athletes Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments  

The Round Mound
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38.8k votes 5.4k voters 69.1k 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
1,469 732
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
1,005 607
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
1,160 735
Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
ravi2 added Michael Jordan Actor, Athlete, Entrepreneur

4
1,019 498
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
890 605
Kobe Bryant is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Kobe Bryant Athlete, Basketball player

6
724 480
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
darren-bell added Diego Maradona Footballer, Football player, Manager

7
1,182 1,061
Tim Tebow is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tim Tebow Athlete, American football player

8
688 546
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Michael Vick American football player, Spokesperson

9
707 633
Tiger Woods is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tiger Woods Writer, Athlete, Golfer

10
585 551
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
622 539
Pete Rose is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Pete Rose Baseball player

12
582 427
Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Mike Tyson Actor, Athlete, Film Producer

13
478 295
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
605 444
Muhammad Ali is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Muhammad Ali Philanthropist, Professional Boxer, Social activist

Famous Long-Term Couples Who Never Married

15
209 68
Colin Kaepernick is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Dave_7672 added Colin Kaepernick American football player

16
475 307
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Floyd Mayweather Jr. Actor, Athlete, Professional Boxer

17
435 335
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Barry Bonds Actor, Athlete, Baseball player

18
311 291
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
304 259
Alex Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Alex Rodriguez Actor, Athlete, Baseball player

20
292 265
Richard Sherman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Richard Sherman American football player

21
177 140
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
229 223
Tony Romo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Tony Romo Athlete, American football player

23
329 342
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
234 209
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
161 101
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
230 230
Ndamukong Suh is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Ndamukong Suh American football player

27
218 200
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
184 176
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
170 142
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
198 164
Dennis Rodman is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Dennis Rodman Actor, Athlete, Basketball player

31
148 102
Bill Belichick is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
tconnfurn added Bill Belichick American football player, Football Coach, American Football coach

32
222 230
Mark McGwire is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Mark McGwire Coach, Baseball player

33
195 144
Charles Barkley is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Charles Barkley Actor, Athlete, Announcer

34
118 83
Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
slaft added Shaquille O'Neal Actor, Film Producer, Television producer

35
224 241
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

How to Get a Girl to Like You

36
168 193
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
99 84
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
76 48
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
97 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 67
Dwight Howard is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Dwight Howard Actor, Basketball player

41
83 98
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
88 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 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Teams

43
143 180
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Ty Cobb Baseball player

44
86 86
Joe Montana is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Joe Montana Coach, American football player

45
68 50
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
ryanjjjj8 added Bill Russell Actor, Coach, Basketball player

46
80 67
Aaron Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Aaron Rodgers Athlete, American football player

47
161 164
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
John McEnroe Actor, Tennis player, Commentator

48
79 86
Roger Clemens is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Roger Clemens Actor, Athlete, Baseball player

49
114 114
Hope Solo is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
Hope Solo Footballer, Football player

50
72 78
Emmitt Smith is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Athletes Who Spark the Most Fan Arguments
skypir876 added Emmitt Smith Athlete, American football player