From Debauchery To Federal Crimes: Outrageous Tales Of Bad Behavior From History's Greatest Athletes

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Vote up the most outrageous tales of athletic bad behavior.

Professional athletes are placed on literal and figurative pedestals as heroes of pop culture. Their faces are plastered across news sites, sports pages, and gossip magazines, even when an athlete prefers to stay out of the limelight. Because of this overexposure, sports consumers may feel as though they truly know their favorite basketball, baseball, or football players – after all, their lives are on constantly on display and on-demand. When a celebrity athlete commits a crime, suffers a mental break, or displays some other type of unexpected behavior, fans may feel shocked or even betrayed – the rich and famous are suddenly not as immune to human error as the public once thought. 

Thanks to their fame, any instances of unusual or criminal behavior on the part of a celebrity athlete will undoubtedly be covered by countless media outlets. This coverage, whether positive or negative, will undeniably have an impact on the athlete's reputation and career, sometimes permanently. Historically, there have been plenty of athletes who have gained unwanted – or at least unexpected – attention for their behavior, and while many emerge to continue their careers unscathed, others are surely haunted by the effects of their actions indefinitely. Some notable cases of celebrity athlete debauchery are listed below in a taste of how fame can turn into misfortune.