Lists

25 Star Athletes Who Were Forced To Apologize For Foolish Words

Darren - June 10, 2020
Lists

25 Star Athletes Who Were Forced To Apologize For Foolish Words

Darren - June 10, 2020
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

16. Jon Jones

Jones has been in several controversial incidents, so he isn’t a stranger to controversy. However, in 2015, he injured a pregnant woman in a hit-and-run. As a result, the UFC stripped him of his light-heavyweight title and suspended him. It was a shameful moment for a man considered by many to be the GOAT of MMA.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

“My actions have caused pain and inconvenience in the lives of others and for that, I am truly sorry and I accept full responsibility,” said Jones. “I have been working hard during this time away from my sport to grow and mature as a man and to ensure that nothing like this happens again.”

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

15. Dwayne Wade

The World Trade Center terrorist attack changed the entire landscape of the United States. Joking about it just doesn’t go down well but no one informed Wade. In 2010, the Miami Heat guard made some tasteless comments comparing their collapse to that of the 2001 tragedy. Bad idea.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

“I was simply trying to say that losing a few basketball games should not be compared to a real catastrophe,” explained Wade. “While it was certainly not my intention, I sincerely apologize to anyone who found my reference to the World Trade Center to be insensitive or offensive.”

Mandatory Credit: BBC

14. Oscar Pistorius

Pistorius was once the most famous Paralympic athlete in the world, but his world descended into chaos. He shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp while she was in the bathroom of their home. He’s currently serving a 13-year prison sentence. However, in court, he took the unusual step of apologizing to her family.

Mandatory Credit: Sky News

“I’d like to apologize and say that there’s not a moment and there hasn’t been a moment since this tragedy happened that I haven’t thought about your family,” he told Reeva’s mother. “I wake up every morning and you’re the first people I think of, the first people I pray for.”

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

13. Wayne Rooney

In 2004, Rooney was England’s golden boy. The then-18-year-old looked like a potential world-beater. But then police found him asleep in a brothel. Rooney reportedly had sex with a 48-year-old grandmother in a rubber catsuit and a mother-of-six dressed as a cowgirl. Later, he did apologize.

Mandatory Credit: TalkSport

‘Foolish as it now seems, I did on occasions visit massage parlors and prostitutes,” said Rooney. “It was at a time when I was very young and immature and before I had settled down with Coleen. I now regret it deeply and hope people may understand it was the sort of mistake you make when you are young and stupid.’

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

12. Chipper Jones

Former Atlanta Braves star Jones has courted controversy on multiple occasions. One of the worst came about in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. It was a terrible tragedy but Jones decided to leap on board the conspiracy train and questioned if it was a hoax on Twitter.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

He did apologize but it was already too late because people were furious. He tweeted: “My apologies for my Sandy Hook tweet yest. I had heard something from someone which I thought to be credible and tweeted w/out researching.” Not his best moment.

Mandatory Credit: Golf Channel

11. Sergio Garcia

In 2013, Spanish golfer Garcia had a tenuous relationship with Tiger Woods. Before the US Open, the Golf Channel asked him if he would have Woods over for dinner. Garcia promise to have him over every night and to serve his rival ‘fried chicken.’ Obviously this went down like a hot dog at a vegan festival.

Mandatory Credit: Golf Channel

“I apologize for any offense that may have been caused by my comment on stage during The European Tour Players’ Awards dinner,” Garcia later apologized. “I answered a question that was clearly made towards me as a joke with a silly remark, but in no way was the comment meant in a racist manner.”

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

10. Kyle Larson

There are certain words you just should not say as Larson found out the hard way. The NASCAR driver used a racial slur during an iRacing event but didn’t realize his microphone was on. In short, NASCAR suspended him for his idiocy. Later he apologized, but it was too late.

Mandatory Credit: Motorsport.com

“Last night I made a mistake and said the word that should never, ever be said and there’s no excuse for that,” Larson said in a video posted to Twitter. “I understand the damage is probably irreparable and I own up to that.” Overall, it was as dumb as it was disgraceful.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

9. Grady Sizemore

You’ve got to feel for Sizemore because he didn’t really do anything wrong. The Cleveland Indians’ centerfielder sent some very revealing photographs to his former Playboy bunny girlfriend. However, a hacker managed to access them and leaked them to the masses.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

“This is a situation where it’s a private matter and personal photos were stolen illegally,” Sizemore explained to the media in 2010. “I’ve always tried to represent myself and the Cleveland organization as best as possible, and to put everybody through this is a terrible feeling, and I apologize to everybody.”

