We idolize our sports heroes but the reality is that many of them are flawed people. Their actions on the field or in real life result in real consequences. Over the years, this has resulted in dozens of seedy superstar suspensions. Some of these are more dramatic than others.
So today, we’ll look at some of the wildest stories ever, from drug cheats to just all-out psychotic human beings. Each of these suspensions rocked the world when they became official. Some of the athletes learned from their mistakes but others continued to behave badly.
Burfict is one of the dirtiest NFL players ever, perhaps the dirtiest of all time, and that’s why he makes this list. This seedy superstar should have been a UFC fighter because he’s more interested in hurting his opponents than playing ball. The NFL suspended him multiple times for unsavory actions but the worst came in 2019.
He went helmet-to-helmet with the Colts’ Jack Doyle in a disgusting incident. The linebacker received a 12-game suspension because of his history of brutal on-field attacks. There aren’t many athletes who made this list for their brutality, but Burfict earned his place (via NFL.com).
Everybody knows drinking and driving is terrible, but some still take that risk. In 2009, Stallworth killed a pedestrian with high alcohol content in his blood after speeding. He went to jail before settling a civil suit and received a lengthy NFL suspension (via Sportscasting).
The first thoughts should be with Stallworth’s tragic victim, Mario Reyes, who was walking home from his construction job. He didn’t deserve to die because a hungover wide receiver couldn’t stick to the speed limit. In the end, Stallworth used his horrific experience to turn his life around.
Arenas played a key role in one of the most notorious incidents in NBA history. He went head-to-head with teammate Javaris Crittenton on a team flight in 2009. The men threatened each other with violence about gambling debts. Then it spilled over into the team locker room the following week (via TMZ).
The pair pulled unloaded guns on each other and issued death threats before their teammates defused the situation. But that wasn’t the end of the matter because the law and the NBA intervened. Arenas didn’t have a license for his handgun and received an indefinite suspension as well as two years of probation.
Kendricks earned his place on this seedy superstar list for one of the most interesting reasons. In 2018, the Seahawks star pled guilty to insider trading and faced up to 25 years in jail for the crime. An NFL suspension didn’t mean much to him with this hanging over his head.
In the end, Kendricks spent a single day behind bars as well as probation and community service. Meanwhile, the NFL hit him with an eight-game ban after he made millions of dollars from the scheme. Only the linebacker knows if his criminal efforts were worth the price he paid (via News4Jax).
Miller is a heavyweight boxer who is also incredibly stupid. “Big Baby” received the biggest opportunity of his life when Anthony Joshua selected him for his U.S. debut. The pair should have fought in Madison Square Garden on a high-profile card but Miller failed a drug test (via Fight News).
This would be bad enough but then he failed another one after his initial suspension. Miller has a history of steroid abuse that stem from his days as a kickboxer. He is the definition of a seedy superstar because he doesn’t care about his legacy or the unnatural risk that he presents to his opponents.
A two-time NBA champion, Howard joined the Michigan Wolverines after he retired from playing basketball. Then he became a highly-rated college coach and led them to the Big Ten title. But the controversial seedy superstar had an unsavory incident in 2022 (via ESPN).
He punched a Wisconsin assistant in the face after a heated dispute boiled over. This caused a courtside brawl and attracted the attention of the NCAA. They suspended him and hit him with a $40,000 fine for his troubles. Howard claimed that he was protecting himself but nobody believes that.
Mota made history in 2012 but it wasn’t for a good reason. He became the first MLB player ever to receive a 100-game suspension after a positive test. However, this wasn’t the first time that the seedy superstar violated baseball’s drug policies. That’s why MLB threw the book at him as well as the printing press.
This was the second time he failed a test in his career. In 2006, the league hit him with a 50-game ban for the same offense but he didn’t learn his lesson. Mota never pitched in the Major Leagues again after the ruling because he destroyed his reputation (via SB Nation).
Payton became a victim of the infamous ‘BountyGate’ scandal in 2009 after the NFL threw the book at him. They suspended the Saints’ head coach for a season and indefinitely banned defensive coordinator, Greg Williams. The latter allegedly offered bonuses to players who took specific opposition athletes out of games.
