The NFL loves physical, borderline psychotic linebackers and Merriman is another one. He spent the bulk of his career with the Chargers before he retired with the Bills. But he is a polarizing figure off the field. Somehow he continues to forge a media career despite a history of domestic violence.
In 2009, he choked his ex-girlfriend Tia Tequila and forcibly restrained her in his house. San Diego suspended him for that incident. Then there was an appalling drug-related incident in 2017. Allegedly, he put the drug in Kimberley Fattornini’s drink before she died (via Oklahoman).
Former UFC fighter Perry went through a lot of issues in 2020. Disgusting footage emerged of the Floridian knocking out an older man in a Texas restaurant after the pair had a verbal dispute. Finally, an emotional Perry ended the dispute with his fists (via Daily Mail).
It was disgraceful because he was a trained fighter against another vulnerable person. This wasn’t a fair fight because of his youth and training. In the end, the UFC suspended him because they wanted him to seek treatment. In 2022, he became a bare-knuckle boxer, which will not help his brain health.
Washington joins the ranks of disgusting linebackers whose teams suspended them. Maybe they take too much head trauma and it makes them crazy. But that isn’t an excuse because they don’t have to play football. Meanwhile, their victims live with the consequences.
He assaulted his girlfriend in 2013 and she fell over, breaking her collarbone. First, the Cardinals suspended him but they released him after a court placed him on probation. Nobody else wanted to hire him after this because he would have damaged their image (via Bleacher Report).
Vazquez is one of the most deplorable athletes on this list. The Venezuelan appeared to be a future Hall of Famer but it came to a sickening end. A court sentenced him to four years in prison after he sexually abused a 13-year-old girl. His name instantly became notorious (via Trib Live).
He also possessed child pornography after the victim sent him photographs. Vazquez maintained the relationship for two years as he groomed the girl. Sadly, she also lives with the consequences of his actions. She claims that she suffers from anxiety and depression after he stole her innocence.
Hardy made the Pro Bowl in 2013 when he played for the Carolina Panthers. It looked like he was on course for a decent professional career but then the police arrested him. This was another horrible domestic abuse case. He battered his girlfriend before throwing her onto a pile of guns. It’s a surreal situation but it rocked her world.
His name instantly became dirt in the NFL and they suspended him. He received a second chance in Dallas but the franchise gave up on him. Hardy trained in MMA and joined the UFC but the fans reviled him. They booed him every time he featured until finally, the promotion cut him (via Deadspin).
Greenwood was one of the most exciting English soccer players on the planet. The young man broke out as Manchester United’s next hope. But his star faded in an instant when police arrested him on rape and assault charges. United instantly suspended him pending an investigation.
His alleged victim rejected his sexual advances but he forced himself on her. Greenwood also allegedly threatened to kill her if she didn’t accept. It was a shocking story because of Greenwood’s profile and popularity. This was horrible for his alleged victim (via Daily Express).
Vick was one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the NFL in 2007. He was the first black QB to become the first overall pick and redefined the position with the Falcons. But then a major scandal erupted when federal law enforcement arrested him.
The signal-caller was also the ringleader of a dog-fighting ring. Horrendous details emerged about his cruelty toward animals and he went to jail. Meanwhile, the NFL suspended him. He rehabilitated his career after his release and joined the Eagles (via Marca).
Pulev is one of Europe’s most recognizable heavyweight boxers. The Bulgarian challenged for titles against the likes of Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko. However, he fell short in key clashes and never won the glory he sought. But he did achieve notoriety in 2019 when he sexually harassed a reporter.
Jennifer Ravalo interviewed Pulev after a victory but didn’t expect him to violate her. First, he kissed her on the lips without consent while the cameras rolled. He also allegedly groped her buttocks with both hands. The Californian State Atheltic Commission suspended him for his actions (via Time).
Jones remains the youngest UFC champion ever. But perhaps the fame went to his head because he continues to go off the rails. He constantly creates problems for himself and the UFC suspended him multiple times. There were multiple drug test failures but the worst incident occurred in 2014.
That’s when he crashed his vehicle into a pregnant woman before fleeing the scene. It was a cowardly act and he received global condemnation. It also left the UFC with no choice but to act and they stripped him of his title. He also faced legal consequences because of his criminal actions (via N.Y. Post).
Carragher spent his entire career with Liverpool as a no-nonsense defender. Then he left the soccer field and became a T.V. analyst. He quickly won acclaim for his chemistry with former rival Gary Neville. But a notorious incident in 2018 tainted the public’s perception of him (via Sky Sports).
The Liverpudlian was in his car when some fans drove beside him and teased him about his team’s result. Carragher responded by spitting in the direction of a 14-year-old girl in the passenger seat. Sky suspended him for the rest of the season but his victim pleaded on his behalf because he showed genuine remorse.
Peterson was one of the best running backs ever. But he also committed the unforgivable act of domestic violence. There’s no excusing it, regardless of the individual’s status. This wasn’t even an isolated incident because he abused his son and his wife. Peterson proved that he’s a terrible person.
First, the Vikings suspended him because he consistently beat his child with a wooden switch. Then, police arrested him in 2022 for an act of domestic violence. It’s a shame that such a great player is a terrible person. All those Pro Bowl appearances mean nothing (via NBC News).
McGregor is the most famous MMA fighter on the planet. But he’s a polarizing figure because of his dubious life choices. He has more driving citations than title defenses and has been involved in unsavory incidents. The N.A.C. suspended him for his role in the Khabib Nurmagomedov brawl in 2018.
Furthermore, he had problems with the law because of sexual assault allegations. McGregor paid off multiple lawsuits because of his alleged behavior. He constantly becomes involved in unnecessary situations that cost him thousands of dollars. In 2021, he even attempted to assault Machine Gun Kelly (via G.Q.)
Johnson was a dynamic English winger. After playing for Manchester City, he moved to Sunderland where he became a key player. However, his career crashed to a halt when police arrested him. This came after he groomed a 14-year-old girl (via Mirror). It rocked the soccer world because of his profile.
He admitted that he kissed the underage girl and engaged in sexual activity. He manipulated her on Whatsapp before committing the sickening act. First, Sunderland suspended him while the investigation was ongoing. Then, they fired him for being such a disgraceful human being.
Zouma is a French international soccer player. He also plays for West Ham in the Premier League. In 2022, he disgusted the world when alarming video footage emerged. The clip showed Zouma kicking his cat like a football. Meanwhile, his brother and his son watched and laughed.
Animal rights groups condemned the soccer star and he apologized. Meanwhile, the Premier League suspended him for a game. However, his club failed to take any further action against him. It was shameful because the animal couldn’t defend itself (via Mirror).
Rice was an elite running back for the Baltimore Ravens. He won a Super Bowl with the franchise and earned three Pro Bowl appearances. However, fans don’t remember him for his magic on the field. It’s his brutal antics toward his girlfriend that live in infamy (via CNN). It should have been different because he was a sensational athlete.
This was a major scandal at the time and the NFL attracted controversy for how it handled it. In the end, they suspended him indefinitely. After his suspension was lifted nobody wanted to hire him because of his actions. Remember, he dragged his unconscious fiancee out of an elevator.
MLB suspended Bauer for a record amount of time because of his sexual assault allegations. Bauer denies any involvement in sexual violence or domestic assault. It will also cost him about $60 million in salary. However, the damage to his reputation is worth even more.
Bauer allegedly assaulted three women in separate incidents. He appealed because he refuses to admit that he did it. It remains to be seen if his appeal is successful. But it’s difficult to see a positive outcome for him (via Marca). If the allegations are true then his career is over.