Athletes Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments  

The Round Mound
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47.5k votes 6.4k voters 72.7k views 135 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.

1
1,871 946
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
1,471 896
Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
ravi2 added Michael Jordan Actor, Athlete, Entrepreneur

3
1,235 806
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
RebeccaStroud added Tom Brady American football player

4
1,391 660
Lionel Messi is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
maxcool724 added Lionel Messi Footballer, Football player

5
1,091 729
Kobe Bryant is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Kobe Bryant Athlete, Basketball player

6
809 762
Tiger Woods is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tiger Woods Writer, Athlete, Golfer

7
1,260 1,196
Tim Tebow is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tim Tebow Athlete, American football player

8
784 698
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Michael Vick American football player, Spokesperson

9
690 337
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
wiabux added Cristiano Ronaldo Footballer, Football player, Fashion entrepreneur

10
810 613
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
darren-bell added Diego Maradona Footballer, Football player, Manager

11
670 623
Pete Rose is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Pete Rose Baseball player

12
635 639
Lance Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Lance Armstrong Athlete, Professional Road Racing Cyclist

13
668 500
Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Mike Tyson Actor, Athlete, Film Producer

14
684 506
Muhammad Ali is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Muhammad Ali Philanthropist, Professional Boxer, Social activist

Athletes with the Most Annoying Fans

15
542 370
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
475 396
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Barry Bonds Actor, Athlete, Baseball player

17
292 142
Colin Kaepernick is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Dave_7672 added Colin Kaepernick American football player

18
342 355
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
341 318
Alex Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Alex Rodriguez Actor, Athlete, Baseball player

20
317 325
Richard Sherman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Richard Sherman American football player

21
350 401
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Pete Price added Manny Pacquiáo Actor, Athlete, Film Producer

The Best Strategy Games of All Time, Ranked

22
262 259
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Terrell Owens Actor, Athlete, American football player

23
244 271
Tony Romo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tony Romo Athlete, American football player

24
201 189
Cam Newton is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
terry-collins added Cam Newton Athlete, American football player

25
185 149
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
238 277
Ndamukong Suh is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Ndamukong Suh American football player

27
226 248
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
215 206
Dennis Rodman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Dennis Rodman Actor, Athlete, Basketball player

Baseball Teams With The Most Annoying Fans

29
184 189
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
233 272
Mark McGwire is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Mark McGwire Coach, Baseball player

31
199 220
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Peyton Manning Athlete, American football player

32
162 142
Bill Belichick is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
tconnfurn added Bill Belichick American football player, Football Coach, American Football coach

33
233 280
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Pete Price added Shoeless Joe Jackson Baseball player

34
173 232
Chad Ochocinco is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
PepDekker added Chad Ochocinco Athlete, American football player

35
137 123
Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
slaft added Shaquille O'Neal Actor, Film Producer, Television producer

The Weirdest Sports from Around the World

36
208 181
Charles Barkley is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Charles Barkley Actor, Athlete, Announcer

37
111 131
Caitlyn Jenner is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
slaft added Caitlyn Jenner Actor, Athlete, Sports commentator

38
148 216
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Ty Cobb Baseball player

39
105 123
Adrian Peterson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
surag added Adrian Peterson Athlete, American football player

40
89 105
Dwight Howard is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Dwight Howard Actor, Basketball player

41
89 135
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
99 122
Joe Montana is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Joe Montana Coach, American football player

Cities With the Best Sports Fans

43
166 200
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
John McEnroe Actor, Tennis player, Commentator

44
85 84
Marshawn Lynch is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
terry-collins added Marshawn Lynch American football player

45
99 183
Sammy Sosa is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Pete Price added Sammy Sosa Baseball player

46
67 91
Luis Suárez is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
broncubspurs added Luis Suárez Footballer, Football player

47
92 102
Aaron Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Aaron Rodgers Athlete, American football player

48
123 146
Hope Solo is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Hope Solo Footballer, Football player

49
99 96
Wilt Chamberlain is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Wilt Chamberlain Actor, Coach, Screenwriter

50
143 187
Serena Williams is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Serena Williams Fashion Designer, Fashion designer, Writer