These 20 Scandals Rocked the Sports World
18th August, 2020
Netflix vanityfair.com
With fame comes the responsibility to maintain one’s image. Let’s take a look at 20 sports personalities who had an unfortunate curve in their career. Sports celebrities have to be extra careful about the choices they make throughout their career. While one side of fame leads to prosperity and glory, the other side is crowded with vices like drugs, violence, and other skeletons. While some manage to stay at the top, others couldn’t, making it harder for them to shy away from the public. Here are some celebrities who have unfortunately fallen from grace.
Bryant McKinnie profootballtalk.nbcsports.com
01
Bryant McKinnie
Bryant McKinnie, recognized as an All-American athlete twice, played offensive tackle for several American football teams like the Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens, and Miami Dolphins. In 2005, the player was charged with a misdemeanor for his involvement in the Minnesota Vikings boat party scandal. A few years later, he was arrested outside a nightclub for getting involved in a street brawl.
Art Schlichter www.usatoday.com
02
Art Schlichter
Arthur Ernest Schlichter was a quarterback and is known to have played at every level since his time at Ohio State University. However, he also harbored a serious gambling problem throughout his college career, which, later, pushed him to resort to stealing. He was arrested several times, and he has been to over 44 prisons in a span of 10 years.
Darryl Strawberry www.chatsports.com
03
Darryl Strawberry
Darryl Strawberry was a popular baseball right fielder and was voted as to the All-Star Game eight times between 1984 and 1991. During this phase, he was suspended three times by MLB for substance abuse, showing his problematic nature. He was arrested several times for possession of cocaine, soliciting sex from a policewoman, and violating several probation and parole rules, among several other felonies.
Tonya Harding abcnews.go.com
04
Tonya Harding
Tonya Harding, a two-time Skate America Champion and Olympic athlete, was charged for conspiring the attack of her rival, Nancy Kerrigan, with ex-husband Jeff Gillooly. This attack was planned with Derrick Smith and Shane Stant in an attempt to prevent Kerrigan from skating. Harding later pleaded guilty, and she was banned by the United States Figure Skating Association for life.
O.J. Simpson www.usatoday.com
05
O.J. Simpson
Orenthal James Simpson, also known as “The Juice,” began his career in American football by winning the Heisman Trophy in 1968 for the USC Trojans. Even though his sports career was nothing short of incredible, he is better known for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. Simpson was found guilty for their deaths and was prisoned.
Oscar Pistorius www.abc.net.au
06
Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius is the first amputee to compete in track events at the Olympics and is the tenth athlete to ever participate in both the Paralympic and Olympic Games. In 2013, Pistorius was charged for the murder of his then-girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. He admitted to having mistaken her for an intruder. He was sentenced to five years in prison, which was later increased to 13 years and five months.
Tiger Woods time.com
07
Tiger Woods
Named PGA in 1996, Tiger Woods is one of the greatest professional golfers out there. His downfall began in 2009 when stories of his extramarital affair started circulating the news. He was soon found to be involved in a sex scandal and was later checked into a sex addiction clinic. After playing for a few more years with bad form, he was arrested on a DUI in 2017.
Diego Maradona economictimes.indiatimes.com
08
Diego Maradona
Maradona was known to be addicted to cocaine from the mid-1980s through 2004. In the World Cup of 1994, he was kicked out of the series after he failed a doping test. This test was requested in response to his peculiar celebration style after hitting the goal against Greece. The camera caught him with a distorted, chilling look on his face that fans will never forget.
Marion Jones news.amomama.com
09
Marion Jones
Marion Jones is the first-ever female athlete to secure five medals in the Olympic Games. Her story serves to be an example of how quickly things take a turn for the worse when in the spotlight. After reaching incredible heights in her career, in 2008, she admitted to using steroids during the Olympic Games of 2000. She had to serve a sentence for misleading investigations.
