Controversial The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History  

Ranker Sports
Originally by
12.6k votes 1.4k voters 27k views 61 items

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
602 97
O. J. Simpson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 72
2
430 164
Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 53
3
395 156
Lance Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
4
294 107
Aaron Hernandez is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
ConnorRichardson added age 30
5
292 143
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 39
6
280 125
Tonya Harding is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
james-bourne added age 49
7
301 167
Dennis Rodman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 58
8
194 73
Colin Kaepernick is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
9
255 139
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 55
10
259 139
Caitlyn Jenner is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
sageantone added age 70
11
262 171
Tiger Woods is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 44
12
189 99
Ray Rice is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
ConnorRichardson added age 32
13
163 99
Johnny Manziel is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Bellwoodbomb611 added age 27
14
206 148
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
15
151 108
Ray Lewis is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
ConnorRichardson added age 44
16
198 117
Pete Rose is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 78
17
183 122
Alex Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
18
128 77
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 46
19
106 85
Ben Johnson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
james-bourne added age 58
20
167 146
Muhammad Ali is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
james-bourne added age 77
21
110 75
Mark McGwire is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 56
22
114 99
Luis Suárez is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
james-bourne added age 32
23
106 65
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 60
24
100 70
Jose Canseco is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
RobLein added age 55
25
100 76
Hope Solo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
ConnorRichardson added age 38