Sports stars don’t always make the right decisions. Sometimes these hormone-filled young men and women put themselves in stupid situations. They can’t handle the fame, money, and exposure that they receive on a daily basis. As a result, they go a little bit crazy. Many arrests have occurred because of their foolish actions.
So today we’ll look at 25 of the weirdest, funniest, and strangest arrests in sports history. All of these were foolish and avoidable. But they are all real and happened to top-level athletes. Check out the list below via Bleacher Report.
25. LiAngelo Ball (2017)
China isn’t the best country to dabble in criminality because they don’t joke around. They even implement the death penalty for corruption. However, Ball and two of his UCLA Bruins teammates didn’t receive the message. They were in Hangzhou for an exhibition game against Georgia Tech and inexplicably decided to go shoplifting. It was foolish and ended badly.
The police picked them up and threw them into a concrete cell (via USA Today). After about a day-and-a-half, they dropped the charges and let them off with a warning. However, UCLA didn’t appreciate their behavior and suspended the players. Ball’s father LaVar pulled him out of college because he wanted to train him for the NBA. In the end, this was one of the dumbest arrests ever.
Liverpool’s Till is one of the UK’s most visible MMA stars. The middleweight contender became popular because of his outspoken personality and sense of humor. But he also has a penchant for creating trouble. In 2019, he went on vacation with some friends to the Canary Islands. The night became very heavy and soon they were trashing their hotel room. After this, the natural step was to steal a taxi.
Soon they discovered Spanish police don’t kid around. They brought the fighter and his crew to a local jail where they spent the night. However, Till claimed that the officers showed respect. One of the police allegedly recognized the UFC fighter and brought him food in exchange for an Instagram follow (via MMA Junkie). It was one of the wackiest arrests in MMA history, but fans expect no less from Till.
Davis broke onto the boxing scene as Floyd Mayweather’s protege and quickly established a name for himself as one of the most exciting young talents in the world. There’s no denying that Davis possesses vicious power. However, the Baltimore native has another similarity to Mayweather. The way he treats women is absolutely despicable as fans discovered.
He attended a charity boxing match with his girlfriend, the mother of his child. The pair had a public argument but things became physical. Davis struck her in public and dragged her by the hair. Unsurprisingly, the police were on the scene within a few minutes (via Bleacher Report). Davis has experienced numerous arrests throughout his life but there’s no excuse for being violent toward a woman.
Definitely one of the dumbest arrests on this list, police picked up Mendy during a house party in the UK. Then the news broke that they arrested him the previous year on a sexual assault charge. However, a judge released him on bail pending the trial and the media didn’t know about it. One of the bail conditions was that Mendy couldn’t host any parties in his home (via The Guardian).
He thought that the judge wasn’t being serious but discovered to his cost that it was real. This time he went to jail because the official thought that he was arrogant and untrustworthy. To make matters worse, Mendy thought that he was going to a special wing in prison for celebrities. But it was actually for at-risk prisoners like pedophiles and rapists. What a disaster.
‘Pacman’ Jones is the type of man who could find trouble on a Tuesday night. The former Bengals cornerback is one of the most volatile personalities on this list. He’s experienced dozens of arrests and never seems to learn his lesson. It’s crazy because Jones was a talented athlete and even made a Pro Bowl appearance. But his wild behavior constantly got him into trouble.
The wackiest story went down in Las Vegas when he went to a strip club (via Washington Post). After making it rain for an exotic dancer, Jones wanted his money back. He wasn’t pleased when he saw the dancer picking the money up off the floor. So he slammed her head against the stage. Later, there was a related shooting incident that left a patron paralyzed from the waist down.
Arenas was a massive star in Washington before his firearms incident unfolded. He had an ongoing feud with teammate Javaris Crittenton that escalated in the locker room. But it went past mere words when the pair pulled guns on each other. Wizards’ staff discovered that Arenas regularly stored firearms in his locker. Police investigated and it got worse for the NBA star.
They discovered that Arenas was in possession of an unlicensed firearm. D.C. has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation and they threw the book at Arenas. The NBA suspended him and he spent time in a halfway house as part of his sentence (via NPR). As foolish arrests go, this was up there with the best of them. Arenas continued with his career after he finished his sentence but Crittenton went down an even darker path.
