Controversial Athletes Who Made Awkward Returns To Public Life

Darren - February 27, 2023

Controversial Athletes Who Made Awkward Returns To Public Life

Darren - February 27, 2023

Bleacher Report

Brett Favre

Favre is a legendary Green Bay quarterback and won a Super Bowl with the franchise. However, the gunslinger had some problems away from the field. He didn’t achieve much during his late career with the New York Jets. But one notorious incident made waves when he allegedly sent pictures of his manhood to a Jets employee, Jenn Sterger.


He allegedly harassed her online and wouldn’t take no for answer. In the end, an investigation fell apart because the tribunal couldn’t determine if the pictures were of his body. Nonetheless, they fined him because he didn’t cooperate with them. Favre also ripped off the people of Mississippi but people still like him for some reason (via Daily Beast).

New York Times

Brittney Griner

Griner spent 10 months in a Russian jail cell after they convicted her of smuggling drugs. The reality was that she had cannabis oil for personal use. Russia saw an opportunity to turn her into a political pawn. Eventually, the U.S. government traded her for some Russian prisoners and she returned to her homeland.

ABC 15

However, it’s easy to forget that she wasn’t always a sympathetic figure. Griner infamously had a physical fight with her pregnant fiancee in public. Police intervened and it damaged her reputation. Meanwhile, the unhappy couple married but divorced very quickly as they infuriated everybody (via SBS).


Jon Jones

Many UFC fans regard Jones as the greatest fighter in history because of his incredible skills. However, the youngest champion in history has many demons and can’t avoid scandals. He infamously failed multiple drug tests but that’s not the main reason why he’s on this list. His worst moment came in 2015 when he had a notorious hit-and-run incident.


The intoxicated UFC fighter crashed his vehicle into another with a pregnant driver. Jones fled the scene as he tried to avoid the consequences of his actions. In the end, the UFC took the rare step of stripping him of his title. Jones also received 18 months of probation. But he returned and now many people have forgotten about this awful story (via New York Post).


Ray Lewis

Lewis is arguably the greatest linebacker ever and that’s why people are prepared to overlook his private life. We’re talking about how he obstructed a murder investigation that saw a man die in his limousine. Meanwhile, Lewis discarded his clothes from the incident but could afford very expensive lawyers.

Bleacher Report

Now Lewis refuses to answer questions on it because he’s too busy maintaining a wholesome image. He doesn’t like when reporters mention brutal stabbings when he’s on Dancing With The Stars. Somehow he is carving out a lucrative existence in mainstream life while his friends that night are in jail (via USA Today Sports).

Elite Sports N.Y.

Jason Kidd

Kidd was one of the NBA’s best players during his career and became a respected coach. Most basketball fans respected him because they recognized his elite leadership skills. But he had a dark secret because he treated his wife, Joumana, horribly. He allegedly even punched her in the stomach when she was pregnant.


Nobody likes a woman-beater but somehow Kidd escaped without criticism. It’s bizarre that he managed to float through accusations and convictions. Some people can avoid these incidents staining their careers. It’s a shame for the victims because they feel that nobody cares (via Grunge).


Ben Roethlisberger

‘Big Ben’ was one of the best and most successful quarterbacks of his era. However, there’s no pretending that the longtime Steelers star was a good human being. He treated women in the worst possible way and this turned many people away from him. However, he continued to exist in mainstream life with impunity.

Sporting News

Roethlisberger allegedly lured one hotel worker to his room to ‘fix his TV.’ Another woman claimed that he raped her in a nightclub after waiting for her with his manhood out. However, police failed to convict him because of a lack of evidence. We’re not saying it’s true but where there’s smoke there’s a fire (via The Guardian).


Kobe Bryant

Few athletes successfully rehabilitated their image with Bryant’s success. The former Lakers icon enjoyed a glorious career but there was one serious shadow. We’re talking about his 2003 sexual assault case where Bryant apologized to his victim but denied assault. His publicist deserved a major pay rise because that’s some incredible damage control.


