Embarrassing Moments Where Athletes Got Caught On Camera

Darren - June 17, 2022

Embarrassing Moments Where Athletes Got Caught On Camera

Darren - June 17, 2022

Many athletes take themselves very seriously and try to maintain a spotless image in the media. But overall, they simply can’t control the media. That’s why there are many embarrassing photos of athletes on the Internet.

Today, we’ll look at some of these hilarious and humiliating shots. Photographers caught some of these during active competition when something happened on the field or in a race. Meanwhile, others happened in everyday life and bring joy to a different kind looking to humanize their heroes. Enjoy these moments right here.

Big Lead

50. Pitbull Prank

Antonio Brown was one of the best wide receivers in the NFL for many years. He’s also a polarizing figure that fans love to hate because of his wild antics. However, he’s not the brightest person in the room as he proved when he met a random man in Miami (via Big Lead).

The Super Bowl winner is a big Pitbull fan and thought that he met the star in Florida. But it was just another bald man with sunglasses who embraced the moment. The obvious mistake and the weird Thanos glove make this one of the most embarrassing photos we’ve seen.

World Soccer Talk

49. Pull Them Down

In 2013, the Tottenham Hotspurs played Aston Villa in the League Cup. There isn’t much to remember about this game except for one moment. Danish striker Nicklas Helenius threatened the Spurs’ defense. Then Jan Verthongen moved to intercept the forward.

As he lunged forward, he accidentally pulled down Helenius’s shorts and exposed his underwear. Helenius didn’t have a great career in England but at this moment became famous. It joins the ranks of embarrassing photos that athletes probably wish never happened (World Soccer Talk).

Sydney Morning Herald

48. Weird Wrestling

Wrestlers are some of the toughest athletes on the planet. They brutalize their bodies and ears in their pursuit of glory. Meanwhile, nobody enjoys watching the sport so their commitment is even more impressive. Nonetheless, wrestling produces many embarrassing photos.

Some moments from wrestling bouts provide incredible material because the positions are so strange. Sure, the context is important but there is something very intimate about these entanglements. It doesn’t help that they wear tight singlets either (via Sydney Morning Herald).


47. Odd Position

NFL athletes are peak physical specimens. They train their entire lives for the opportunity to make it as a professional athlete. Teams only choose the best players and the chances of selection are slim to none. But if they make it, they’ll end up in some embarrassing photos.

This still from a game between the Bears and Packers shows how the manliest of sports can produce some unfortunate moments. This image wouldn’t be out of place on an adult website (via Ranker).

Live About

46. Spiderman Pose

Golf is a sport of fine margins. Athletes combine physical prowess with an incredible awareness of distance. In this photo, Colombia’s Camilo Villegas measures the distance from his ball to the hole. But there’s one massive problem with this moment (via Live About).

It appears as though he’s copying Spiderman or some scuttling creature from a horror movie It’s a very creepy pose but he’s blissfully unaware and doesn’t care. Perhaps he doesn’t find this embarrassing at all but it shows that weird moments occur in every sport.

Balls. ie

45. Pants Down

Sometimes games become too competitive. That’s what happened in this clash between the Ravens and the Chiefs in 2013. Brad Meester tackled Kansas City’s Tyson Jackson with unfortunate results. He pulled down Jackson’s shorts and exposed his bare posterior to millions of viewers.

Jackson knows that it’s one of the most embarrassing photos ever but he’s at peace with the moment. It’s a nightmare because so many people saw this happen and checked out his backside. But that’s the risk players take when they put hands all over each other (via Balls. ie).

44. That’s Nuts

Here’s one of the most unfortunate embarrassing photos on this list. Baseball isn’t a contact sport like football or soccer but it still sees its fair share of injuries. Remember, a fastball travels at speeds of over 100mph. Imagine receiving one to a man’s most sensitive area.

There has been a fair share of groin shots over the years. The photo above shows one landing flush with harrowing consequences. One incident saw an umpire go to the hospital after the ball made contact with his precious place. It’s not a scene to joke about (via SBNation).


