Darkest Deeds: These Elite Athletes Behaved Badly Off The Field

Darren - June 2, 2023

Darkest Deeds: These Elite Athletes Behaved Badly Off The Field

Darren - June 2, 2023

We idolize our favorite sports stars because they are so inspirational. Perhaps they helped our favorite teams win championships or represented their countries with pride. It’s easy to obsess over these elite athletes because they help us escape reality. But despite their excellence on the field, many top performers have behaved badly in real life.

So today we’ll look at different times when these sports stars let themselves down in regular life. There are some surprising inclusions on this list, including some very clean-cut figures. There’s everything from street fights to cheating spouses as these stars proved that they’re only human with some truly bad behavior. Check them out right here.


Brett Favre

Favre was one of the greatest quarterbacks of his era and many would say even of all time. However, the former NFL star is a polarizing figure today because of a welfare fund scam. Allegedly, Favre was involved in one of the biggest corruption scandals in Mississippi state history. Favre reportedly received payments for different projects from welfare money.


The gunslinger denied that he behaved badly and claims not to have any knowledge about it. There was also a new volleyball stadium at Favre’s alma mater where his daughter also plays the sport. Meanwhile, he has ties to a pharmaceutical company that’s also involved in the scandal (via CBS Sports).


Gervonta Davis

These days many people are calling Davis the face of boxing but some of the sport’s fans hate him. That’s because he constantly disgraces himself and behaved badly outside of the ring. Davis infamously had multiple domestic violence cases but his most dramatic scandal came in 2021. There, a court hit him with a staggering 14 charges after a hit-and-run incident.

Ryan Hafey

There’s no denying Davis’s talent but there’s also no denying he’s not a great human being. The Baltimore native received 90 days of home detention after a judge found him guilty. But it could have been much worse and some critics think he’ll be a repeat offender. Only time will tell if Davis can stabilize his life and be a force for good (via TMZ).

Bleacher Report

Zach Wilson

It seemed like everything was going well for Wilson after the Jets drafted him in 2020. The quarterback had a chance to become a superstar in the U.S.’s biggest market. Meanwhile, he had a beautiful model girlfriend, Abbey Gile, who supported the former Brigham Young QB’s rise. But it came crashing down because of Wilson’s immaturity and lack of self control.

Pro Football Network

Gile broke up with Wilson after she alleged that he slept with his mother’s best friend. He reportedly behaved badly off the field and this infuriated his young partner. She dumped him and move on to another NFL star in Washington’s Dax Milne. It’s safe to say that she has a type but Wilson was a moron to let her go (via New York Post).

Fox News

Manny Pacquiao

Most Westerners see Pacquiao as one of the greatest boxers of the 21st century. The Filipino icon is the only eight-division champion in the sport’s history and had some amazing matches. Meanwhile, he won praise for his rise from humble origins and his mellow personality. But there’s a dark side to Pacquiao who also works as a senator in his native Philippines.

The New Yorker

Pacquiao infamously loathes the LGBTQ+ community and referred to them as ‘worse than farm animals.’ Some people defended him because of his strong religious faith and his background. But others refused to accept this excuse and said that he should know better because it’s the 21st century (via The Guardian).

Sky Sports

Tyreek Hill

These days, many celebrate Hill as one of the most dynamic and exciting wideouts in the NFL. The Dolphins star won a Super Bowl ring in Kansas City and has a charismatic personality. That’s why it’s easy to forget that he behaved badly off the field. But one woman will always remember the horrific way that he treated her.

The Spun

Hill choked his pregnant girlfriend and punched her in the stomach during an argument in 2014. OSU dismissed him from their program and he played community college football before joining West Alabama. He dropped to the fifth round of the NFL Draft despite his obvious talent. Meanwhile, he had another scandal for child abuse after allegedly beating his son (via Sporting News).


LeBron James

James is the greatest NBA player since Michael Jordan but not everybody likes him. Every famous and successful athlete has haters so there’s nothing unusual about that. Some folks also despise him because of his social justice work and the quest for civil rights. This is wrong because these are good causes but some people make a good point.

