athletes Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments  

The Round Mound
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38.4k votes 5.4k voters 68.8k views 137 items 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
1,450 722
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
LeBron James Athlete, Television producer, Voice acting

2
991 599
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
RebeccaStroud added Tom Brady American football player

3
1,001 490
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
maxcool724 added Lionel Messi Footballer, Football player

4
1,141 729
Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
ravi2 added Michael Jordan Actor, Athlete, Entrepreneur

5
723 470
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
darren-bell added Diego Maradona Footballer, Football player, Manager

6
880 601
Kobe Bryant is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Kobe Bryant Athlete, Basketball player

7
1,173 1,057
Tim Tebow is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tim Tebow Athlete, American football player

8
676 543
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Michael Vick American football player, Spokesperson

9
702 629
Tiger Woods is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tiger Woods Writer, Athlete, Golfer

10
581 547
Lance Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Lance Armstrong Athlete, Professional Road Racing Cyclist

11
613 537
Pete Rose is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Pete Rose Baseball player

12
577 424
Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Mike Tyson Actor, Athlete, Film Producer

13
472 289
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
wiabux added Cristiano Ronaldo Footballer, Football player, Fashion entrepreneur

14
595 442
Muhammad Ali is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Muhammad Ali Philanthropist, Professional Boxer, Social activist

Child Actors Who Tragically Died Young

15
471 304
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Floyd Mayweather Jr. Actor, Athlete, Professional Boxer

16
203 67
Colin Kaepernick is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Dave_7672 added Colin Kaepernick American football player

17
431 335
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Barry Bonds Actor, Athlete, Baseball player

18
307 291
Ray Lewis is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
slantsix added Ray Lewis Athlete, American football player

19
289 264
Richard Sherman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Richard Sherman American football player

20
298 259
Alex Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Alex Rodriguez Actor, Athlete, Baseball player

21
172 138
Cam Newton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
terry-collins added Cam Newton Athlete, American football player

Sports Teams With The Most Fanatical Fans

22
226 221
Tony Romo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tony Romo Athlete, American football player

23
328 341
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Pete Price added Manny Pacquiáo Actor, Athlete, Film Producer

24
232 208
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Terrell Owens Actor, Athlete, American football player

25
158 101
Johnny Manziel is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
terry-collins added Johnny Manziel American football player

26
229 230
Ndamukong Suh is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Ndamukong Suh American football player

27
217 200
Randy Moss is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
PepDekker added Randy Moss Athlete, American football player

28
184 175
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Peyton Manning Athlete, American football player

The Most Outrageous Athlete Meltdowns with Fans

29
168 141
Ronda Rousey is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
DavidTeasdale added Ronda Rousey Actor, Mixed Martial Artist

30
147 101
Bill Belichick is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
tconnfurn added Bill Belichick American football player, Football Coach, American Football coach

31
196 164
Dennis Rodman is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Dennis Rodman Actor, Athlete, Basketball player

32
221 230
Mark McGwire is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Mark McGwire Coach, Baseball player

33
117 82
Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
slaft added Shaquille O'Neal Actor, Film Producer, Television producer

34
193 144
Charles Barkley is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Charles Barkley Actor, Athlete, Announcer

35
222 241
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Pete Price added Shoeless Joe Jackson Baseball player

The Best Jewish Poets of All Time

36
167 193
Chad Ochocinco is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
PepDekker added Chad Ochocinco Athlete, American football player

37
98 83
Adrian Peterson is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
surag added Adrian Peterson Athlete, American football player

38
75 47
Marshawn Lynch is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
terry-collins added Marshawn Lynch American football player

39
94 90
Caitlyn Jenner is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
slaft added Caitlyn Jenner Actor, Athlete, Sports commentator

40
75 66
Dwight Howard is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Dwight Howard Actor, Basketball player

41
83 97
Metta World Peace is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
wiabux added Metta World Peace Actor, Basketball player, Rapper

42
87 62
Wilt Chamberlain is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Wilt Chamberlain Actor, Coach, Screenwriter

The Best Current MLB Outfielders

43
86 85
Joe Montana is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Joe Montana Coach, American football player

44
142 180
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Ty Cobb Baseball player

45
80 66
Aaron Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Aaron Rodgers Athlete, American football player

46
67 50
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
ryanjjjj8 added Bill Russell Actor, Coach, Basketball player

47
160 164
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
John McEnroe Actor, Tennis player, Commentator

48
72 77
Emmitt Smith is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
skypir876 added Emmitt Smith Athlete, American football player

49
78 86
Roger Clemens is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Roger Clemens Actor, Athlete, Baseball player

50
75 85
Sidney Crosby is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Sidney Crosby Athlete, Ice Hockey Player, Ice hockey player