43. Potential Drowning

This is one of the strangest embarrassing photos here because we don’t know what’s going on. All we understand is that synchronized swimming is one of the most bizarre sports on the planet. The athletes are amazing but they also make ridiculous faces (via Popsugar).

In this shot, it appears as though the swimmers are trying to drown each other. They are gripping each other’s faces while one spits water out of her mouth. Perhaps this wasn’t their planned routine and they are fighting instead. It’s believable because nothing else makes sense.

42. Referee Punch

Referees and game officials endure a lot of stress from their line of work. There is immense pressure on them because they must make the right decision. Also, they deal with players who don’t always respond well when calls go against them (via Zimbio).

In this famous photo, Garth DeFelice appears to punch the Rams’ Kenneth Darby in 2008. It may not have been the case but it’s an incredible shot. DeFelice appears to possess a mean right but it’s not what referees should be doing in the middle of a game.

Peak PX

41. Is She Alive?

It looks like this is a movie still but it’s real life. Figure skating is one of the most exciting sports in the Winter Olympics. It’s like ballet but with the potential of life-changing injuries. When it goes well, it’s beautiful to watch. But mistakes produce agonizing moments (via Peak PX).

Here’s a horrible photo of a figure-skater after she smashed through the surrounding wooden wall. This wasn’t part of her routine but it’s more dramatic than anything she could have achieved. The fall must have been brutal because there are so many big wooden fragments.


40. Peak Performance

In this shot, England plays the USA in a game of rugby. Olly Lawrence attempts to beat the defense but he suffered a terrible wardrobe malfunction in the process. Whoever makes those shorts should take a look at their design because they shouldn’t rip like that (via Extra).

Lawrence deserves massive praise because he didn’t allow his exposed bottom to slow him down. Instead, he continued running with his posterior on display and scored a try. Perhaps it made him more aerodynamic. Nonetheless, the moment is one of the most embarrassing photos in rugby.


39. Baseball Head

We’ve no idea what’s going on in this picture but it isn’t flattering. This is Ron Artest, AKA “Metta World Peace” or whatever name he’s using these days. Artest was an excellent basketball player but he was also an enigmatic personality. In short, he’s a lunatic and that’s why people love him.

Some embarrassing photos make people cringe but it’s safe to assume Artest doesn’t care. It looks like he’s having a great time in this picture so that’s good. Who knows why he’s wearing a baseball mask? Artest probably doesn’t either but it sums up his life (via Elite Daily).


38. Frog’s Life

Few NBA players committed to Halloween like Paul Pierce. The former Celtics man brought joy to fans’ lives every year with his incredible array of costumes. He dressed up as a pirate as well as Buzz Lightyear in memorable outings. But one look stands out more than any other.

Most of these embarrassing photos took place on the field. But this is a rare exception because it’s so good. “The Truth” infamously wore this frog costume to a fancy dress party. It’s impossible not to respect the effort because it’s one of the wackiest outfits ever (via Boston.com).


37. Tennis Horror

Andy Murray is one of the UK’s greatest ever tennis players. However, it appears as though his life flashed before his eyes in this photo. It seems like the ball is flying toward his face and he’s powerless to stop it. Murray’s wide-eyed expression is hilarious in this still (via Imgur).

Perhaps he forgot to turn off the heating before he left home that morning. Tennis is a great source of embarrassing photos when we take moments out of context. Maybe Murray successfully returned the ball and won the set. But who cares because all that matters is that it looks ridiculous.

Larry Brown Sports

36. Face First

This is a position that nobody wants to be in. The Patriots played the Ravens when this horrifying moment occurred. Rob Gronkowski carried the ball when Rashawn Melvin tried to tackle him. But the result created one of the most embarrassing photos in this article.

Melvin mistakenly pulled down Gronkowski’s pants and ran into his bare bottom. He faceplanted Gronk’s bare cheeks as he came too close to the New England legend (via Larry Brown Sports).

Twisted Sifter

35. Severe Constipation

Gymnasts are some of the most phenomenal athletes on the planet. They have extraordinary strength and flexibility as they fly through the air. But sometimes these moments create embarrassing photos for immature people to laugh at (via Twisted Sifter).