Sky Sports

They say that he’s a hypocrite because he doesn’t whisper a word about human rights abuses in China. That’s because the Middle Kingdom is a massive source of income and doesn’t affect him in his everyday life. It’s fair to criticize him for this because it’s a double standard and he is putting dollars above people’s lives (via New York Post).


Khabib Nurmagomedov

Khabib was one of the most dominant UFC fighters ever thanks in large to his ruthless wrestling base. He also won fans because of his noble persona and his loyalty to his family. The Dagestan native retired from the sport after he promised his mother that he would quit. Then he walked away in the prime of his career (via Mirror).

France Info

But Khabib also has a dark side because of his association with brutal dictators. He infamously met Vladimir Putin and Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov multiple times. Furthermore, he spoke out against women competing in MMA. He is also infamously homophobic so he may not be the nice person that everybody thinks.


Kobe Bryant

Bryant became one of the NBA’s best players during his time in L.A. He emerged from Shaquille O’Neal’s gigantic shadow to lead the franchise into the future. It’s amazing how almost everybody loved the ‘Black Mamba’ especially when we remember his scandal in 2004. A woman accused him of raping her in a hotel room and rocked the world.


In the end, Bryant settled the case and acknowledged that he caused the woman emotional distress. He admitted that he behaved badly by cheating on his wife but refused to admit the sexual assault. However, his publicists deserve a lot of credit because they did a brilliant job of rehabilitating his image (via ABC).

Sky Sports

Carl Frampton

Frampton became one of the most popular British boxers of his era. ‘The Jackal’ was a two-weight world champion and had many entertaining battles. The Northern Irishman also won praise because he spoke about male mental health issues and depression. But he was also controversial because of his association with MTK Global.

Premier Boxing Champions

MTK Global was a combat sports promotion that managed many boxers and MMA fighters. However, the brainchild of the project was the notorious Irish gangster Daniel Kinahan. Frampton abandoned his previous trainer Shane McGuigan because MTK promised to take a smaller cut. Meanwhile, Kinahan continues to ruin many lives across the world (via Ring TV).


Drew Brees

Some NFL fans may find Brees’ inclusion on this list confusing. That’s because he has done a lot of charitable work in New Orleans and most people regard him as a stand-up person. But Brees allegedly has a dark side because he controversially contributed to gentrification in the city.

L.A. Times

The former quarterback allegedly invested in a luxury residential project on the waterside that pushed working-class communities. Furthermore, he has links to a pyramid scheme that fell foul of FTA regulations. Brees may seem like a good human but he also loves money (via Nicki Swift).


Jon Jones

Jones became the UFC’s youngest-ever champion when he defeated Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua in 2011. Everybody thought that he was about to become the sport’s first true superstar but that’s not what happened. There’s no denying his elite talent but he behaved badly outside of the cage. Jones has had many problems that affected his marketability.


He’s had more cocaine in possession than a Colombian drug lord. Meanwhile, he infamously fled a collision after he drove into a pregnant woman’s vehicle. This was the most despicable moment of his career and even the UFC reacted. They stripped him of his title and Jones received community service (via New York Post).

GP Fans

Lewis Hamilton

Every Formula One era had an incredible driver that led the way. In the past, we’ve seen Senna and Schumacher. But Hamilton was the face of the 2010s with a remarkable seven championship wins. Meanwhile, he’s also a dedicated social rights activist and one of the most outspoken athletes in the world.


But Hamilton isn’t always a good person and has behaved badly off the asphalt. He tells everybody else how to behave when he allegedly cheated on Nicole Scherzinger. The Pussy Cat Dolls singer accused him of infidelity in the demo of one of her songs. However, it didn’t do much damage to his public image (via The Sun).


Tyson Fury

Few people would disagree that Fury is the most talented heavyweight of his generation. He also has an inspirational story because he rebounded from depression. ‘The Gypsy King’ ballooned up to over 350 lbs. as he suffered from substance abuse. But he turned his life around and reclaimed the heavyweight title in style (via The Times).


But Fury is a polarizing figure because he behaved badly outside of the ring. He also maintains a friendship with one of the worst gangsters of the modern era; Daniel Kinahan. Irish courts named him as one of the most notorious drug lords on the continent. Fury refuses to denounce his friend and claims the Irish government has an agenda against him.