Commissioner Roger Goodell claimed that a statement was necessary because the infraction went against the spirit of the sport. Many people thought that the punishment was too harsh but it stood. At least Netflix made a movie out of the incident’s aftermath that painted Payton in a positive light (via Bleacher Report).
McKinnie earned the reputation of a seedy superstar in 2005 after his role in the Vikings’ party boat scandal. This was an embarrassing episode for the NFL because the Minnesota team partied with hookers in the public eye. He only received a one-game suspension but it tainted his legacy.
Then, in 2008, McKinnie spat on a doorman before striking him with a pole. This was a horrible incident and the NFL slammed him with another suspension. Furthermore, he was lucky that he faced a lenient judge because he didn’t serve any jail time. That’s the joys of being a celebrity athlete (via Daily Star).
In the end, an NFL suspension was the least of Schlichter’s problems but it was indicative of his future turmoil. The quarterback had a short career in the league because of his gambling addiction. Commissioner Pete Rozelle showed no mercy as he suspended the former Ohio State star indefinitely.
Schlicter’s life plunged into chaos after this and he spent most of his life behind bars. He was always in debt and built up massive sums. It was a terrible waste of talent but Schlichter didn’t receive the support he required. This is a tragic story that serves as a warning to all young footballers (via Indy Star).
Elliot isn’t just a seedy superstar, he’s also one of the most overrated players of the past decade. However, the Dallas running back makes this list for the former reason. His notorious domestic abuse scandal stained his career came to light in 2017 after an ESPN investigation.
Then, the NFL reviewed the situation and suspended him for six games after he violated their conduct policy. Elliot allegedly used physical force against his former girlfriend and left marks on her body. This was horrible because nobody respects a woman abuser (via Bleacher Report).
It’s a shame that Rose’s legacy is beyond repair but he may enjoy having a chip on his shoulder. Cooperstown will never induct the Reds icon because of his gambling scandal. It doesn’t matter that he had a phenomenal playing career and was blossoming as a pro baseball manager.
Rose admitted that he had a gambling problem and even bet on Cincinnati’s games. In the end, MLB hit him with a lifetime ban from the sport and also destroyed his Hall of Fame dream. Some people think that he did enough as a player to earn a sport but others believe that his case is beyond reprieve (via History).
Taylor is another seedy superstar who laid his hands on a woman in a disgraceful incident. The former Charlotte star had a relatively short NBA career before he moved to Europe. Then he rebuilt his image in a new league in Spain and helped his team to the EuroLeague.
But the domestic violence incident made him a persona non grata in the U.S. after the NBA suspended him for 24 games. Nobody wanted to associate themselves with him after this because his ability didn’t match up with the risk. The simple solution is not to touch women violently (via Sky Sports).
Armstrong is the epitome of a seedy superstar because of his impact on the cycling world. Firstly, he brought the sport into the mainstream and became its first true icon. But he also devastated its reputation when news of his cheating emerged in a crazy drug scandal (via Reuters).
In the beginning, he was the hero who rebounded from cancer to win the Tour De France seven times. However, an investigation uncovered the truth and established him as the ringleader of a cheating ring. It was a crushing blow for his fans and World Cycling banned him for life.
Sprewell belongs on this list because of his stupidity and bad behavior. Don’t forget that he was an excellent player and even became a four-time All-Star. However, the NBA player had a hot temper and infamously attacked P.J. Carlesimo during practice (via CBC).
This had a significant influence on his career because the NBA suspended the seedy superstar for the remainder of the season. He missed 68 games and Golden State cut him because of his horrendous conduct. Later, Sprewell fell out of the league after the Timberwolves offered him a pay cut.
The Bengals had a massive opportunity to win the organization’s first Super Bowl in 1989. However, they suffered an early blow when their head coach caught Wilson on a cocaine binge. They left him off the roster and lost the game as Joe Montana’s 49ers took the victory.
Then the NFL suspended Wilson for life because it was his third strike. Sadly, his life went on a downward spiral after this as he suffered from further drug abuse. The former running back spent a lot of time in and out of jail. It’s a tragedy because he had a lot of potential but ruined it (via Sportscasting).
Ferdinand was one of the best defenders of his generation. But he wasn’t a stranger to controversy as an incident in 2003 proved. There aren’t many drug test scandals in soccer but Ferdinand was at the center of one. He missed a test and the league banned him for half a season.