We count ourselves among the childish Internet users who take joy at the expense of others. Here’s a weird image of a gymnast in the middle of a routine. However, his face suggests that he’s suffering from severe constipation. It appears as though he’s trying to relieve himself most extremely.


34. Active Sniper

This photo suggests that athletics have been missing something important forever. An active sniper would inject an added dimension into races. Imagine how many sprinters would break records if they knew that somebody was hunting them (via Independent)?

It appears as though this runner fell at the final hurdle. The way he sprawls forward suggests that somebody shot him from a distance. The fall is extremely dramatic but that’s why it’s so funny. He probably doesn’t think so because it’s the end of his dream but at least he made us laugh.

Motley News

33. Where’s My Hand?

This is one of the most confusing and embarrassing photos on this list. The athlete appears to be a synchronized swimmer and we know how strange this sport is. Yes, they’re incredibly flexible and are brilliant in the water. But that doesn’t mean the routines aren’t wacky.

In this case, it appears as though her legs have replaced her arms. It’s extremely disconcerting and her expression doesn’t help because it seems to have confused her. To be fair, that’s a reasonable reaction when one’s limbs are replaced by another part of the body (via Motley News).


32. Wet Pants

The U.S. bobsled team didn’t receive any favors from their costume designers. This is easily one of the worst uniforms in the history of the Winter Olympics. Everything is fine apart from one eye-catching area. The darker shade of blue makes it appear as though they wet themselves.

Perhaps they did because it’s a stressful experience. However, it’s more likely that the designer used a different material to provide extra protection. This doesn’t change the reality that it’s a horrible look and one that people mocked on the Internet (via Definition).


31. Bad Timing

These two players are celebrating together and it’s a beautiful thing. Or at least it was until the unfortunate timing of one of their opponents. Randall Gay walks past at the wrong time with his name on full display on the back of his shirt (via Justo).

The problem is that it appears to be a statement about the Colts’ players and their embrace. Needless to say, there is nothing wrong with being homosexual. But it’s funny that two men are cuddling when the word “gay” is walking past. Incredibly immature but that’s the power of the internet.

Tennis Smash

30. Horror

There aren’t many consistencies in this world but cringe tennis moments are up there. This athlete didn’t realize that she provided cannon fodder for the Internet in the middle of this play. She is maintaining complete focus as the ball approaches her but it’s not her best look (via Tennis Smash).

Realistically, tennis players aren’t focused on their facial expressions when they’re in the middle of a tournament. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not funny. There is a look of pure horror on her face as the ball zooms toward her. We’ll never know if it knocked her out or if she survived unscathed.


29. Itchy

The Netherlands has produced some outstanding tennis players and Arantxa Rus is no exception. She’s won multiple tournaments and is a fixture on the women’s tour. However, she is also famous on the Internet after one photo went viral (via Reddit).

Rus picked an unfortunate time to scratch herself. She was oblivious to the reality that cameras focused on her at all times. They watched as she discreetly lifted her skirt and scratched her rump. But she didn’t realize that unscrupulous cameramen would snap everything that they saw.

The Sportster

28. Awkward Fall

Anybody who has seen “Blades of Glory” will know that figure skating is a dangerous sport. Doubles are even more dramatic because athletes place their faith in each other. One mistake can result in both players receiving serious injuries and embarrassing photos like the one above (via The Sportster).

Perhaps somebody reading this will identify the skaters above. We’re unsure who they are but it’s alright because the female athlete probably doesn’t remember either. Her partner dropped her head-first into the ice as she crashed and burnt. It’s humiliating for her but it’s hilarious for everybody else.


27. Cupcakes

UFC fighters must make weight before their bouts. This means that they strip to their underwear to shed all of the necessary excesses. Some of them even take off all of their clothes and stand behind a cover. In this case, Miesha Tate is in a sports bra and trunks (via Daily Mail).

One police officer attempted to maintain his self-control. He battled valiantly until Tate bent to pull up her trousers. This broke him and created one of the most embarrassing photos of his life. But who could blame him for sneaking a peek? He’s only human after all.

