Elite Athletes Who Hung Their Teammates Out To Dry

Darren - October 19, 2022

Elite Athletes Who Hung Their Teammates Out To Dry

Darren - October 19, 2022

Elite athletes will do anything to win, and a lot of times, that’s a large part of why they’re so great at their sports. But there’s a flip side and many of them have intense personalities that make life difficult for their teammates. They expect their colleagues to match their expectations or else they’ll hang them out to dry in public.

Sometimes athletes respond well to criticism and use it as a source of motivation. However, others find it very offensive and it can create tension in the locker room. It’s a fine line but the best superstars know what’s acceptable to say and what isn’t. Check out elite athletes who threw their teammates under the bus right here.

Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers is one of the two best quarterbacks of his generation and the Packers’ longtime leader. In 2015, the team didn’t perform well and went 4-6 across 10 games. Rodgers bemoaned his teammates’ lack of effort and even compared them to a squirrel. That’s because a rodent ran across the field and entertained the fans more than their team.

“We have to respond better like we did to close out the game, and get the crowd involved more than just the squirrel on the field,” Rodgers said. No professional athlete wants to know that a squirrel is receiving more attention than them. Unfortunately, they only had themselves to blame (via CBS Sports).

Kevin Durant

Social media is a minefield for elite athletes because fans watch their every move. Durant discovered this the hard way because users discovered that he hung his teammates out to dry on Twitter. The former Thunder star responded to a Tweet in the third person about his relationship with Russell Westbrook.

Later, it emerged that Durant had separate anonymous accounts that he used to defend himself online. But he forgot to change to one of these before his tweets and embarrassed himself on the platform. Fans took screenshots of the exchange and used them to troll him after the incident (via Business Insider).

Baker Mayfield

A former Heisman Trophy winner at Oklahoma, Mayfield isn’t afraid to voice his opinions. Analysts appreciated his leadership skills during his early tenure with the Cleveland Browns. Mayfield famously criticized Duke Johnson after the latter tried to force an exit from the team in 2019 (via The Spun).

Sky Sports

Usually, NFL players don’t comment about their colleagues’ contract situations but Mayfield hung his teammate out to dry. When a reporter asked him about the situation, he said: “It’s not awkward, it’s self-inflicted. I hope he does his job.” This was a stinging rebuke to Johnson who found himself in a state of limbo.


Kylian Mbappe

Mbappe is one of the most powerful athletes on the planet. The French international striker received unprecedented control of Paris Saint-Germain after he signed a new contract with the club. He also made a lot of enemies in the locker room because some teammates resented this.


But Mbappe doesn’t care what they think of him because he believes some PSG players are inferior athletes. He throws them under the bus when things don’t go wrong. Camera footage captured Mbappe roasting Achraf Hakimi because the defender failed to pass to him (via Daily Mirror).

Derrick Rose

The Chicago Bulls were dreadful in 2015 as they suffered a dismal slump. They lost six out of eight games and this infuriated their star player, Rose. He hung his teammates out to dry in public because he thought that they didn’t have enough character. Sometimes this must happen to light a fire under the squad.

“Everybody has to be on the same page; until then, we’re going to continue to get our butts kicked,” Rose complained (via FOX Sports). “We’re not communicating, while we’re on the floor, to each other. Everybody is quiet, and until then, we’re going to get the same results.”

Jay Cutler

Cutler made a lot of negative headlines in 2012 after a terrible performance against the Packers. He threw four interceptions and took seven sacks. He then threw his teammates under the bus as he blamed them for his mistakes.

Cornerback D.J. Moore didn’t respond well to this and also spoke to the media about the situation. He hung Cutler out to dry in public because he considered him a bad teammate. It’s never a good look when a quarterback is at odds with the rest of the locker room (via Sports Illustrated).

Sky Sports


PSG have ludicrous financial resources compared to their fellow French teams. They won the league in 2020 but failed to compete in the Coupe de France or the Champions League. That’s why many critics considered the season to be a disappointment for the oil money giants (via

Their star player Neymar hung his teammates out to dry after the cup final defeat against Rennes. The Brazilian said: “I see a lot of young players who are, not lost exactly, but they lack more ear than the mouth. They must listen more than they talk. Sometimes a more experienced guy speaks, and they answer back.”

Tom Brady

Brady is the most successful athlete in NFL history and maintains extremely high standards. He expects that his teammates will help him to win and has no patience for underperformance. In 2019, the Patriots lost a game against the Houston Texans and played poorly in the first half.