The English athlete resented accusations of steroid abuse but he brought it on himself. It’s relatively simple not to miss a test but he wasn’t present. Finally, he returned to the field but there were a lot of eyes on him for the rest of the season. That’s what happens to a seedy superstar when they play again (via The Guardian).
Washington is a terrible human being because he’s been in the middle of two horrible scandals. The first and the main reason why he’s on this list is because of a punch in 1977. He walloped Rudy Tomjanovich in the face and left the stricken athlete unconscious on the court.
The NBA suspended him for the rest of the season but that wasn’t the end of his evil ways. Washington committed an insane act of fraud in his later life. He siphoned cash from an HIV children’s charity to fund his girlfriend’s lavish life. It’s a wild story but one that doesn’t reflect well on him (via USA Today).
Leben was one of the most polarizing and charismatic fighters of his era. The former UFC star fought some of the best athletes in the world including Anderson Silva and Michael Bisping. However, this seedy superstar is on this list because he failed multiple drug tests.
The UFC suspended him a couple of times because he cheated. Steroid abuse in combat sports is terrible because fighters are trying to damage their opponents. It prevents the contest from being an even playing field and can also lead to life-changing injuries (via Bleacher Report).
Argentina’s Puerta had a decent professional tennis career. One of his most high-profile moments came when he faced Rafael Nadal in the 2005 French Open Final. In the end, Nadal won the event but that wasn’t the only thing that Puerta lost. He tested positive for banned substances after the game and suffered the consequences.
‘Pacman’ Jones is one of the wildest human beings on the planet. The former Bengals star spent more time in police precincts than on an NFL field. Meanwhile, the league suspended him several times because of his chaotic behavior. He infamously smashed a stripper’s head on a stage because she wouldn’t give him back his tip.
Then there was the notorious shooting incident that left a bouncer paralyzed. Nobody charged Jones but the allegations remain murky. It’s no surprise that the NFL and his teams punished him multiple times but he never earned his lesson. But life will never be boring as long as Jones is around (via Review-Journal).
Suarez emerged as one of the best soccer players on the planet during his time with Liverpool. But he also had a close relationship with the dark side as fans saw on multiple occasions. He infamously bit Branislav Ivanovic in 2013 and received a 10-game ban for good measure (via Marca).
This seedy superstar committed an even worse offense in 2011 when he racially abused Patrice Evra. The Premier League suspended him for eight games and it stained Suarez’s career. However, his team shockingly supported him by wearing t-shirts with his face on them.
Nobody likes a drug cheat but Cunningham didn’t care. The former NFL linebacker committed a PED offense during his time with the Patriots and received a suspension. However, this wasn’t the last time that the seedy superstar committed a dubious act.
In 2015, the NFL suspended the former Jets star again because he posted pictures of a naked woman online without her consent. This went against the league’s code of conduct and Jones rightfully received a lot of hate. It was a disgusting thing to do and he never played football again (via Complex).
Artest played a central role in one of the most infamous NBA brawls ever. This controversial athlete went head to head with Ben Wallace before confronting a fan. Soon one of the most chaotic events ever happened and the NBA threw the book at everybody involved (via The Guardian).
Artest received one of the longest suspensions in history but the drama wasn’t over. The Pacers stuck by him throughout the controversy but he immediately demanded a trade when the ban ended. This was a betrayal but the seedy superstar didn’t care and he changed his name to “Metta World Peace.”
These days Fury is one of the most popular boxers on the planet. But this seedy superstar is a polarizing figure because of his links to cartel leaders and a dubious history. It’s easy to forget that he failed multiple drug tests because of a penchant for cocaine. However, he did worse than take recreational drugs.
Fury also used the banned steroid nandrolone and received a ban for good measure. His team allegedly bribed a farmer to claim that he gave the Gypsy King contaminated boar meat. In the end, this devious scheme didn’t go down well and he went on a downward spiral (via The Mirror).
A-Rod was one of the biggest baseball stars of his era but his career ended in disgrace. The seedy superstar took performance-enhancing drugs and cheated his way to the top of the sport. The Biogenesis scandal revealed the truth after Rodriguez denied any wrongdoing (via NPR).
