Sports

30 Star Athletes Who Ruined Once-Pristine Reputations

Darren - May 25, 2021
Sports

30 Star Athletes Who Ruined Once-Pristine Reputations

Darren - May 25, 2021
Mandatory Credit: BBC

8. Oscar Pistorius

Pistorius won the goodwill and respect of the world when he won a silver medal against able-bodied opponents in the athletics world championships. The South African was a serial winner in the Paralympics. He became a recognizable face and even competed against able-bodied athletes in the Olympic Games in London. The world was at his feet but he ruined everything with one fatal decision.

Mandatory Credit: Sky News

In 2013, he shot his wife Reena Steenkamp to death when she was in the bathroom of their home. Pistorius claimed that he thought that she was an intruder but a court found him guilty of murder. It was the ultimate fall from grace because he was a superstar and a role model. But he tarnished everything he had achieved by becoming a cold-blooded killer throughout the shocking story.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

7. Wayne Rooney

Rooney broke onto the scene with Everton as one of the most exciting young attackers in soccer. As a 16-year-old, he scored a famous goal against Arsenal. In the eyes of many fans, he was a captivating talent. In 2004, he admitted he had solicited prostitutes, including a 46-year-old grandmother. Meanwhile, he was dating his future wife, Coleen, throughout this time period.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

But Rooney didn’t learn his lesson. In 2010, during his wife’s pregnancy, a pair of reality TV stars revealed that he had a threesome with them. It was a scandalous story at the time because it was just so grubby. For some reason, the soccer star’s marriage survived. All the same, it ruined his reputation as a reformed character. Rooney still maintained his soccer career because fans don’t care about that kind of thing.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

6. Lance Armstrong

Armstrong was cycling’s first megastar. The seven-time Tour De France champion put the sport on the map but he also made it notorious. Nowadays, the sport’s reputation is as tainted as athletics and baseball. That’s because the likes of Armstrong ruined everything. It could have been very different for him. After all, he even won the good will of fans when he returned from a battle with cancer to win the famous race again.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Then, a federal investigation revealed that he was a serial cheater. Armstrong destroyed his own reputation because he was a PED user and bullied his teammates into using banned substances too. He ruined his earning power because he lost $15o million worth of sponsors in a single day. World Cycling banned him for life and stripped him of his previous wins. This also destroyed his legacy in addition to his credibility.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

5. Kareem Hunt

The Kansas City Chiefs picked Hunt up in the third round of the 2017 draft. He was an under-the-radar selection after playing for the University of Toledo. However, Hunt found himself as a regular starter throughout his rookie year because of injuries to Spencer Ware. The pressure didn’t overwhelm him and he performed beyond expectations. Hunt earned himself a place in the Pro Bowl.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

After this stunning season, it seemed like the only way was up for the running back. Then, he ruined everything. A video emerged of Hunt kicking lumps out of a woman in a hotel. As a result, the Chiefs released him because he also lied to them about the situation. But the Cleveland Browns offered him a second chance. Only time will tell if he uses it wisely.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

4. DeShaun Watson

Watson established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL despite playing for the ailing Houston Texans. Finally, at the end of the 2020 season, he announced that he wanted a trade. This was because Watson lost patience with the front office after they allowed some of his best teammates to leave. He wanted to move to a team with the potential to win a Super Bowl in the future.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Almost immediately, a scandal erupted as over 20 women made allegations against him. They unanimously said that he behaved inappropriately in massage parlors and forced some of them to commit lewd acts upon him. At first, the timing seemed convenient but the more women that spoke out, the more serious it became. It ruined Watson’s hopes of a move to another franchise as well as his reputation.

Mandatory Credit: Golf Channel

3. Tiger Woods

Woods was one of the most recognizable and marketable athletes on the planet before his incredible sex scandal erupted. The golfer enjoyed a stellar career and maintained a pristine image. The likes of Nike and Gillette used him as brand ambassadors while he was the face of an EA Sports videogame franchise. But he lost it all when the news broke of his incredible cheating exploits with dozens of women.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

In short, Woods was a sex addict and slept with an incredible number of women. These included porn stars as well as barmaids and waitstaff. In the end, he went to rehab, and his Swedish supermodel wife Elin Nordegren left him. The golf legend effectively disappeared for a few years because of personal issues and injuries. Finally, he bounced back to win the Masters in 2019.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

1. Kobe Bryant

Bryant was the LA Laker’s golden boy in the early 2000s. He didn’t put a foot wrong as he blossomed as one of the most exciting players in the NBA. Then, in 2003, a woman accused him of raping her in a hotel room. This story ruined his clean-cut reputation and put him in serious legal trouble. Things became worse when he admitted that he had slept with her in the hotel.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Basically, he admitted that he cheated on his own girlfriend. However, he avoided a criminal conviction because the alleged victim failed to testify against him. They settled out of court and Bryant apologized for his behavior in their encounter. Many sponsors dropped him but picked him back up again. Meanwhile, this was before the dawn of social media so nobody canceled him. It ruined his nice-guy image but not his career.

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