The first of two McGregor arrests on the list, this one happened on a night out in Florida. McGregor was enjoying some time with his entourage in Miami when the incident occurred. A fan followed him around the nightclub of the Fontainebleu Hotel and it irritated the Irishman. Finally, the man asked McGregor for a photo. The Notorious took his phone and smashed it off the ground before stamping on it.
Miami Law Enforcement duly arrested the former UFC champion on charges of strong-armed robbery and criminal mischief. In the end, McGregor agreed to a settlement with Ahmed Abdirak and it didn’t go any further (via The Independent). But it was a stupid mistake. There was no need for ‘The Notorious’ to get involved with him because he had bodyguards and could have just walked away.
Johnson was a full England international and built a name for himself with Manchester City. Then, he moved to fellow Premier League side Sunderland, where he became one of their highest earners. Most people thought he lived a perfect life as he had a lucrative career and a beautiful girlfriend (via The Mirror). However, he rocked the soccer world with one of the most notorious arrests in recent memory.
Durham Police charged him for engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl. The creepy soccer star groomed her online before meeting her in person. A court sentenced him to six years in prison for his actions. Needless to say, it also ended his professional career. It was wild because he was a visible sports star who could meet any woman he wanted. But he threw it all away to seduce a child.
Another repeat offender, Davis makes a second appearance on this list for a hit-and-run incident. He was driving his Lamborghini Urus when he blew through a red light and crashed into another vehicle. The boxer injured four people and faced 14 charges for his troubles (via TMZ). There was even the possibility of a seven-year jail sentence because of his priors. Davis is no stranger to arrests.
However, the worst part of the situation was that Davis and an accomplice took items from the Urus before piling into another vehicle. They fled the scene without calling the emergency services or even checking if the other people were ok. CCTV footage captured the entire event as it unfolded so there was no way for Davis to deny his actions. It’s just another sordid chapter in his life.
Jones is the only athlete on this list with three foolish arrests. This one came during the stay-at-home mandate at the height of the global health crisis. Albuquerque police heard gunshots and went to investigate. Then, they discovered Jones in his vehicle with a firearm. He said that he was stir-crazy and decided to hang out with homeless people. The former UFC champion also claimed he gave them free coats.
Officers discovered a bottle of opened mezcal under the driver’s seat. Then they founded the weapon after Jones admitted that he fired it multiple times into the air (via Bleacher Report). Next, he failed an inebriation test so the police brought him to the precinct. Bodycam footage showed that the law instantly recognized Jones as a repeat offender. It was extremely sad to watch because he never learns.
The Tennessee Titans used a first-round pick on the exciting Wilson after a great college career with Georgia, but this was a massive mistake. Wilson went down as one of the worst draft busts in history because he barely played for the franchise. Just before the new season, he led the police on a high-speed chase (via Sports Illustrated). After the police finally pulled him over, they discovered illegal drugs and paraphernalia in his car.
Many NFL players have suffered arrests for DUI and domestic violence. But this was something new. Things became worse for the offensive tackle in Nashville because he violated the team’s health rules. Finally, they traded him to the Dolphins at the end of the year because it didn’t work out. However, he only lasted a week in Miami because it was too much for him to handle.
McGregor has enjoyed the hospitality of numerous police precincts over the years. However, one crazy incident stands out amongst all of his arrests. UFC 223 went down in Brooklyn, New York, and saw Khabib Nurmagamedov fight Al Iaquinta for the lightweight title. But the real story was the chaotic buildup. After Khabib attempted to intimidate McGregor’s teammate, Artem Lobov, the Irishman took matters into his own hands.
He flew about 20 of his minions from Dublin to New York by private jet before storming the arena. The Notorious flung dollies at buses carrying UFC fighters from a media event to their respective hotels (via ABC News). The injured glass injured two of the fighters. Meanwhile, another suffered trauma after the event. McGregor handed himself in to police as he became the most wanted man in the city.
Corrales isn’t a household name but he has an interesting story. He was on the Chicago Cubs’ books but played for their minor league affiliates. The Mexican was driving in Colorado when the police pulled him over. When they searched his vehicle they found quite the haul of drugs. This included 21 pounds of meth as well as 1.2 pounds of oxy. He had also stashed them in a Cubs’ duffel bag.
