20 Dumbest Professional Athletes of All Time

20. JaMarcus Russell


Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Russell has a reputation as a guy who is too dumb to run an NFL offense. While it’s debatable as to whether intelligence was to blame for his struggles on the field, it’s definitely to blame for his issues off the field.

In 2010, Russell was arrested for criminal possession of codeine syrup and admitted in an interview that he had tested positive for the substance prior to being drafted by the Oakland Raiders. Moreover, despite that massive rookie contract, he almost lost his home to foreclosure.

19. Ben Roethlisberger

Big Ben

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Ben Roethlisberger has faced not one, but two sexual assault allegations. The charges were dropped both times but with multiple incidents, Big Ben’s off-the-field decisions are questionable to say the least.

Furthermore, he was involved in a motorcycle accident in 2006. At the time he didn’t have a valid motorcycle license, nor was he wearing a helmet.

18. Ndamukong Suh


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Suh stomped on Evan Dietrich-Smith, kicked Matt Schaub in the groin and has been penalized for late hit after late hit. Then he makes excuses and tries to act like a victim. Suh is dumbfounded every time he gets fined yet he continues to play dirty.

17. Kevin Brown


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Kevin Brown was a member of the New York Yankees in 2004. He had a bad start in early September so naturally, he punched a wall in frustration and broke his hand.

Luckily, he heeded the advice from “Bull Durham” and threw the punch with his non-throwing hand, but still, how stupid do you have to be to punch a wall at any time, let alone during a pennant race?

Maybe it was roid rage. Brown was later implicated in the Mitchell Report.

16. Bill Gramatica


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Bill (not Martin) Gramatica was kicking for the Arizona Cardinals when he had the worst celebration in the history of sports.

He tore his ACL celebrating a 43-yard field goal that put his team up 3-0 with eight minutes remaining in the first quarter.

15. Dwight Howard


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Free agency is a part of the NBA, but the way in which Howard went back and forth with the Orlando Magic lands him on this list. It was a soap opera. He clearly wanted to do what LeBron James did and go to a team with other All-Stars that he could win championships with, but didn’t want the hell-storm backlash that LeBron went through for leaving Cleveland. You can’t have it both ways.

But the worst thing he did was to go after Stan Van Gundy, and then act like the two of them were best buds as soon as the cameras were rolling.

I’m also going to settle the nickname debate right now. “LT” is not LaDainian Tomlinson; it’s Lawrence Taylor. The “Little Ball of Hate” is not Brad Marchand; it’s Pat Verbeek. “Superman” is not Dwight Howard; it’s Shaquille O’Neal.

14. Albert Haynesworth


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Albert Haynesworth was a Tennessee Titan in 2006. In a game against the Dallas Cowboys, Haynesworth intentionally stomped on Andre Gurode’s head and left a gash that required 30 stitches (it’s unclear whether Haynesworth pulled Gurode’s helmet off first). The incident led to a five game suspension for Haynesworth.

In 2009, he signed a seven year, $100 million contract with the Washington Redskins and immediately set out to make the franchise regret it. He declined to participate in offseason workouts and required ten days to pass the Redskins’ conditioning test at training camp.

After Mike Shanahan arrived in 2010, Haynesworth continuously clashed with his new head coach over his role in a 3-4 defensive scheme until he was finally traded for a fifth-round draft pick.

Haynesworth is widely considered to be the biggest free agent bust in the history of the NFL.

13. Gus Frerotte


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While we’re still on the topic of self-inflicted injuries: Gus Frerotte was the quarterback for the Washington Redskins in 1997. In a game against the New York Giants, Frerotte scrambled for a touchdown on third and goal from the one yard line and celebrated by head-butting the wall behind the end zone.

He ultimately had to go a hospital at halftime and missed the second half of the game.

12. Zack Greinke


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The Milwaukee Brewers acquired Zack Greinke in the winter of 2010 in a blockbuster trade. But the marquee piece of the deal wasn’t ready for Opening Day 2011 because he injured his ribs playing pickup basketball.

Fast forward to April, 2013. Carlos Quentin charged the mound after Greinke plunked him in the elbow. To Greinke’s credit, he held his ground and lowered his shoulder into Quentin. But his bravery led to a broken collar bone and more than a month on the DL. That’s why pitchers are supposed to get out of the way of charging batters and why typically the catcher or first baseman will get to the batter before he reaches the mound. Pitchers need to stay healthy.

Hopefully, there will come a time when Greinke doesn’t needlessly injure himself.