Cameras captured Brady ripping into his receivers on live TV as he made his feelings known. In fairness, this was the heat of the moment but viewers saw every moment. Most people appreciated Brady’s sentiments because of his winning mentality. He demands that his colleagues raise their standards or he’ll hang them out to dry (via Boston Herald).

Diego Sanchez

MMA is an individual sport but fighters spend a lot of time training with teammates. Most of them join camps like Jackson-Wink in Albuquerque, New Mexico. That’s where Sanchez trained alongside the likes of Jon Jones, Carlos Condit, and Clay Guida. Usually, athletes protect and respect their fellow team members but Sanchez criticized his.

He described Condit and Guida’s recent fights as boring and condemned them on The MMA Hour. Sanchez told Ariel Helwani: “You should go in there as a professional and do what you do. I’d rather go out swinging, fighting like a warrior, those last 30 seconds. I’m going to leave it all out in the cage and know that I’m trying to finish my opponent” (via Bleacher Report).

Eli Manning

Manning polarized fans because they argue about his ability as an NFL quarterback. However, nobody can question his on-field effort or his commitment to the New York Giants. He didn’t have patience for the likes of Odell Beckham Jr. because of his diva mentality (via Complex).

Beckham famous threw a temper tantrum and kicked the net during a game against the Ravens. Nobody appreciated this petulance and his captain criticized him in front of the media. “You can get really sick of it if he goes out there and is not making plays,” Manning admitted in a stinging rebuke.

Daily Post Nigeria

William Gallas

Serial winners hate when their teams don’t live up to expectations. Gallas played for some of the biggest clubs in the world as well as the French national team. He hung his teammates out to dry in 2008 after Aston Villa defeated Arsenal. The manner of their loss hurt more than the result because they didn’t show any heart.

Be Soccer

“We are not brave enough in battle. I think we need to be soldiers,” Gallas moaned. “To be champions, you have to play big matches every weekend and fight.” Some players don’t appreciate it when a teammate shreds them in public. But Gallas had a point because Arsenal played more like mice (via Sportskeeda).

Kobe Bryant

Bryant was another serial winner who demanded that his teammates match his high standards. Even as he grew older, Bryant maintained the same intensity and drive. When he was 37, the Lakers went on a losing streak and this frustrated the Black Mamba. He hung his teammates out to dry because they didn’t take their poor run seriously.

Furthermore, he called out D’Angelo Russell and Julio Landle because they smiled after one loss. This was unacceptable to Bryant and he didn’t care if they hated him for saying it. However, that’s the difference between a good player and a future Hall of Famer (via UPI).

Aaron Judge

Judge is one of the most popular players in MLB after his record-breaking performances for the Yankees. Meanwhile, he’s not afraid to make his opinion known when he has an issue with his teammates. He openly criticized Josh Donaldson after the latter’s tasteless comments toward a White Sox player (via Chicago Sun-Times).

Donaldson received a one-game suspension after he insulted Tim Anderson. ““Joke or not, I don’t think it’s the right thing to do there,” Judge said as he threw his teammate under the bus. Nobody blamed Judge for his harsh reaction because Donaldson could have had a more serious punishment.

Sky Sports

Sergio Ramos

Fans always note when elite superstars like different posts on social media. Sometimes they spot that the athlete is using it to vent their frustration or to send a cryptic message. Ramos was one of Real Madrid’s most important players and a key figure in the team’s locker room.


In 2018, Madrid went through a period of turmoil and division. One Instagram post condemned the players for their performances but crucially spared Ramos and Marcelo. Ramos liked the post with his official account as a clear signal that he didn’t appreciate his teammates’ efforts either (via

Manny Machado

Fernando Tatis Jr. was one of the best young players in the league and a key cog in the Padres’ machine. But he infuriated his fanbase and teammates after he failed a drug test. He was facing a massive 80-game ban and couldn’t fulfill his responsibilities. Machado threw his teammate under the bus as he condemned his immaturity.

“He hasn’t been part of the team all year,” Machado said (via Essentially Sports). “We’ve gotten to this point so far without him. We were waiting to get him back and hopefully be a spark plug for the rest of the team.” Nobody can say that Machado is being too harsh because Tatis was proven a cheat.

