controversial The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History  

Ranker Sports
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List Rules Athletes in any sport that have been embroiled in controversy - domestic disputes, sex scandals, cheating accusations, anything really

Sports stars are one part celebrity, one part athlete. Like so many celebrities, some sports stars are prone to scandal. These sports stars are were involved some of the biggest controversies of all time, and many remain controversial figures to this day despite being retired.

O.J Simpson is perhaps the biggest controversial athlete of all time, for "not killing his ex-wife" in 1994. Remember when one of the best NBA players of all time, LeBron James, took his talents to South Beach? That was definitely a case of a sports star who caused controversy. And then, of course, there's Anna Kournikova, who has caused controversy simply for being beautiful.

Which athletes do you think are the most controversial of all time? What is your definition of controversy? Is it off-the-field antics like the domestic drama surrounding Tiger Woods, or is it on-the-court antics like John McEnroe's famous profane meltdowns?

Which is worse, steroids or biting off someone's ear? The choice is yours! Vote up the stars who've caused the most controversy and if we missed any scandalous athletes, add them to the controversial sport stars list!
list ordered by

1
371 61
O. J. Simpson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
O. J. Simpson age 71

2
276 91
Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Mike Tyson age 52

3
245 90
Lance Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

4
169 53
Aaron Hernandez is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
ConnorRichardson added Aaron Hernandez age 29

5
179 88
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Michael Vick age 38

6
207 103
Dennis Rodman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Dennis Rodman age 57

7
172 91
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Barry Bonds age 54

8
178 105
Tiger Woods is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Tiger Woods age 43

9
155 85
Tonya Harding is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
james-bourne added Tonya Harding age 48

10
108 51
Ray Rice is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
ConnorRichardson added Ray Rice age 31

11
138 98
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

12
141 93
Caitlyn Jenner is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
sageantone added Caitlyn Jenner age 69

13
139 87
Alex Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

14
86 51
Johnny Manziel is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Bellwoodbomb611 added Johnny Manziel age 26

The Top 10 Best Groin Shots in Sports

15
57 22
Colin Kaepernick is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

16
137 84
Pete Rose is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Pete Rose age 77

17
91 66
Ray Lewis is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
ConnorRichardson added Ray Lewis age 43

18
87 65
Luis Suárez is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
james-bourne added Luis Suárez age 31

19
81 56
Mark McGwire is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Mark McGwire age 55

20
69 56
Ben Johnson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
james-bourne added Ben Johnson age 57

21
72 49
Jose Canseco is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
RobLein added Jose Canseco age 54

The Best EDM YouTube Channels

22
93 68
Kobe Bryant is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
ConnorRichardson added Kobe Bryant age 40

23
107 96
Muhammad Ali is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
james-bourne added Muhammad Ali age 76

24
61 46
Lawrence Taylor is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
james-bourne added Lawrence Taylor age 59

25
77 53
Sammy Sosa is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Sammy Sosa age 50

26
72 50
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
John McEnroe age 59

27
76 54
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Terrell Owens age 45

28
70 54
Hope Solo is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
ConnorRichardson added Hope Solo age 37

The Greatest Out of Shape Athletes in Sports

29
58 39
John Rocker is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
John Rocker age 44

30
58 45
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Anthony Hawkins added Tom Brady age 41

31
69 62
Shoeless Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Shoeless Joe Jackson Died at 64 (1887-1951)

32
12 7
Darren Sharper is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

33
54 48
Ty Cobb is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Ty Cobb Died at 75 (1886-1961)

34
51 45
Plaxico Burress is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

35
59 55
Allen Iverson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Allen Iverson age 43

37 Celebrities Who Played High School Basketball

36
30 24
Patrick Kane is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
doro-the-exploro-gaming added Patrick Kane age 30

37
43 43
Sonny Liston is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
james-bourne added Sonny Liston Died at 38 (1932-1970)

38
51 48
Isiah Thomas is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Isiah Thomas age 57

39
54 39
Manny Ramírez is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

40
85 86
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
LeBron James age 34

41
16 14
Jerrod Mustaf is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Anna Paolinelli added Jerrod Mustaf age 49

42
24 18
Paolo Di Canio is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Mollevangsvagen added Paolo Di Canio age 50

The Best Sports Movies

43
38 39
Zola Budd is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
james-bourne added Zola Budd age 52

44
40 42
Floyd Landis is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Floyd Landis age 43

45
20 16
Paul Gascoigne is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
MaikPauli added Paul Gascoigne age 51

46
20 17
Alberto Contador is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Fletcher Edge added Alberto Contador age 36

47
16 13
Tyson Fury is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Mollevangsvagen added Tyson Fury age 30

48
100 122
Diego Maradona is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

49
43 49
Anna Kournikova is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

50
30 34
Gerald McClellan is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
darren-bell added Gerald McClellan age 51