In the end, the facts emerged and MLB suspended him for an incredible 211 games. However, they reduced this slightly on appeal but the damage was done. He missed a full season before he returned to action as one of the league’s polarizing figures. Baseball remains one of the dirtiest sports on the planet.
Bosnich was one of the Premier League’s most colorful goalkeepers when he joined Chelsea in 2001. However, the Australian developed an insane $6000 a week cocaine addiction. This had serious consequences on his career because he failed a drug test and his team terminated his contract (via Sky Sports).
Then the F.A. suspended him for nine months but it could have been worse. The maximum penalty was two years but they offered a more lenient punishment. In the end, Bosnich spent six years away from the sport as he struggled to get clean. Then he moved home to Australia and reestablished himself as a player.
Nurmagomedov was one of the most intimidating fighters ever because he overwhelmed his opponents. He found a serious rival in Conor McGregor but their relationship became increasingly toxic. Finally, the pair fought and Khabib won a dominant fight by submitting the Irishman.
But that wasn’t the end of the clash because the Russian attacked McGregor’s team and ignited a brawl. It became one of the most notorious incidents in UFC history and disgraced the promotion. Khabib received a lengthy suspension for his actions (via Washington Post).
Tyson was and still is one of the most intimidating men on the planet. The former heavyweight champion demolished opponents during his heyday. But he also lived on the edge and is a polarizing figure. One of his wildest suspensions came after he bit off a large chunk of longtime rival Evander Holyfield’s ear.
The Nevada Athletic Commission banned him for 15 months because it was gloriously illegal. Meanwhile, Tyson spent a lot more time outside of the ring because of a rape conviction. He also admitted that he used a fake penis to manipulate drug tests because he often fought while high (via CBC).
Toure enjoyed a great Premier League as one of the division’s top defenders. However, he missed a significant chunk of the 2010/11 season after he failed a drug test. This was unusual at the highest level of soccer compared to other sports like football or baseball (via Sky Sports).
It emerged that Toure used one of his wife’s weight loss pills without realizing that it contained banned substances. This was idiotic because he was responsible for what he put into his body. It didn’t cost him in the long term because he continued playing for Man City before a move to Liverpool.
Wiggins was a shooting guard for the Rockets but his career came to an unceremonious end. The seedy superstar enjoyed a party and took cocaine. This didn’t combine well with the NBA’s drug policy and he found himself on the wrong end of a suspension (via The Focus).
After his ban expired, Wiggins tried to return to the NBA. However, Philadelphia was the only team with a genuine interest and demanded a physical drug test. Wiggins refused and never played in the league again. But he experienced redemption through his Championship-winning son, Andrew.
Buress is a special kind of stupid because he shot himself in the foot. No, we’re not speaking metaphorically because we mean this in the most literal sense. The former Giants star accidentally discharged his pistol into his leg outside a nightclub (via Sportscasting).
Things became worse for Burress because he didn’t have a license for the weapon. A New York court charged the wide receiver with a weapons violation and he spent 20 months behind bars. He also suffered an NFL suspension but that wasn’t his biggest problem. Meanwhile, the injury also affected his pace when he returned to football.
Silva changed the UFC when he destroyed Chris Leben in his electrifying debut. Nobody saw the Brazilian coming with his electrifying fighting style. He went on an unprecedented winning streak at middleweight and became the division’s greatest-ever champion (via USA Today).
Then he tainted his legacy in 2017 after he failed a drug test. The Brazilian tested positive for clenbuterol and immediately fans called his reputation into question. It didn’t help that he went on a terrible losing streak after his return. However, he still retains massive support from combat sports aficionados.
Larson made headlines for the wrong reasons in 2020 during the global health crisis. The NASCAR driver took part in an online race that changed his life. This seedy superstar dropped a racial slur without realizing that his microphone was live. His team dropped him because that isn’t acceptable in modern society.
Furthermore, NASCAR suspended him indefinitely before they allowed him to return. But things have gone well for Larson since he competed again. He competes for Hendrick Motorsport with success and claims genuine regret for his words. Perhaps he’s telling the truth or maybe he’s sorry that the world heard him (via NBC Sport).
Many people consider Maradona to be the greatest soccer player in history. The Argentine icon died in 2020 after a long battle with drug addiction. The seedy superstar tainted the end of his career with cocaine abuse. Like Mike Tyson, he also kept a prosthetic penis for drug tests (via Daily Star).