Terrell Owens

Owens was a talented NFL wide receiver but his personality irked his quarterbacks. The former Niners star drove his signal-callers crazy because he tormented them. Jeff Garcia received more abuse from Owens than anybody else as the wideout publicly insulted him (via ESPN).

The receiver questioned Garcia’s sexuality in an uncomfortable public interview. Furthermore, he also claimed that Garcia didn’t make good throws when he got open. It’s no surprise that the pair don’t have a good relationship, nor did it make the locker room comfortable for their teammates.

The Sun

Granit Xhaka

In 2022, Arsenal suffered a grim defeat to Newcastle in the Premier League. This had serious consequences because it meant that they wouldn’t play in the Champions League the following season. Xhaka was one of their main leaders and hung his teammates out to dry because of their lack of effort.

Sky Sports

“I don’t know why we’re not doing what the coach is asking of us,” the Swiss said (via Give Me Sport). “If someone isn’t ready for this game, stay at home. It doesn’t matter your age. If you’re nervous, stay on the bench or stay at home. You need people to have the balls to come here and play.”

Josef Martinez

Martinez developed a reputation as one of the best players in the MLS. He won the 2018 MVP award and became one of Atlanta United’s stars. But the team didn’t perform well in 2022 and this didn’t impress the Venezuelan athlete. He called out his teammates because they played weakly.

“We all make mistakes and we are professionals,” Martinez said (via MLS Soccer). We’re not kids anymore. And if you come here you have to know what you have to do. And if you don’t come here for 100 percent, probably you don’t have to choose to play at this club.”

Matt Ryan

Sometimes emotions take over in the middle of a game. Ryan was an excellent quarterback for the Falcons and stabilized their offense. However, he didn’t accept when his teammates didn’t match his expectations. Fans discovered this when he shredded Julio Jones during a game against the Bucs.

The Ringer

Ryan didn’t appreciate the star wideout’s positioning and made his feelings clear. He cursed at his teammate as he told him to get set. But the boom microphones picked up every word of the expletive-laced exchange. This also shocked the game announcer because of the foul language (via 247 Sports).

Cynthia Calvillo

Calvillo and Paige VanZant are former teammates at Jackson-Wink MMA gym. But the pair suffered a fallout and aren’t on good terms anymore. Calvillo threw VanZant under the bus because she allegedly creates drama and is all about her brand. The UFC fighter also believes that VanZant is a bad fighter and tries to compensate.

“She likes to get attention and stir up problems because no one’s ever going to pay attention to her for being one of the greatest fighters ever cause she sucks at fighting,” Calvillo said (via SBNation). “Give her attention because of the way she looks and she likes to stir drama. Cause that’s what she’s all about.”

James Harden

Harden is one of the best players of his generation but he polarizes fans nonetheless. However, there’s no doubt he possesses a winning mentality and expects his teammates to perform. The Sixers traveled to Miami for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. But they were without their star man Joel Embiid and the roster failed to step up.

This infuriated Harden who called out a couple of players on the court. He hung them out to dry in public without remorse as he remonstrated with them. Danny Green and Mathiss Thybulle received the brunt of his ire because he thought they showed a lack of effort (via Firstsportz).

Michael Thomas

Drew Brees infamously criticized some of his teammates for taking a knee during the national anthem. This infuriated one of his most important weapons, Thomas, who hung Brees out to dry. Thomas said that he would look at the quarterback differently because of his words.

He also claimed that Brees completely missed the point and signaled his disappointment in the team’s star player. It was extraordinary because this displayed the division in the Saints’ locker room. However, the pair overcame their ideological differences and continued to play together (via Sky Sports).


Rafa Marquez

Marquez played for Barcelona and enjoyed tremendous success before his move to New York in 2010. He joined the Red Bulls but he resented his new teammates because they weren’t as good as him. He hung them out to dry and threw them under the bus during a frank discussion with the media (via ESPN).


“I think this is a team game and unfortunately there isn’t an equal level between my teammates and me,” Marquez said bluntly after a defeat. It’s safe to say that the rest of the squad didn’t appreciate this comment but perhaps he had a point. He had a higher pedigree than most of the roster but they didn’t like him.

Joel Embiid

Ben Simmons infamously went to war with the Sixers as he demanded to leave the franchise. The team suspended him and fined him multiple times because he failed to fulfill his duties. Furthermore, Simmons didn’t impress his star teammate, Embiid, because the latter wanted to win a ring.