11. John Rocker


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John Rocker was the closer for the Atlanta Braves from 1998-2001. In an interview with Sports Illustrated in 1999, Rocker was asked if he would ever consider playing baseball in New York. He said he would retire before ever playing for the Mets or Yankees and proceeded to make various racist and homophobic comments about the Big Apple and its residents. For instance, “the biggest thing I dislike about New York are the foreigners.”

Last January, he claimed that the Holocaust could have been prevented if not for gun control laws in Nazi Germany.

10. Fab Melo


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Fab Melo missed the 2012 NCAA tournament for Syracuse due to academic ineligibility, and claimed he was failing because he didn’t understand English. After he got drafted by the Boston Celtics, he gave himself a concussion walking into a door frame.

Maybe he couldn’t read a sign that told him to duck.

9. Joba Chamberlain


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Joba Chamberlain injured himself before the 2012 season playing on a trampoline.

Recently, he got into an argument with Mariano Rivera – Mariano freakin Rivera – in the dugout of Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Mo was being interviewed and simply asked Joba to lower his voice. Chamberlain responded by warning Rivera to “never shush me again.”

Ever the professional, Rivera later told the media that the Yankees are a family and everything was fine between them, but Chamberlain wouldn’t let it go. He pressed on, claiming that he never apologized to Rivera, and if the situation presented itself again, he would act in the same exact way.

Have some respect, idiot.

8. Keith Ballard


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While a member of the Florida Panthers in 2009, Keith Ballard was frustrated about the Atlanta Thrashers scoring to put them ahead 2-1. He went to break his stick across the goal but accidentally broke it over net minder Tomas Vokoun’s head.

To make matters worse, he saw Vokoun go down. But instead of helping him, he took a second swing at the post and skated away while his goalie was writhing in pain on the ice.

7. Mike Tyson


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Mike Tyson bit off Evander Holyfield’s ear and has been convicted of rape, among a plethora of legal issues. After being hit in the head so many times and the amount of drugs that he’s done, it seems like Tyson’s brain has been seriously scrambled.

6. Meta World Peace


Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The artist formerly known as Ron Artest was an Indiana Pacer in 2004. With his team ahead of the Detroit Pistons 97-82 with less a minute remaining, Artest committed a hard foul on Ben Wallace, who responded by shoving Artest back towards the scorer’s table. In the ensuing commotion, a Pistons fan threw a cup of Diet Coke at Artest, who responded by jumping into the stands and inciting a brawl between the Pistons fans and a handful of Pacers players.

According to Artest’s former teammate Stephen Jackson, while sitting in the locker room after the “Malice at the Palace,” Artest turned to his teammates and asked, “You think we’re gonna get in trouble?”

After being suspended for the remainder of the season, Artest appeared on “The Today Show” to discuss the incident. Rather than apologize for his role in the brawl, he took advantage of the national audience to promote his upcoming album release.

5. Bobby Valentine


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Bobby Valentine must really hate the Yankees. He claimed that after the attacks on September 11, 2001, the Yankees organization was nowhere to be found and did nothing to help the city heal.

First of all, you have to be pretty stupid to use the anniversary of the most horrific day in American history to take a jab at a former rival team. Second of all, he was completely wrong – the Yankees visited Ground Zero four days after the attacks, in addition to the Armory, Javits Center and St. Vincent’s Hospital.

4. Adam “Pacman” Jones


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Adam “Pacman” Jones was involved in so many off-the-field altercations, he hired body guards to help prevent more in the future. Then in 2008, he fought his body guard – the same guy who was supposed to keep him out of trouble.

3. Alex Rodriguez


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During the 2012 ALCS, Alex Rodriguez was busy chasing tail while the New York Yankees were being dominated by the Detroit Tigers. There’s no way he’s the first guy to pull the phone number on the baseball move, but he picked the absolute worst time to do it, considering he batted .111 in the series.

What is more, in addition to admitting PED use with the Texas Rangers, he was recently implicated in the Biogenesis scandal. Then, he tried to buy the evidence against him so that MLB couldn’t get it.

New York Yankees fans want to root for him but it’s impossible when he pulls stuff like this.

2. Michael Vick


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Michael Vick was the number-one pick in the 2001 NFL Draft and quickly became a phenomenal duel-threat quarterback. In 2007, he pleaded guilty to financing a dog fighting ring and admitted to directly participating in several dog fights. He served 21 months in prison and two months of home confinement.

1. Plaxico Burress


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Plaxico Burress’ first mistake: owning a gun illegally.

Plaxico Burress’ second mistake: wearing sweat pants to the club.

Plaxico Burress’ third mistake: bringing the illegally owned gun to the club and holding it in his sweatpants.

Plaxico Burress’ fourth mistake: shooting himself in the leg with the illegally owned gun in the club because he was holding it in his sweatpants.




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