Ja Morant

Everybody raved about Zion Williamson in 2019 but Morant emerged as the most talented rookie that year. He went from strength to strength as it became clear that Memphis had a potential superstar on their roster. Morant became a back-to-back All-Star and showed his amazing skills on the court.

New York Times

But Morant also behaved badly off the court and had gun problems. Multiple videos appeared of the player brandishing weapons and tarnishing the team’s image. Finally, the Grizzlies suspended him after he flashed a weapon on Instagram Live. The NBA also started an investigation as it became clear Morant had serious problems (via Complex). NBA Commissioner David Silver recently stated the league had new information on Morant but would not reveal it publicly until the 2023 Finals were over so as not to distract from the championship series.

The Telegraph

Ryan Giggs

Giggs is one of Manchester United’s greatest players. He amazingly scored in 22 seasons as he showed his leadership on the field. Meanwhile, the Welsh star is one of the most successful athletes ever with many trophies and medals. But he also behaved badly off the field and made some dubious choices (via National World).


He made the ridiculous decision to have an affair with his brother’s wife. This scandal immediately tarnished his reputation because it was so sordid. We’ve heard of teammates sleeping with each other’s partners but this was beyond the pale. Giggs also attempted to block further evidence of his cheating with a model.

Fox News

Conor McGregor

McGregor changed the landscape of the UFC because he became their first true mainstream superstar. The former two-weight champion is an electric personality but he isn’t always a good human. This especially came true after he fought Floyd Mayweather in a farcical but incredibly lucrative boxing match in August 2017. He behaved badly in the real world many times but the worst moment came when he punched an older man in a bar. The man refused to drink a shot of McGregor’s Proper Twelve whiskey.


This turned many people against the Irishman. He committed many offenses throughout his career. It’s also worth pointing out that the New York Times revealed that police investigated him for sexual assault. There were no legal consequences but these allegations continue to rise their heads (via TMZ).

Sporting News

Peyton Manning

The Manning brothers maintained clean-cut images throughout their careers. These All-American stars enjoyed amazing NFL success and appeared to be great role models. But Peyton had a darker side that he successfully disguised. He had a disgusting incident in college when a female trainer accused him of sexual harassment.

AP News

Allegedly, Tennessee covered up the incident after the trainer made her claims public. She alleged that Manning put his bare anus and testicles in her face against her will. In the end, the court ruled that there was insufficient evidence for them to convict Manning. Unfortunately, it’s not what people expect from their idols (via Sports Illustrated).


Steven Gerrard

Gerrard is one of Liverpool’s greatest-ever players and captained to glory many times. He played a pivotal role in their iconic 2005 Champion’s League victory. Then he drove them to FA Cup success the following year. But the quiet-spoken Scouser has a dark side and infamously behaved badly in a pub in 2008.


Allegedly, Gerrard assaulted a man in a fight over a karaoke machine. Gerrard loves Phil Collins but his rival didn’t want to play the song. It was an embarrassing event for the Liverpool icon. Meanwhile, it’s known that he has many close friends in the city’s gangland scene. The apple never falls far from the tree (via The Guardian).


Floyd Mayweather

Mayweather is the most financially successful athlete in history. The boxing legend became a marketing force in his prime and brilliantly managed his career. He earned hundreds of millions of dollars before he retired with an undefeated 50-0 record. But while he was a superb fighter he behaved badly outside of the ring.

Bleacher Report

‘Money’ served 60 days in jail after a reprehensible act of domestic violence. Meanwhile, his lack of respect for women became even more obvious when he opened a Las Vegas strip club. It’s safe to say that Mayweather considers women to be tools and nothing more. Unfortunately, his generational boxing talent doesn’t mean he’s a nice person (via Bleacher Report).

Sports Illustrated

Tom Brady

Brady is the most successful NFL player in history with a staggering seven Super Bowl rings. But this doesn’t mean that the quarterback is always a good person. He infamously dumped his family because he wanted to prolong his football career. Gisele Bundchen gave him a choice between them or playing ball.


However, the story of how he met Bundchen is even worse. That’s because he dumped his previous wife Bridget Moynahan for the Brazilian supermodel. The worst part was that Moynahan was pregnant when Brady met his new partner. He behaved badly in this situation and disrespected her (via People).