Caught Offside

26. Head Over Heels

Soccer doesn’t provide as many embarrassing photos as sports where players wrestle each other. But it still offers some gems like the one above. This classic sees a young Raheem Sterling entangled with an unknown Chelsea player. It appears as though they’re practicing the Kama Sutra.

This is one of those moves that they couldn’t have created if they tried. It’s a strange position for the men to find themselves in but it brought a lot of laughter to the Internet. It’s impossible to the Chelsea player’s head because Sterling is squeezing it with his thighs (via Caught Offside).

25. Butt Fumble

The butt fumble is one of the most notorious plays in NFL history. A photographer captured this infamous moment in one of the most embarrassing photos ever. Mark Sanchez ran headfirst into Brandon Moore’s backside as he tried to make something happen (via N.Y. Daily News).

Sanchez never lived this moment down for the remainder of his Jets’ career. It’s not difficult to see why because it summed up his experience as the franchise’s starting quarterback. When a player collides with another’s posterior it won’t help their image with their fanbase.

The Sun

24. Merry Christmas

This is one of the most surreal situations on this list. Michail Antonio plays for West Ham in the Premier League. The Jamaican forward went to their Christmas Party in 2020 wearing a snowman costume. This made what happened next even better (via The Sun).

Antonio crashed his Lamborghini Huracan into a random family’s shed on his way home. He cornered too quickly and lost control of the supercar. Cameras caught the athlete scrambling from the stricken vehicle in his snowman outfit. It’s one of the most embarrassing photos of his life.

MMA Fighting

23. Messy Accident

This moment will haunt Justine Kish for the remainder of her life. She fought Felice Herrig in a low-profile UFC fight. It didn’t mean much because they were mid-ranked strawweightd hoping to climb up the ladder. Herrig has a big social media following but is an average athlete.

Kish didn’t make waves until her bowels failed her in the octagon. That’s right, Herrig squeezed Kish so hard that the latter unleashed a torrent of poo across the cage. Now everybody refers to her for this horrible incident. It’s unfortunate and she’s never going to live it down (via Men’s Health).

New York Post

22. Urban Meyer

Meyer is an embarrassment because he’s a shameless human being. NFL players hate him because he treated them like children during his time in Jacksonville. They had a horrible losing record but Meyer didn’t care. He attracted negative headlines after one night out in a bar.

Video footage went viral of a young woman grinding against Meyer at the bar. Meanwhile, Meyer already had a wife and his team lost the day before. But he decided to drown his sorrows by dancing with a younger woman. He apologized afterward but the damage was done via New York Post.


21. Don’t Look

Rafael Nadal is one of the top tennis players on the planet. The Spaniard is a phenomenal athlete but even the best remain human. He proved that in this case when his eyes went toward a woman’s chest. To be fair, how was it possible for him to look away (via Gazillions)?

The expression on her face is one of pure contempt because she knows what he’s doing. It doesn’t matter to her that Nadal is a superstar because she’s got too much pride. This is one of those no-win situations for Nadal. If he looks away he misses the best view of his life.


20. Former Teammates

Rio Ferdinand and Carlos Tevez are former teammates. A strong intimacy developed between them because this is quite the photo. We’re joking because there is no suggestion that they’re up to anything inappropriate here. We’re just being childish but we can’t help it.

It appears as though Tevez is graphically using his fist. Yes, it’s possible to go into more detail but we’re not going to do that. As former teammates, there are probably multiple embarrassing photos of the pair. But it’s going to be difficult to top this one (via Reddit).

CBS Sports

19. Bobby Petrino

This image may not appear to be humiliating immediately. But it’s one of the most embarrassing photos of Petrino’s life. The former Arkansas coach had a motorcycle accident in 2012 but that wasn’t the full story. He also had his mistress with him on the back of the bike (via CBS Sports).

In the end, Petrino lost his job because he misled the Arkansas administration. He also betrayed his wife because he cheated on her with a former volleyball player. Petrino’s crash remains the stuff of infamy and this picture with his neck brace sums up the miserable experience.

Nicki Swift

18. Excited to Win

Team USA won a bronze medal in rowing at the 2012 Olympics. However, one man appeared to have more excitement than his teammates. Henrik Rummel made waves when his shorts revealed his emotional state. The tight outfit didn’t leave much to the imagination.