The device is currently in a museum in Buenos Aires. FIFA threw him out of the 1994 World Cup and suspended him after he failed a test. It wasn’t surprising because his life was spiraling out of control. Maradona remains a beloved figure but he wasn’t a perfect person.
Johnson was a defensive end with a lot of talent but he made life difficult for himself. He was one of those NFL players who couldn’t stay out of trouble. The main reason why he’s on this list is because of a police raid on his home in 2006. They found an armory of unregistered firearms and arrested him because he violated parole.
Meanwhile, the NFL suspended him for eight games because it went against their code of conduct. It was ridiculous but sums up Johnson’s life pretty well. The moronic athlete committed numerous other legal offenses over the next few years and spent time in jail (via Reuters).
Barton is one of the most controversial English soccer players ever. The dynamic athlete infamously assaulted a teammate on the training field. He also assaulted a man during a night out in Liverpool. This is just a small taste of his seemingly endless list of offenses.
However, Barton’s longest suspension came in 2017 when the F.A. found him guilty of violating their betting rules. They sidelined him for 18 months and essentially ended his playing career. It was a harsh punishment but his record was stacked against him (via Bleacher Report).
Peterson is one of the NFL’s greatest running backs ever. But brilliance on the playing field doesn’t mean that somebody is a good person in real life. The former Vikings star’s parenting methods attracted negative attention in 2014. This came after he lashed his son with a switch as a punishment.
The seedy star narrowly avoided prison time but the NFL suspended him for the remainder of the season. He also attended community service because it was a terrible thing to do. Peterson had a tough upbringing and saw nothing wrong with his actions at the time (via NFL.com).
Keane is one of the most interesting cases on this list because of the nature of his suspension. He savagely tackled Alf-Inge Haaland in 2001 and left the City midfielder in a heap on the floor. The referee immediately sent him off but that wasn’t the end of the affair (via SportBible).
The Irishman released his autobiography the following season and polarized the masses. He suggested that his tackle on Haaland was a premeditated assault because the Norwegian laughed at him several years earlier. Then, the Premier League suspended the seedy superstar for another five games.
Alvarez is one of the most marketable and famous athletes on the planet. The Mexican boxer won titles in multiple weight classes but controversy stained him in 2018. He failed a drug test after he tested positive for Clenbuterol, an anabolic steroid. This resulted in a six-month ban for the seedy superstar.
His team claimed that contaminated Mexican meat was responsible. But Canelo’s opponents cried foul and boxing fans claimed that he was a cheat. Alvarez rebounded from the incident and did a great job of brushing it under the table. But it happened and there is no denying that fact (via Mirror).
Some soccer players party too hard and pay the consequences of their actions. Mutu was a great example because he ruined his Premier League career. Chelsea thought that they had made a coup when they signed the Romanian. But then he tested positive for cocaine and received a massive suspension (via Daily Star).
Chelsea fired him because he violated the terms of his contract. They also sued their former player for millions of dollars in damages. Mutu also received another suspension during his time in Italy with Fiorentina. The seedy superstar tested positive for drugs again because he couldn’t stay clean.
Some NFL players live on the edge and are always a moment from violence. Garrett is one of the best defensive players in the league and a key figure for the Cleveland Browns. But he produced a shocking moment in 2019 when he hit Mason Rudolph with the latter’s helmet.
The Browns played the Steelers when the stunning incident occurred. Rudolph’s helmet came off before the pair went head-to-head. Then Garrett picked it up and swung it at the Pittsburgh quarterback’s face. Garrett was one of several players who received suspensions for their behavior (via TribLive).
Sharapova spent 11 years as the most lucrative female athlete on the planet. The Russian star won every Major and sealed her status as one of the greatest tennis players ever. But she tarnished her legacy in 2016 when it emerged that she had failed a drug test.
This was very disappointing because of her status in the sport. It instantly generated questions about her achievements and the authenticity of her wins. Unfortunately, drug test failures create doubt but that’s something a seedy athlete lives with it (via The Guardian).
Simon gained a reputation for being one of the NHL’s most controversial athletes. The seedy superstar tended toward violence and infamously drew a 30-game suspension. This came after he savagely stood on Jarko Ruuko’s ankle with his skate in 2007.