Somehow Bryant managed to push this to one side and rebuild his image as a family man. When he died in 2020, people talked about how he was a good father and husband. But he admitted that he cheated on his wife at the very least. Reportedly he engaged in a far more repulsive act but he continued to enjoy mainstream life (via Daily Beast).


Conor McGregor

Sports scientists once marveled at McGregor’s incredible physical gifts. They should check if he shares any genes with cockroaches because he keeps coming back. The former UFC champion became the sport’s first true mainstream superstar. But he also made waves because of his antics outside of the cage (via NBC News).

Fox News

McGregor infamously punched an older man in a bar because he didn’t want to drink his whiskey. He faced multiple sexual assault allegations and treats driving laws with contempt. The Irishman infamously stormed Brooklyn’s Barclay Center and damaged property. But the UFC keeps bringing him back to mainstream life because he is a major cash cow.

Sporting News

Peyton Manning

Manning was one of the greatest quarterbacks to step onto a football field. He won two Super Bowls and was a five-time NFL MVP during his time with the Colts. Most people may find it surprising that he’s on this list because he avoided controversy throughout his career. But they don’t know about one disgusting incident during his college days (via Bleacher Report).

New York Times

In 1996, Manning allegedly sexually assaulted a young woman when he brandished his penis in front of her. This came after the female doctor examined his foot for a stress fracture. According to the woman, he forced his body parts in her face and she later attended a rape crisis center. However, Manning denied these claims and the University of Tennessee stayed silent.

Sky Sports

Tyreek Hill

Hill was one of the Chiefs’ most exciting and popular players before he left for Miami in 2022. The Super Bowl winner evolved into one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. He also forged a great relationship with Patrick Mahomes but he has a dark side. Hill is no stranger to controversy and that’s why some people don’t like him.

Larry Brown Sports

First, there was an infamous domestic violence case during his college days. He notoriously punched his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach in a vile act. Oklahoma State kicked him off the team before he joined West Alabama. Hill also allegedly hurt his son in a high-profile NFL scandal in 2018. However, he continues to live a shameless mainstream life (via Sporting News).


Floyd Mayweather

Arguably the greatest defensive boxer of all time, Mayweather enjoyed an incredible career. He went 50-0 before his retirement as he forged an amazing unbeaten record. However, there’s no denying that he is a controversial and problematic person. Mayweather even served time in jail for domestic violence.

Bleacher Report

In the end, money talks, and Mayweather has more of it than any athlete ever. Fans continued to flock to his fights despite his sordid history. Meanwhile, boxing promoters didn’t care because he made them very rich. Unfortunately, the boxing world is corrupt and doesn’t care about right or wrong (via Fox Sports).


Dana White

The UFC President is one of the most polarizing figures in the world of sports. He is one of the most ruthless money-grabbers in the business but that also explains his success. However, he made negative headlines in 2022 after he slapped his wife in a casino. She hit him first but White instantly responded in kind (via MMA Fighting).


White infamously said in 2014 about Ray Rice that no man bounces back from hitting a woman. But the UFC President was leading conferences the following week. He also promoted his slap-fighting tournament which was a glorified way of receiving CTE. White said that he had to live with his actions but has no remorse about staying in mainstream life.


Karl Malone

Bomani Jones made waves in 2023 when he reminded the world about Malone’s dark past. This topic arose because the NBA invited Malone to attend the All-Star weekend. Malone infamously impregnated a 13-year-old girl when he was in college. But somehow he shook this off and enjoyed a long basketball career (via The Sportsrush).


Malone never faced any consequences for this vile act. He also notoriously refused to recognize his biological child until he was 17. This says a lot about the type of man that Malone is. However, he drives his semi-truck around so people think he’s a good guy. But the opposite is true because he doesn’t belong in mainstream life.