“I took it kind of tongue-in-cheek and I thought it was hilarious, but my wife didn’t like it,” Rummel told media members. She didn’t like that everyone was talking about that and not about me winning a medal at the Olympics (via Nicki Swift). For her, it’s one of the most embarrassing photos ever.

Golf Digest

17. The Match

In 2020, Tom Brady participated in ‘The Match’ against Peyton Manning. The golf showpiece saw the legendary quarterbacks team up with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. In the end, Manning’s team saw victory but it was an entertaining show for TV viewers to watch.

However, Brady endured an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction as the cameras rolled. He bent down to retrieve his ball but then his pants ripped. Luckily he wore underwear because it would have been even more of a disaster. It wasn’t the finest moment of his iconic career (via Golf Digest).


16. Don’t Stop

Wrestling matches provide many moments like the one above. These are some of the toughest athletes on the planet but it makes them appear ridiculous. Firstly, their outfits don’t help because they are ridiculous. Singlets and ear protectors don’t make for a good look (via Flickr).

There there are intimate poses like in the image above. If either of these young men looks back at this shot they’ll see one of the most embarrassing photos of their lives. It appears as though one of them is pleasuring the other. Perhaps he is and they’re having the last laugh.


15. Dancing Queen

Here’s another wrestling photo that’s intimate in another way. While most of them appear as though the athletes are engaged in bedroom activities, this one is more child-friendly. We see two men holding hands and it appears as though they are about to step onto the ballroom floor (via Imgur).

It could be a still from the Netflix series Bridgerton. But instead, we have two grizzled men in singlets sharing a beautiful moment. They’ll probably hate this description because they think they’re involved in the most masculine activity of all. But the truth is that they’re cute together.

14. Water Slide

Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. He’s also the most successful NFL player in history with more Super Bowl wins than any single franchise. But he’s also only human as some embarrassing photos from his life reveal. This famous shot did the rounds during his early career.

Brady went to a waterpark with his family and had a great time. We don’t know if this was his first time on a water slide but he resembles a little girl as he shoots down. To be fair this is an endearing shot because it’s extremely innocent but he’ll hate looking back at it (via USA Today Sports).


13. Projectile Spit

Hockey smiles are the stuff of nightmares. These days the sport is safer than before because players wear betterand more protective helmets. Concussions still present a high risk but there is less chance of them losing their teeth. However, this player decided to make the best of his situation.

Here he spits out a projectile shot of water through the gap in his teeth. It’s impressive like from a Super Soaker water gun or a hosepipe. He would make a good starter Pokemon in the famous videogame series. We’re sure that his partner would prefer if he had teeth though (via Fansided).


12. Levitation

Table tennis is a great sport but it throws up some funny moments. There’s something about a pair of nerdy guys hitting balls at each other that creates a lot of laughs. Here’s a fine example of something hilarious that emerged from an innocuous situation (via Buzzfeed).

It appears as though the player is using telekinesis to make the ball levitate above his hand. The pose and his facial expression combine to suggest that dark forces are at work. If this is the case he should be doing something more impressive than playing ping-pong for a living.


11. Instant Meme

Marouane Fellaini knew that the writing was on the wall after he saw this picture. A ball smashed him in the face during a Premier League game and left him with this expression. It mushed his face to bits and left him looking like he hails from the depths of Arkansas.

It’s amazing what a ball can do when it hits somebody at a high speed. Fellaini’s facial structure stood no chance as it warped under the pressure of the object. Luckily he didn’t suffer any long-term damage except to his pride. This became an instant meme after the incident took place (via BBC).

10. Wedding Dress

This wedding dress photo is one of the most embarrassing moments in NFL history. Mike Ditka traded the house to land Ricky Williams ahead of the 1999 season. It remains one of the worst deals ever and Ditka lost his job at the end of the year (via ESPN).

After trading all of their draft picks to land the talented running back, Ditka posed with Williams for this infamous ESPN cover. It saw Williams wearing a wedding dress while his coach wore a tuxedo. We don’t know who cleared this but it was ridiculous.