It was a disgusting incident but there was more to it than met the eye. Later, Simon checked himself into rehab because of a battle with alcohol. Simon also assaulted a Rangers player with his stick earlier that year. In short, he wasn’t a figure to mess with (via NHL.com).
Greenwood was one of England’s most exciting prospects as well as the future of Manchester United’s forward line. However, it all came crashing to a halt when his girlfriend revealed the extent of his domestic violence. She claimed that he even left her fearing for her life (via Express).
The condemnation was instantaneous as legal proceedings began against him. Meanwhile, United suspended the player pending the outcome of the investigation. It was shocking because no woman should have to deal with this type of behavior. Furthermore, it was a terrible waste of potential on his part.
Dillashaw was on top of the world before it came falling around him. He won plaudits for his science-based approach to fight preparation but soon became a villain. That’s because the former bantamweight champion failed a drug test after a defeat to Henry Cejudo in 2019 (via MMA Junkie).
EPO is a PED that enhances endurance. Dillashaw was unlucky because testers often don’t check for this substance but they detected it this time. USADA suspended him for two years after he violated their drug policy. The seedy superstar returned as one of the UFC’s villains-in-chief.
Manchester City suspended Mendy in 2021 after police arrested the seedy superstar on rape charges. A judge granted him parole but he wasn’t allowed to host guests or consume alcohol. Unsurprisingly, Mendy didn’t impress the judge when he held a house party and found himself behind bars.
Things became worse for the French international when the police charged him with an eighth count of rape. He went from winning the World Cup and the Premier League to becoming a pariah. It’s a shameful case because it’s vile as well as incredibly stupid (via Irish Mirror).
Saunders is an excellent boxer but that doesn’t mean that he’s a nice human being. The Englishman has a history of putting his foot in his mouth and this cost him dearly in 2021. After agreeing on a deal to fight Canelo Alvarez he made an unfortunate video with big consequences (via The Guardian).
He produced a clip where he punched a bag and compared it to beating a woman. The British Boxing Commission promptly suspended his license pending an investigation. Eventually, they allowed him to fight again but the seedy superstar didn’t do his reputation any favors.
Braun received a 65-game suspension after he violated MLB’s anti-drug policies. This wasn’t even the worst part of the situation. He lied about his PED abuse and also received the support of high-profile athletes. These included icons like the Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.
Many of these stars disassociated themselves from Braun after the truth emerged. He embarrassed them because they stuck their necks out for the player. It was a shambles and he also experienced a lot of criticism from his fellow professionals (via CNBC).
We already mentioned Gilbert Arenas but what about his dance partner Crittenton? The former Wizards star was even more volatile than his teammate and ended up behind bars. The NBA suspended Crittenton for his role in the locker room gun incident (via ABC News).
However, things took a darker turn for Crittenton because he became a murderer. He notoriously killed Julian Jones and received a 23-year jail term. It was shocking because he took somebody’s life away and destroyed his own life in the process.
Diaz was one of the biggest UFC stars before his suspension in 2015. The Stockton native became a cult figure because of his attitude in the cage as well as in real life. He fought Anderson Silva and initially lost the bout but it became a no-contest after they failed drug tests.
Silva tested positive for steroids while Diaz had marijuana in his system. Bizarrely and controversially, Diaz received a longer ban than Silva despite the latter using PEDs. It cost him some of the best years of his career in a decision that many fans still resent (via Sportskeeda).
Baker’s case is interesting because he received a six-game suspension in 2022. This came after he took PEDs ahead of the new season. It was a dumb move and dangerous for his opponents. But the craziest aspect is that he got the same ban as Deshaun Watson.
Watson settled cases with multiple women after he allegedly touched them inappropriately and forced them to perform sexual acts. Many people thought that it was outrageous that he had the same punishment as Baker. Baker indeed broke the rules but it was less disgusting than Watson’s case (via USA Today).
It shouldn’t have been a surprise when Jones tested positive for PEDs after the Sydney Olympics. The American athlete had a She-Hulk physique during the competition. However, it was a massive blow to women around the world because they held her up as a role model.
The BALCO scandal uncovered the truth about Jones and several other high-profile athletes. Jones even spent time behind bars after she lied to federal agents during the investigation. The seedy superstar betrayed the trust of all her fans and brought athletics into disrepute (via NPR).
