldman. But was convicted of armed robbery in Las Vegas in 2007, thus losing his get out of jail free card.
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    • Age: age 68
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: California, United States of America
    • Teams: San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills
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    Shot himself in the leg at NYC nightclub in 2008, blowing a hole in his leg and the New York Giants Super Bowl chances. Spent nearly two years in jail.
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    • Age: age 38
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Virginia, United States of America
    • Teams: New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets
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    Put out a hit on his ex-girlfriend and unborn child. The child survived and Carruth is currently in jail for conspiracy. 
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    • Age: age 41
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States of America
    • Teams: Carolina Panthers, Colorado Buffaloes football
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    Hired a hitman to take out her chief rival. Got caught and eventually disgraced.
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    • Age: age 45
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States of America
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    This mugshot says it all about his arrest
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    • Age: age 30
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Shorewood, Illinois, United States of America
    • Teams: Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns
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    Made it rain at Vegas strip club and expected his money back, which led to a gun being fired into the crowd, injuring a bouncer. Also caught with drugs.
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    • Age: age 32
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
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    Between his blowups and blowing off teammates, Leaf did the absolute minimum required and is considered one of the biggest busts in NFL history. Also in jail for drug possession and use after violating probation.
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    • Age: age 39
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Great Falls, Montana, United States of America
    • Teams: Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks, San Diego Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington State Cougars football
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    Wagged his finger in front Congress and said he didn't use steroids in 2005. Failed drug test later that year for...using steroids.
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    • Age: age 51
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Havana, Cuba
    • Teams: Chicago Cubs, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers
  9. 9
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    Tried to enter NFL Draft after freshman years, sued the league and lost. Ended up sitting out two seasons, got lazy, and washed out of the league. Ended up in jail for armed robbery.
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    • Age: age 32
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Youngstown, Ohio, United States of America
    • Teams: Denver Broncos, Ohio State Buckeyes football, Omaha Nighthawks
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    Embroiled in second wave steroid scandal after getting caught once before.
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    • Age: age 40
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Washington Heights, New York City, New York, United States of America
  11. 11
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    Stomped on an opponent's head when opponent wasn't wearing his helmet. Also, stopped trying after he got a $100 million contract from Washington.
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    • Age: age 34
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Hartsville, South Carolina, United States of America
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    Known as one of the dirtiest players in the NFL. Has kicked players beforeand has been fined a total of $216,875 by the NFL for four violations thus far in his career.
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    • Age: age 28
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States of America
    • Teams: Detroit Lions
  13. 13
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    Was showing off his gun skills and accidently shot his limo driver. Went to jail.
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    • Age: age 47
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Ritter, South Carolina, United States of America
    • Teams: Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets
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    Immature actions off the field (like domestic abuse) would have gotten him suspended if he played for another team besides Dallas.
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    • Age: age 27
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Lufkin, Texas, United States of America
    • Teams: Dallas Cowboys, Oklahoma State Cowboys football
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    Testified under oath in front of Congress that he never used steroids, even though his name was mentioned 82 times in the Mitchell Report on steroid use in baseball. Somehow he wasn't found guilty for perjury either. 
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    • Age: age 53
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States of America
    • Teams: New York Yankees, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays + 3 more
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    Legacy tainted by steroid use.
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    • Age: age 44
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Plano, Texas, United States of America
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    Like Manny, Rodman's legacy of partying, going to jail and the like is too long to list. But if you've heard of Rodman, it's likely for his antics like kicking a photographer in the crotch, instead of his rebounding titles and championship rings.
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    • Age: age 54
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Trenton, New Jersey, United States of America
    • Teams: Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks + 2 more
  18. 18
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    Five Words: The. Malice. At. The. Palace.
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    • Age: age 36
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Queensbridge, New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Teams: Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Indiana Pacers + 1 more
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    Went to jail for lying under oath about her steroid use during the BALCO scandal
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    • Age: age 40
    • Nationality: Belize, United States of America
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
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    Irritated fans due to his attitude and his lack of appreciation to team and teammates.
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    • Age: age 42
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Alexander City, Alabama, United States of America
    • Teams: San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills + 1 more
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