It’s good that he found some use for his Cubs gear because he rarely played for the franchise. The judge ordered him to pay a $75,000 bond after the arrest. Police stopped his vehicle because he was driving erratically. He was unlucky because they had a drug-sniffing dog on-site and he uncovered the baseballer’s hidden stash. Later, his friends claimed that he had links to the notorious Sinaloa Cartel (via USA Today).
Brock enjoyed a lengthy NFL career, mostly with the Colts. Later, he played for the Seattle Seahawks and made headlines for reasons off the field. The defensive end was on a night out with friends when he inexplicably walked out on a $27 tab (via Sportscasting). That’s right, a multimillionaire football player decided not to spend pocket change. If he thought that the bar would let it go, he was sorely mistaken.
Allegedly, the bar owner asked Brock’s group to leave because they brought food from another eatery. They walked out without settling their tab. Police came to the scene and Brock found himself in a cell. Later, the conviction was overturned. Furthermore, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll pranked his player by having him ‘arrested’ for failing to pay the team’s hotel bill. It was a hilarious troll from the veteran.
This is one of the most ludicrous arrests on this list. Kane was a young player for the Chicago Blackhawks when he fell foul of the law. The three-time Stanley Cup winner assaulted a taxi driver on a night out. An inebriated Kane paid his fare and waited for his change (via New York Times). When the driver wasn’t forthcoming, Kane became enraged. Of course, it was the principle of the situation.
Kane was a multimillionaire with one of the highest ceilings in the NHL but he wanted his 20 cents. For some reason, the 62-year-old cab driver thought the famous hockey star might let him keep it. In the end, Kane and his companion left the driver with broken glasses and bruises. Police arrested him and he was booked on multiple charges. It was a humiliating episode for the franchise and the player.
Definitely the most shameful of Jones’s multiple arrests, this hit-and-run still hangs over him. The UFC champion attended a party and stayed overnight. The next morning he drove home but crashed into another vehicle. He drove away from the scene instead of reporting the incident or attending to the other driver. But the optics became even worse because his victim was pregnant (via N.Y. Post).
It was obviously still wrong regardless of that fact. But it made the story even more sickening. The UFC stripped Jones of his title because he showed the promotion in a bad light. Meanwhile, a judge hit him with 18 months of probation. The champion already had a record after testing positive for cocaine. Jones is the sort of person who creates trouble when there shouldn’t be any.
Jones once deliberately scalded one of his teammates. This happened while the offensive lineman played for the Patriots but it wasn’t even the most foolish of his arrests. No, the most ridiculous came when he went to a nightclub in Tampa Bay. Whatever was in his drink must have a taken a hold of him because Jones was in a great mood. He was so happy he tried to urinate in the middle of the dance floor.
Surprisingly, security didn’t think that this was suitable behavior. But when they tried to remove the NFL star from the premises, Jones felt hurt. He violently shoved the bouncer and received a battery charge for his troubles. Tragically, the Super Bowl champion died in 2018 from a cardiac arrest. Jones was the first USF player to make it through the NFL draft (via Bleacher Report).
UFC President Dana White once called Murray a ‘scary human being.’ But he wasn’t talking about the former fighter’s prowess in the cage. The promotion notoriously underpays its athletes so maybe that’s why he played a key role in one of the biggest robberies of all time. Murray’s crew stole almost $100 million in the infamous Securitas robbery. He escaped to Morocco but police arrested him and he received a 10-year prison sentence.
But that’s not even the foolish part. Murray tried to escape from prison by cutting through the bars in his cell. Fellow prisoners gave him away and the consequences were dire for the UK fighter. A judge extended his jail time to 25 years. However, Murray still found ways to communicate with Conor McGregor online and also fathered a baby from prison (via Sportskeeda). Things could be worse.
Leake spent five years with the Cincinnati Reds after they drafted him in 2010. He played well for the franchise but there’s one story that stands out. One day, he went to a shopping mall and saw some t-shirts that he liked. Inexplicably, he decided to remove the tags and steal them. Bear in mind they were worth about $60. But Leake was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars (via ESPN).