Roethlisberger is one of the Steelers’ best-ever quarterbacks. However, opposition NFL fans loath him because of the way he treated women. The QB had several sexual assault scandals and found law enforcement breathing down his neck (via CBS Sports).
The NFL also suspended him because of one of the incidents. It’s terrible that some high-profile athletes abuse their position because they think they’re above the law. However, everybody knows that this is the type of person he is. He may be rich but that doesn’t mean he’s a good person.
Drink driving is always a terrible idea because of the potential consequences. Tragically Brent discovered this the hard way when he accidentally killed his friend and teammate, Jerry Brown. The Cowboys DL enjoyed a night on a town and couldn’t recollect how much he drank before sitting in the driver’s seat.
He received jail time as well as 10 years of probation. Meanwhile, the NFL hit him with a suspension to compound his misery. Brent knew that he had to live with his actions and that opposition teams wouldn’t forget. It’s a terrible story that shows that nobody is untouchable (via Sportscasting).
Few players had the same impact on a franchise as Vick. The former Falcons quarterback became the face of the franchise and also changed the perspective of his position. His ability to rush was unlike anything that NFL fans saw before but his legacy imploded (via The Spun).
That’s because an FBI investigation uncovered that Vick was the leader of a dogfighting ring. He found himself in jail for a couple of years before a return to the NFL. The Eagles decided it was worth granting him a second chance and he re-established himself in the league.
Brady is one of the most famous athletes on the planet. He’s also the greatest NFL quarterback ever but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t fallen foul of the rules. He infamously suffered a four-game ban as a result of the DeflateGate scandal in 2015 (via CBS Sports).
The Patriots also paid a $1 million fine after the incident that saw them cheat again. However, Brady had the last laugh because he won the NFL MVP award after his return. But it was catnip to all of the New England haters out there who loathed the team with a passion.
Kyrgios is one of the most talented players of his era but the Australian invites controversy like it’s going out of fashion. He regularly throws tantrums when things don’t go his way and he doesn’t care what people think about him. Some fans appreciate his authenticity but others consider him to be petulant and arrogant.
In 2016, he infamously walked off the court in Shanghai and argued with a fan. The seedy superstar received a three-month suspension from competition. The ITF also hit him with a significant fine for his troubles. He never learned his lesson despite the financial sting (via Daily Express).
Ridley became a major talking point in 2022 when the NFL suspended him for the entire season. This was controversial because the Atlanta star only gambled $1500. But the wideout made the mistake of creating spreads that included Falcons games.
Some fans accused the NFL of giving him a disproportionate punishment. They compared his suspension to DeShaun Watson’s and pointed out that the NFL encouraged gambling. Unfortunately, this didn’t help Ridley who fell victim to the league’s zero-tolerance policy (via ESPN).
Johnson became an overnight superstar in Canada when he won gold medals at the L.A. Olympics. However, the seedy superstar destroyed his reputation and legacy when he failed a drug test. Instantly, he broke his fans’ hearts and received a lengthy suspension.
The IOC also stripped him of his wins because he cheated his way to victory. Global humiliation would usually be a good lesson but it didn’t teach Johnson anything. He took PEDs again later when he returned from his suspension. In the end, he became a parody figure of disgust and sympathy (via The Guardian).
Boxing is one of the most dangerous sports on the planet. It’s arguably more brutal than MMA because athletes receive more head trauma. That’s why it’s terrible to cheat because it could cause serious long-term damage to an opponent. But Margarito didn’t care and covered his wraps with Plaster of Paris.
The substance hardens when it makes contact with moisture and becomes solid. Fortunately, the California Athletic Commission detected the anomaly before his bout against Shane Mosley. Margarito lost his boxing license and it was as much as the seedy superstar deserved (via SB Nation).
Unfortunately, many NFL players think that they are above the law because of their success. This creates a sense of entitlement that causes many of them to act inappropriately. That’s what happened in Winston’s situation when he played for the Buccaneers (via NFL.com).
He was in an Uber with a female driver when he attempted to hit on her. She didn’t respond well to his flirting and then he sexually groped her. She pressed charges against him and an NFL investigation began too. In the end, the league hit the quarterback with a three-game suspension.