9. Face First

Hurdles are one of the most interesting races in the Olympics. Athletes run as fast as they can while jumping over fences. It’s more impressive than simply sprinting in a straight line. There are also more opportunities for embarrassing photos because things can go very wrong.

In this case, an athlete ran headfirst into a hurdle and splattered themselves onto the ground. It’s a brutal ending to his race because it must have caused a lot of pain. But the worst part of this is the humiliation because everybody laughed at his agony (via Daily Relay).

8. Baseball Crash

Sometimes baseball players crash into the walls because they lose track of their surroundings. They’re running so fast after the ball that they don’t see where they’re going. Then they smash themselves with hilarious but often brutal results (via USA Today).

In this game, Jacoby Ellsbury ran into the wall and severely injured himself. He suffered a sprained neck as well as a concussion and missed a couple of games. It’s amazing how something so innocuous can result in serious consequences. Especially when it’s so funny for fans to watch.


7. Beast Mode

Wrestling is all about dominating the opposition through superior physicality. In this image, it appears as though the athlete in blue took this thought process too far. It seems like he is using his bedroom techniques on his opponent to compound his misery.

The athlete wearing red lost this bout because there’s an expression of pain on his face. However, some people may interpret this differently. We’ll leave the rest of this to the imagination because the image speaks for itself (via Hornet).

SF Gate

6. Kick In The Jewels

Draymond Green is one of the dirtiest NBA players ever. He has a reputation for underhand tactics and brutal plays. Nonetheless, the Golden State Warriors value him for what he brings to the court. Green earned notoriety for kicking opposition athletes (via Washington Post).

Steven Adams was one of his victims after Green kicked him twice in the groin. The photo above shows Green unabashedly sticking his foot in Adams’ man parts. It’s a funny picture but one that will make male readers wince in sympathy. That’s the type of player that Green is.

News Founded

5. Splattered

Handball is a sport with a big following in continental Europe. This image came from a game between France and Denmark. In the end, the French emerged victorious but the Danish goalkeeper suffered more than anybody else. She left the game after a brutal collision.

The ball hit her in the face at a high scene and produced one of the most embarrassing photos ever. It looks as though it merged with her face to become one with her body. She is now part ball and part human. Perhaps it will give her superpowers (via News Founded).


4. Faceplant

Here’s another unfortunate baseball player who ran face-first into a wall. This picture is even more dramatic than the previous one because he completely splattered himself. It’s as though he intentionally collided with it by running as fast as he could (via THE).

This is inadvisable because it can result in neck and spinal injuries. These can last a lifetime and ruin a player’s career. However, the fans don’t think about this when they see players run into walls. They laugh because it looks hilarious and that’s all they care about.

Sad and Useless

3. Diver’s Face

Olympic divers are spectacular athletes because they perform gravity-defying stunts from great heights. However, they also make hilarious faces in the process. It’s a fact that their expressions don’t flatter them because they are ridiculous (via Sad And Useless).

This doesn’t take away from their athletic abilities and usually, fans don’t zoom in on their faces during competitions. But stills from diving routines show the funny expressions that they make. The one above is a fine example of these ridiculous moments.

Sky Sports

2. My Ball!

Here’s a still from Spurs vs. West Ham in the Premier League. The goalkeeper, Adrian, came forward to claim the ball. Everybody appreciates when a goalkeeper has the confidence to take command of their area. They jump out and grab the ball to alleviate pressure on their defense.

But Adrian made one horrible error. Instead of catching the football, he seized the head of one of his teammates (via Sky Sports). Cheikou Kouyate didn’t know what happened when Adrian wrapped his gloves around him. This is an iconic moment in soccer history because it’s so dumb.


1. Time For A Break

The Tour De France is one of the classiest events on the sporting calendar. Cyclists race along the classic route as they put their physical and mental resolve to the test. It’s also considered a classy event and brings a lot of high-end sponsorships to the table (via GQ).

However, these endorsements probably don’t want to see images like the one above. Everybody asks what happens if a cyclist needs to use the bathroom during a race. Sometimes they allow it to just flow but they’ll also stop in groups and relieve themselves.