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

8. Michael Phelps

The most successful Olympian of all-time, Phelps divided his fans in 2009 when photographs emerged of him smoking from a bong. While a lot of people simply don’t care, it did affect his sponsorships as Kelloggs withdrew their partnership with him. Furthermore, the US Olympic Committee suspended him.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

“I think it’s hard to really be ready for any of this,” Phelps told WBAL-TV. “But I’ve been able to talk to a lot of people, a lot of people who have been in my shoes in other sports, and I’ve been able to get their perspective and just talk to them a little bit. That’s been helpful the last couple of days.”

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

7. TJ Dillashaw

Former UFC bantamweight champion Dillashaw stunned the MMA world after testing positive for EPO. It was a massive fall from grace for the fighter because the USADA suspended him for two years. Combat sports athletes see the use of EPO as an unforgivable sin because it gives clear cardio improvements.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

In short, Dillashaw was left with no choice but to apologize. “I messed up,” Dillashaw said in a lengthy statement. “I’m having a hard time trying to forgive myself for this, which I should have a hard time. I should have a hard time forgiving myself. … I understand the criticism and the scrutiny coming my way.”

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

6. Kobe Bryant

History has been very kind to Bryant but questions still remain about the NBA star’s off-court conduct. The 2003 sexual assault case is a stain on his career because of the seriousness of the allegations. However, the case was suddenly dropped even though he was facing imprisonment.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Bryant made a tearful apology in court. He said: “Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did.” It’s definitely a dark period in his career but we’re unlikely to ever get the answers now.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

5. Michael Vick

In 2007, Vick had the most lucrative contract in NFL history. The Atlanta Falcons looked like a superstar but then scandal broke. First of all, the police arrested him for leading a dog-fighting ring. Then a court sentenced him to 11 months in prison. After his release, Vick knew he had to apologize to get back on the playing field.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

He told 60 Minutes: “The first day I walked into prison, and he slammed that door, I knew, you know, the magnitude of the decisions that I made, and the poor judgment, and what I, you know, allowed to happen to the animals. And, you know, it’s no way of, you know, explaining, you know, the hurt and the guilt that I felt.”

Alex Rodriguez
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

4. Alex Rodriguez

Baseball loves a good scandal but Rodriguez took it to the next level after the BALCO investigation exposed him. After lying for years, he finally went on ESPN to apologize and admit that he had taken steroids throughout his career. He said he did it because of the pressure on him to perform.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

His apology rocked the baseball world because the problems so endemic in the sport hadn’t gone away. “I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time,” Rodriguez said in his apology. “I did take a banned substance, and for that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful.”

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

3. Drew Brees

In the middle of the worst social upheaval in the US for decades, Brees inexplicably decided to explain why he doesn’t believe in kneeling during the national anthem. First of all, a lot of people agree with him, but the problem was the timing. Then fans slated his apology as self-serving. In sum, you just can’t win.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Brees said: “I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening…and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen. For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.”

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

2. Conor McGregor

McGregor is no stranger to controversy. He has spent nights in jail cells for his actions but went too far in 2019 when he punched an older man in a pub. Then it was all about damage control. ‘The Notorious’ went on ESPN to apologize in a blatant attempt to patch up his image.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

McGregor told Ariel Helwani: “In reality, it doesn’t matter what happened. I was in the wrong. That man deserved to enjoy his time in the pub without it ending the way it did. And although it was five months ago and I tried to make amends and I made amends back then, it’s still – that doesn’t even matter.”

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

1. Tiger Woods

After a traffic accident, it emerged that Woods had engaged in affairs with dozens of women. This rocked the world of sport because the legendary golfer had such a clean-cut image. While history has been kind to Woods, at the time, it was a major scandal and he had to apologize.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Woods spoke to a press conference of about 40 people, including his mother. His famous opening words were: “I was unfaithful, I had affairs, I cheated. For all that I have done, I am so sorry.” However, the damage to his marriage was irreparable. Meanwhile, he also spent time in rehab.

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