Controversial The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History  

Ranker Sports
Originally by
12.5k votes 1.4k voters 26.9k 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
600 97
O. J. Simpson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 72
2
428 164
Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 53
3
395 155
Lance Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
4
293 107
Aaron Hernandez is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
ConnorRichardson added age 30
5
291 143
Michael Vick is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 39
6
280 124
Tonya Harding is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
james-bourne added age 49
7
300 167
Dennis Rodman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 58
8
255 138
Barry Bonds is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 55
9
193 73
Colin Kaepernick is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
10
258 139
Caitlyn Jenner is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
sageantone added age 70
11
262 170
Tiger Woods is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 44
12
188 99
Ray Rice is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
ConnorRichardson added age 32
13
162 99
Johnny Manziel is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
Bellwoodbomb611 added age 27
14
206 147
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
15
151 107
Ray Lewis is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
ConnorRichardson added age 44
16
198 116
Pete Rose is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 78
17
183 121
Alex Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
18
128 76
Terrell Owens is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
age 46
19
106 84
Ben Johnson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
james-bourne added age 58
20
167 145
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
133 109
Kobe Bryant is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History
ConnorRichardson added age 41