Philadelphia had a strong roster and believed that they could claim a Championship title. When a reporter asked him about the ongoing situation, Embiid said: “I don’t care about that man.” It was a cold response as he could have issued as he hung his teammate out to dry (via Bleacher Report).


Drew Brees

Brees was one of the top quarterbacks of his generation and set multiple passing records. He also became a beloved figure in his adopted home of New Orleans because of his charitable efforts. But he rattled some teammates in 2020 as he criticized them for kneeling during the national anthem.

“Every time I stand with my hand over my heart, looking at that flag, and singing the national anthem, that’s what I think about,” Brees said as he hung them out to dry. “And in many cases, it brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed (via CBS Sports).”

Diego Costa

Opposition fans loathe Costa because of his cynical playing style. He horribly antagonizes defenders and infuriates them with his antics. But that’s also why his supporters enjoy watching him. Meanwhile, the Brazilian is a top competitor and expects his teammates to deliver.

Sky Sports

Chelsea’s defenders played poorly in one game against Leicester and this annoyed Costa. He openly gestured at them with his hands in a sleeping position as he hung them out to dry. It’s not unusual for players to motivate their teammates but he took it to the next level with sheer contempt (via Irish Mirror).

Carson Wentz

Wentz is unusual on this list because he didn’t deliver criticism but he received it. The quarterback’s form deteriorated drastically with the Eagles before a shocking spell in Indianapolis. Then he moved to Washington and struggled again. One teammate spoke to Sports Illustrated about his shocking attitude.

The athlete said: “Carson Wentz’s biggest enemy is Carson Wentz. He’s had his butt kissed his whole life, and sometimes acts like he’s won 10 Super Bowls, when he hasn’t played in, let alone won, a playoff game yet.” This was extremely harsh but reflected Wentz’s terrible decline.

Brett Favre

Favre was one of the best quarterbacks of his generation and his opinion carried a lot of weight in the Packers’ locker room. The signal-caller criticized teammate Javon Walker after the receiver missed the start of training camp in 2005. He had a harsh reaction to Walker’s situation and told the franchise not to bow down.

“When his agent tells him not to worry about what his teammates think and all that stuff, I’d tell him I’ve been around a long time and that stuff will come back to haunt you.” Ironically, Favre had several contract disputes with the Packers and retired multiple times (via Las Vegas Sun).

Cristiano Ronaldo

In 2022, Ronaldo lost patience with some of his younger Manchester United teammates because they didn’t listen. The serial winner demanded that everybody try to match his standards. United underperformed before they lost against a weaker team and this was unacceptable to him  (via Manchester Evening News).

Sky Sports

Ronaldo hung them out to dry in front of the media. He said: “The mature players, the older players can always help the young player. But, I can give you an example, if I give you advice, even if you are younger than me and if you don’t implant that in your daily life it will be difficult.”

Ben Roethlisberger

Roethlisberger is one of the Steelers’ greatest-ever quarterbacks and a future Hall of Famer. While it’s fair to question his character there’s no doubt that he had a winning mentality. He made no bones about calling his teammates out in full view of the watching world either but he justified his actions (via

‘Big Ben’ said: “I would hope that they would understand that as the quarterback and the captain I have the right to do those things. I don’t feel like I abuse that situation. So I don’t think it’s an issue, but you would have to ask them.” Players mustn’t cross the line and create a toxic situation.

Jimmy Butler

Butler had an insane work ethic that put everybody else on his team to shame. He understood that he wasn’t the most technically skilled player in the NBA but he compensated by trying harder. However, when his teammates failed to deliver he hung them out to dry because they could have done more.

The former Sixers star called out Karl-Anthony Towns when a reporter asked him if he worked as hard as Butler. “No,” Butler said. “But everybody don’t do that. Everybody don’t work like that.” To be fair, he answered the question but also threw Towns under the bus (via Complex).

Peyton Manning

Manning had an infamously tense relationship with former Indianapolis kicker, Mike Vanderjagt. He accepted that the latter was a good player but he didn’t have any respect for his intelligence. Furthermore, Manning even hung him out to dry on national TV in the middle of the 2003 Pro Bowl (via The Sports Rush).

A reporter made the mistake of asking Manning about Vanderjagt’s drunken antics in Canada. “Here we are, I’m out at my third Pro Bowl, I’m about to go in and throw a touchdown to Jerry Rice,” Manning complained. “We’re honoring the Hall of Fame, and we’re talking about our idiot kicker who got liquored up and ran his mouth off.”