In short, it was one of the most boneheaded arrests ever. There was no good reason for him to do what he did and he admitted that he had no excuse. The judge rolled his eyes and handed him community service because it just didn’t make sense at all. It didn’t affect his career badly because he continued to make an impact in MLB. In 2019, he won his first Gold Glove award.
‘I’m so stupid,” Green said after a police sting in 2021. The Nevada star messed up his future by soliciting an underage prostitute. At least he thought that he was talking to a 17-year-old girl. However, in reality, an undercover detective lured him into a trap along with a number of other would-be sex offenders. When Green arrived at the agreed location in Reno, he received an unpleasant surprise.
Nevada immediately suspended the defensive tackle. Meanwhile, the Wolf Pack star effectively ended his NFL dream with his perverted stupidity. While 16 is the age of consent in Nevada, it’s illegal to proposition minors for paid favors (via Nevada Sports Net). This was one of the dumbest arrests because he could have talked to somebody a year older and there wouldn’t have been an issue.
These days, fans remember Barkley as one of the greatest NBA players of his generation and for his T.V work. However, he was also a volatile young man. When he played for the 76ers, he infamously became involved in a wild situation in Milwaukee. That’s when three men confronted him on a dark, snowy night (via Sporting News). Barkley responded by taking off his clothes and punching them as hard as he could.
He broke one of their noses before the police came and arrested him. It went down as self-defense and a court acquitted him the following year. But it was still a wacky story because of the lack of clothes in a blizzard. Barkley left Philly soon after and joined the Suns. That’s where he became a four-time All-Star and won the love of fans across the league. He also kept his clothes on.
This remains one of the most iconic dumb arrests in sporting history. It was the night before the Super Bowl and Robinson wanted to take his mind off of the big game. Hours after winning the Bart Starr Award for character and leadership, he solicited a prostitute for oral sex. But of course, it was an undercover police officer who promptly arrested him and locked him up (via AP News).
Spending the night in a jail cell wasn’t the best way to prepare for the biggest game of his life. The Atlanta safety played horribly against the Broncos. He even gifted them an 80-yard touchdown. Instead of demonstrating his qualities for his franchise, Robinson became a scapegoat for the team’s poor performance. However, he created the situation for himself so it’s hard to sympathize.
A former first-round pick, Walker played for a number of NBA franchises including the Celtics and Dallas. However, he also played a key role in one of the most humiliating basketball-related arrests ever. In 2009, he fell into heavy debts and owed a lot of money to Caesar’s Palace. He tried to get them off his tail by writing bad checks. After they bounced, law enforcement got on his case.
It was such a pathetic incident that he didn’t even go to jail. The judge put him on probation and also ordered him to work toward repaying his debt. Meanwhile, Walker described how it was the lowest point of his life. He lost over $100 million and owed over $12 million (via CNBC). It serves as a stark warning to big-spending young players because life can change very quickly.
As dumb arrests go, this is up there with the best of them. When players shoot themselves in the foot, it’s normally because they’ve made a foolish mistake. However, Burress achieved this in the most literal sense. The Super Bowl winner was outside a nightclub in New York when his Glock slid down his leg. As the receiver reached down for the gun, it went off and wounded his leg.
Burress went to the hospital because his leg was bleeding heavily. After they stitched him up, the medics released him. But the police became involved after they discovered the incident from the daily news. Burress received a massive fine because his firearm license had expired (via CBS Sports). In the end, he had wounded his pride and bank balance as well as the leg.
September 25 was a memorable day for Jones for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the UFC inducted him into their Hall of Fame. It was an amazing achievement because he was still an active fighter. But then things became crazy. The news broke that police arrested him on charges of domestic battery and vehicle tampering (via MMA Fighting). Details were slim but it was a typical day in the life of Jones.
UFC President Dana White said that Jones couldn’t handle the Vegas heat. However, the troubled star is no stranger to arrests as we’ve already seen. “Is it really shocking anymore?” White said. “It’s really not, it’s become not shocking. It’s almost like, ‘Uh oh, this guy is in Vegas, what’s gonna happen today?'” To be fair, White is absolutely correct because Jones is his own worst enemy.