Richardson broke onto the scene in 2020 as one of the U.S.’s top track athletes. The fastest woman in America was one of their medal hopes at the Olympics in Tokyo. But she never made it onto the plan after testing positive for marijuana. She claimed that she was smoking to deal with the stress from her biological mother’s recent death.
However, marijuana was on the list of banned substances so she suffered a month’s suspension. This isn’t the first time she’s attracted notoriety. Her coach Dennis Mitchell is a known drug cheat whom she risks tainting herself by association (via Irish Times).
Nobody says Irving isn’t a brilliant player. He’s a wonderful talent and that’s why the Nets wanted to bring him to Brooklyn. But how he left the Boston Celtics was controversial. Fans expected him to stay there for a long time and build them back into a contender. However, Irving craves drama and it follows him everywhere like a magnet (via FOX News).
His time in Brooklyn hasn’t gone smoothly. First, he had injuries that were out of his control. But then in 2021, he refused to receive a vaccine, meaning he couldn’t play in New York under state law. He put his franchise in an extremely difficult position and infuriated the fanbase in the process. Irving creates so much chaos.
To be fair, Favre didn’t create much drama until his time in Green Bay was over. Since then, he’s been unable to resist it. First, there was his outrage over the franchise’s decision to install Aaron Rodgers as the starter. Next, there was his Jets’ scandal where he sent inappropriate photos to a team reporter. The NFL investigated and fined him $50,000 for obstruction.
Then multiple masseuses sued him because he allegedly treated them ‘like slabs of meat.’ They claimed that he tried to initiate a three-way and expected services unbecoming of a married man (via ABC News). Years later, Favre became embroiled in a financial scandal. The state of Mississippi demanded that he repay over a million dollars for public speaking appearances he never attended.
One of the greatest golfers of all time, Woods is no stranger to drama. This wasn’t always the case because he once had a squeaky-clean image. But it all changed after he crashed his car and his sex scandal broke. Dozens of women emerged and revealed that they had had affairs with Woods. In the end, Woods went to rehab and his marriage broke down (via People.com).
In 2019, he won the Masters and reclaimed some of the goodwill he lost. His diehard fans were delighted to see him get another win after years of injury and personal issues. However, in 2021 he broke his leg after another crash. Woods is an incredible golfer and one of the most famous athletes ever. However, it’s a shame that his image will never recover fully from past events.
Arguably the greatest boxer of his generation, Mayweather was the richest active athlete on the planet during his prime. But drama followed him wherever he went but he could have avoided it. The worst was when he spent 90 days in jail after laying hands on the mother of his children (via FOX Sports). This case clung to him like a contagious disease.
However, he rebounded and continued to make massive amounts of money. ‘Money’ opened his nightclub, Girl Collection, in Las Vegas. Furthermore, he had several exhibition bouts that milked dollars from his fans. There was the controversial New Years’ Eve bout against Tenshin Nasukawa. Then there was an exhibition clash with YouTuber Logan Paul.
Most people think of one catchphrase when they hear Balotelli’s name: “Why always me?” In 2011 he scored against Manchester United and lifted his jersey to reveal this message. But Balotelli is a master of drama. This is a man who once crashed his car into a women’s prison because the gate was open. He also used the Manchester City youth team for target practice as he threw darts at them (via Joe.ie).
Then there was the time the fire brigade rushed to his home after he let off fireworks inside. Balotelli also brings drama to his soccer teams. He has been in multiple fights with teammates and left clubs because managers can’t control him. It’s unfortunate but there is a definite sense that he wasted his career.
There’s no denying that Jones is a brilliant athlete but he carries a lot of baggage. The former UFC light heavyweight champion’s nickname may as well be drama rather than ‘Bones’ because he’s synonymous with it. These days he’s feuding with Dana White over money and refusing to fight. He’s also tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs multiple times and added asterisks to his career.
Meanwhile, it’s difficult to know where to start outside the cage. Jones infamously crashed his car into a pregnant woman’s vehicle before fleeing the scene. He also fired his gun into the air while hanging out with homeless people during the global health crisis. Furthermore, on the day of his UFC Hall of Fame induction, Vegas police arrested him on domestic violence charges (via The Mac Life).
It’s safe to say that Bell should have had a much better career than he has achieved. However, the onetime star brings drama wherever he goes. He is his own worst enemy. His best performances came for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but then he sat out for a year. It came down to contract issues but he wasted a season in his prime.
Next, he had the unfortunate luck of moving to the New York Jets. To be fair, they were one of the most dysfunctional franchises in the NFL so it’s not surprising that he failed there. His agent somehow managed to conjure up an escape to the reigning Super Bowl champions. But the Kansas City Chiefs failed to get much out of him (via Fansided). Finally, Bell said he’d never play for Andy Reid again as if he had the option.
McGregor could create drama in a monastery. The Irishman is one of the most insane athletes on the planet and creates chaos everywhere he goes. This applies in a sporting context but also in normal life. For example, he took his family to the Vatican for his child’s Christening. Later, a news report revealed that he punched a DJ at a private party. He is a magnet for trouble.
Sometimes he goes out of his way to make problems. The former champ infamously stormed Brooklyn’s Barclay Center in a bid to assault Khabib Nurmagamedov. There was the time he punched an older man in a pub because he refused to drink McGregor’s whiskey. He has retired and unretired more times than anybody can count. In sum, he’s one of the biggest drama queens on the planet. Just ask Machine Gun Kelly (via Daily Mail).
Sometimes players simply don’t work well together. Maybe they’re just stylistically a bad fit for the team. However, Beckham and Baker Mayfield went beyond this. First, the former was too much of a maverick to bond with his quarterback. He once ran the wrong route against Denver and landed Mayfield in hot water. At the same time, the QB built up a connection with Jarvis Landry (via ESPN).
It didn’t help that Mayfield exploded to life after Beckham’s injury in 2020. Meanwhile, Beckham became an increasingly expensive liability. His tenure in New York ended after injuries too. Those are unavoidable but his attitude remains a sticking point. Endless drama appears to follow the wide receiver. He should be one of the best players in the league but he keeps falling short. That’s why the Browns cut ties with him.