Roy Keane

Keane created a mystique as one of the Premier League’s greatest leaders. The former Manchester United captain expected his teammates to match his high standards. He had no patience for divas and the new generation of celebrity players. In 2005, he famously hung the squad out to dry in a polarizing interview on MUTV.


The Irishman criticized individual stars before slating the younger athletes on the roster. “When they sign the contracts, they think they have made it,” he said. “They owe it to the manager, the staff, and the fans. Yeah, they think they have made it. But they haven’t” (via Give Me Sport).

Patrick Mahomes

Mahomes suffered a heartbreaking Super Bowl defeat against Tampa Bay in 2020. The team failed to fire in a 22-point loss that was the biggest of the quarterback’s short NFL career. Later he threw his teammates under the bus and criticized his offense’s lack of synchronization.

Sky Sports

“The receivers were running routes not exactly where I thought they were going to be,” Mahomes said. “The offensive line, they were good sometimes and sometimes they let guys through.” In Mahomes’ defense, he also admitted that he didn’t make the right calls during the game (via BroBible).

Sports Illustrated

Jamie Carragher

Carragher was one of Liverpool’s most dedicated servants and a great Premier League defender. He played with passion and intensity as he commanded the team’s backline. However, sometimes this took him over the edge and he almost brawled with Alvaro Arbeloa on the field. He hung his teammate out to dry because he wasn’t alert (via Daily Mirror).

Sky Sports

Later, Carragher revealed the emotions that coursed through him during the moment. He said: “Now I don’t look back at that proud, but that was always going to happen at some stage or another, or the odd little thing in training, because you’re so intense, you wanted to win, everything mattered and at times you would cross the line.”

Sky Sports

Aaron Rodgers

In 2022, Rodgers found himself without his favorite weapon, Davante Adams, after the Packers failed to re-sign him. This left the quarterback with a young receiver room and it didn’t please him. He hung his teammates out to dry as he refused to acknowledge their age or lack of experience.

“The young guys, especially young receivers, we’ve got to be way more consistent. A lot of drops, a lot of bad route decisions, and running the wrong route. We’ve got to get better in that area.” This was a stark warning as he lit a fire under the inexperienced players (via Sportsnaut).


Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Nobody in soccer has an ego quite like Ibrahimovic. The Swedish forward refers to himself in the third person and famously believes that he’s the greatest invention since sliced bread. He also bullies his teammates when they don’t do what he wants, as one opponent revealed (via GOAL).

Sky Sports

Ibrahimovic’s L.A. Galaxy played Stanford in a preseason game. Florian Jungwirth said: “For 90 minutes – he was yelling at everyone. It was just funny. Everyone was so scared of him and I was just laughing because everyone was like a little kid. They were like, ‘Daddy, can I get something from you?'”

Draymond Green

Green is a player NBA fans love to hate because he is a master of the dark arts. He also doesn’t mind sharing his opinions about his teammates. The infamously aggressive star even punched one of them in 2022. Meanwhile, check out these ruthless comments about Jonathan Kuminga after the youngster’s poor performance.

“I’m going to say this publicly because I said it to his face,” Green said. “I thought Jonathan Kuminga was so, so, so bad in the game that I went to when they were playing the New York Knicks. I thought he was very, very bad. He didn’t look engaged.” At least nobody can accuse Green of hiding his feelings (via SF Gate).

Tom Brady

Brady hung his teammates out to dry in 2022 during a dismal display against the Steelers. He screamed at his fellow Tampa Bay players because they weren’t delivering on the field. Unfortunately for the seven-time Super Bowl winner, it failed to inspire the team to a comeback.


The quarterback cursed at his offensive linesmen as he told them that their performances didn’t reflect their abilities. Most viewers believed that he earned the right to speak to them in this harsh and blunt way. However, it’s probably not easy to be his teammate because of his relentless expectations (via E! Online).

Sports Illustrated

Michael Jordan

Jordan was one of the most ruthless winners in sports history. He won six rings in two spells with the Chicago Bulls on either side of a brief foray into baseball. Meanwhile, M.J. developed a cruel streak and mentally tormented his teammates. He did this because he expected them to do everything to win.

Sports Illustrated

“I didn’t really care If I broke them,” Jordan revealed after his retirement. “If they did get broken then they are not going to be helpful to us when we need them the most.” This didn’t win him any friends in the locker room but there’s no denying that he achieved brilliant results (via Basketball Network).