Athletes Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments  

The Round Mound
Originally by
65k votes 7k voters 74.7k views 101 items

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
1,147 362
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
wiabux added Footballer, Football player, Fashion entrepreneur

2
1,919 1,392
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Athlete, Television producer, Voice acting

3
1,503 1,346
Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
ravi2 added Actor, Athlete, Entrepreneur

4
1,269 1,251
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
RebeccaStroud added American football player

5
1,425 1,099
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
maxcool724 added Footballer, Football player

6
1,115 1,169
Kobe Bryant is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Athlete, Basketball player

7
1,280 1,644
Tim Tebow is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Athlete, American football player

8
827 1,205
Tiger Woods is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Writer, Athlete, Golfer

9
804 1,139
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
American football player, Spokesperson

10
685 1,061
Pete Rose is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Baseball player

11
647 1,076
Lance Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Athlete, Professional Road Racing Cyclist

12
816 1,050
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
darren-bell added Footballer, Football player, Manager

13
684 918
Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Actor, Athlete, Film Producer

14
696 925
Muhammad Ali is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Philanthropist, Professional Boxer, Social activist

15
489 811
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Actor, Athlete, Baseball player

16
555 784
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Actor, Athlete, Professional Boxer

17
351 771
Ray Lewis is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
slantsix added Athlete, American football player

18
357 794
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Pete Price added Actor, Athlete, Film Producer

19
324 705
Richard Sherman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
American football player

20
345 697
Alex Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Actor, Athlete, Baseball player

21
269 536
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Actor, Athlete, American football player

22
308 456
Colin Kaepernick is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Dave_7672 added American football player

23
249 547
Tony Romo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Athlete, American football player

24
244 551
Ndamukong Suh is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
American football player

25
205 448
Cam Newton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
terry-collins added Athlete, American football player

26
233 503
Randy Moss is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
PepDekker added Athlete, American football player

27
235 515
Mark McGwire is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Coach, Baseball player

28
205 419
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Athlete, American football player

29
189 379
Ronda Rousey is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
DavidTeasdale added Actor, Mixed Martial Artist

30
218 408
Dennis Rodman is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Actor, Athlete, Basketball player

31
234 457
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Pete Price added Baseball player

32
189 367
Johnny Manziel is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
terry-collins added American football player

33
175 410
Chad Ochocinco is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
PepDekker added Athlete, American football player

34
167 319
Bill Belichick is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
tconnfurn added American football player, Football Coach, American Football coach

35
211 347
Charles Barkley is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Actor, Athlete, Announcer

36
149 391
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Baseball player

37
139 260
Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
slaft added Actor, Film Producer, Television producer

38
115 257
Caitlyn Jenner is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
slaft added Actor, Athlete, Sports commentator

39
168 321
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Actor, Tennis player, Commentator

40
99 308
Sammy Sosa is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Pete Price added Baseball player

41
92 257
Metta World Peace is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
wiabux added Actor, Basketball player, Rapper

42
108 242
Adrian Peterson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
surag added Athlete, American football player

43
146 297
Serena Williams is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Fashion Designer, Fashion designer, Writer

44
103 237
Joe Montana is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Coach, American football player

45
126 248
Hope Solo is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Footballer, Football player

46
91 221
Dwight Howard is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Actor, Basketball player

47
134 262
Paul Pierce is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Basketball player

48
84 220
Sidney Crosby is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Athlete, Ice Hockey Player, Ice hockey player

49
96 198
Aaron Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Athlete, American football player

50
70 190
Luis Suárez is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
broncubspurs added Footballer, Football player