Mark Chmura www.zimbio.com
10
Mark Chmura
Having played with the Packers during Super Bowl XXI, Mark Chmura was a very well known football player from the United States. However, after remaining in the limelight for a few years, it was revealed that Mark Chmura had sexually assaulted his children's babysitter at a high school prom party. This raised questions like: Why was Chmura at a high school prom party? He now hosts a sports talk show.
Jennifer Capriati www.livetennis.com
11
Jennifer Capriati
Jennifer Capriati was introduced to the game of tennis early in her life and started playing in the junior tennis tour as a teenager. However, due to unknown reasons, she eventually grew to detest the game and diverted her attention to self-sabotage by indulging in several drugs. Her comeback in 2011 was far from impressive due to her poor form and lack of support from fans.
John Rocker time.com
12
John Rocker
John Rocker began his career in baseball when he was in high school and eventually played as the relief pitcher for several MLB teams from 1998 to 2003. However, after rising to fame, he soon became a problematic baseball player who often got caught making homophobic and racist slurs and, occasionally, threatening reporters. He was also accused of using steroids.
Stephen Garcia bleacherreport.com
13
Stephen Garcia
Having played as a quarterback for the Gamecocks of the University of South Carolina, Stephen Glenn Garcia showed tremendous promise as a player at the start of his career. However, due to a series of bad decisions made by the player, including getting drunk before games, he was suspended several times, causing him to lose his fans and a spot.
Mark McGwire www.baseballprospectus.com
14
Mark McGwire
Mark McGwire was known as one of the best home runners during the ‘90s and had broken the MLB home run record in 1998 with 70 long balls. Nicknamed by the media as Big Mac, he was also the fastest player to reach 500 career home runs. However, in 2010, McGwire admitted to the use of steroids, upsetting his fans.
Isaiah Rider bleacherreport.com
15
Isaiah Rider
Isaiah Rider seemed to have had a powerful career when he bagged a spot on the All-Rookie First Team. However, he soon started finding himself in all kinds of illegal situations and was charged with the possession of marijuana and later was caught having an illegal cell phone at the time of his arrest. Later, he was arrested under the charges of public gambling.
Michael Vick www.latimes.com
16
Michael Vick
Michael Vick is probably the only player to have rushed more than 1,000 yards in a season of NFL. He played with the Atlanta Falcons and seemed to be on top of the world before the downfall began. In 2007, he was charged with a felony for allegedly financing a dogfighting ring. He came back to the NFL, but things have not been the same.
Terrell Owens www.bleedinggreennation.com
17
Terrell Owens
Having played very well on the football fields of Pro Bowls as a wide receiver, Terrell Owens, also known as T.O., had played in the NFL for 16 seasons and held several records in the sport. However, he is also known to be in the middle of quite a few scandals. In 2006, allegations were made that Owens intentionally overdosed on pain medication to take his own life.
Lawrence Taylor bleacherreport.com
18
Lawrence Taylor
Having played as a powerful linebacker in the NFL, Lawrence Taylor is known far and wide for his game. However, what he is known more for is the fact that he was charged and arrested for the rape of a 16-year-old girl. Allegedly, he then offered to pay her $300 for having sex with him. In his memoir, he also admitted to frequent abuse of drugs throughout his life.
Shawn Kemp www.cbssports.com
19
Shawn Kemp
Shawn Kemp, known for his insanely remarkable acrobatic skills, which he lavishly displayed in his basketball games, is another NBA player that couldn’t keep his place at the top. Eventually, after switching over to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he succumbed to a life lived under the influence of alcohol and cocaine and weighed a shocking 315 pounds when he returned to the training camps.
Kobe Bryant www.forbes.com
20
Kobe Bryant
Considered to be one of the most legendary basketball players, Kobe Bryant has a few sore spots in his biography. In the summer of 2003, Kobe was accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old hotel employee. He admitted to having had a sexual encounter with her but denied the allegations of assault. Bryant later agreed to apologize for the incident and accepted that she had not consented to it.