McGregor became the UFC’s first true superstar when he broke onto the scene in the mid-2010s. The Irishman claimed two titles on his way to becoming the face of the organization. However, he also had a dark side and infamously suffered a suspension for his role in a post-fight brawl.
The seedy superstar is no stranger to controversy. He once flew his friends to Brooklyn to stage a raid on the Barclay Center in a scandalous event. The Irishman also experienced multiple legal battles about alleged sexual assaults, battery, and driving offenses (via GiveMeSport).
Hargrove found himself as the player at the center of the Bountygate scandal. The Saints star dug a hole for himself because he initially lied about his involvement. It turns out that this is a terrible idea because the truth always emerges. Then the NFL threw the book at him for his conduct.
Furthermore, they made a point of saying that they suspended him for his lies rather than his actions. If he spoke honestly about the team’s dubious policy he may have avoided it. After all, it was the team coaches who came up with the immoral scheme, not the players (via Bleacher Report).
Hardy is another vile athlete who experienced more success in life than he deserved. The seedy superstar was an NFL defensive end with the Carolina Panthers. Then he had a nasty domestic battery case where he threw his girlfriend onto a pile of guns. Suspiciously, she withdrew charges after a court found him guilty.
He briefly played for the Cowboys after a suspension but nobody wanted him anymore. Then he transitioned to MMA and became a full-time professional fighter. Hardy fought in the UFC but didn’t win many fights. Furthermore, fans despised him and condemned the organization for pushing him (via Pro Football Network).
The name “Merle Hapes” may not mean much to modern NFL fans but it lives in infamy. Hapes began his football career with the New York Giants in 1942. After World War II he rejoined the franchise and played in the 1946 NFC Championship Game. But that’s where it went wrong for the seedy superstar quarterback.
The Giants played the Bears in the infamous game that rocked the sport to the core. Hapes and Bears quarterback Frank Filchock accepted bribes to fix the game. In the end, the truth emerged and Hapes received a lifetime ban from playing in the U.S. He spent the remainder of his career in Canada (via Vice).
Jones became the youngest UFC champion in history when he claimed the light heavyweight title for the first time. It appeared as though mainstream stardom was an inevitability but it never materialized. That’s because Jones is a self-destructive person who can’t stay out of trouble (via N.Y. Post).
In recent years Jones committed several PED violations and suffered suspensions as a result. However, the worst case was when he committed a DUI offense and drove into a pregnant woman’s vehicle. He abandoned the scene in a terrible display of humanity and received intense condemnation.
Russia operated one of the most ludicrous state-sponsored doping schemes in history. The ICARUS documentary revealed the extent of this insane operation that saw secret service agents and scientists work together. This was mass doing on a scale that the world had never seen.
The IOC responded by banning Russia from competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics as well as the 2022 Tokyo Olympics. However, they allowed Russian athletes to compete under a neutral banner in a pointless gesture. Shockingly, this decision went ahead (via Yahoo!).
This seedy superstar suffered a massive suspension because he used a lot of drugs. There’s nothing wrong with partying but it’s not wise for a professional athlete to load up on recreational substances. Andersen lost two years of his career and spent time in rehab as he tried to clean up (via ESPN).
The bright side is that he returned to basketball and didn’t break the rules again. He even won a ring with the Miami Heat in 2013. The “Birdman” became a cult hero because of his exciting style and his distinctive tattoos. Unlike many athletes on this list, he replenished his image.
Rice changed the landscape of the NFL but not for a good reason. The former running back won a Super Bowl with the Ravens but that’s not why he’s on this list. He viciously assaulted his fiancee and dragged her unconscious body from an elevator (via Baltimore Sun).
However, the NFL initially suspended him for just two games before they realized the error of their ways. Then they slammed him with an indefinite punishment. When they declared he could play again it was too late because nobody wanted to tarnish their brand by signing him.
Watson received a six-game ban in 2022 after a series of alleged sexual assaults against masseuses. This shocked many people because they felt that he deserved a longer suspension. Dozens of women came forward and accused the quarterback of inappropriately touching them or even worse.
The Browns knew that a ban was likely so they offered him a mega-contract with minimal earnings in his first year. This was also very controversial because they showed no morality with this deal. In the end, it was a sordid affair that sums up the state of the NFL today (via Fox News).