Top 10 Most Hated Athletes



Top 10 Most Hated Athletes

VOICE OVER: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Q.V. Hough
Script written by Q.V. Hough

We don't despise these athletes, but we do love to root against them. From Ryan Lochte, to Luis Suárez, to Hope Solo, these controversial figures are widely renowned for their provocative nature. WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Athletes We Love to Hate.

Check out our other videos of the Top 10 Biggest Sports Upsets Pt. 2:, the Top 10 Sports Meltdowns:, and the Top 5 Fighters Turned Pro Wrestlers:
Script written by Q.V. Hough

Top 10 Athletes We Love to Hate

We don’t despise these athletes, but we do love to root against them. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Athletes We Love to Hate.

For this list, we’re trolling a variety of professional athletes that are just so easy to hate. It’s all in good fun, of course, but these individuals most definitely inspire plenty of strong emotions.

#10: Ryan Lochte

First of all, he knows his way around a pool. In fact, he’s arguably the most prolific Olympic swimmer beyond teammate Michael Phelps. But, Ryan Lochte has a long history of making poor decisions outside the pool, like in 2012, when he attempted to trademark the phrase “Jeah!”. This might have been fine if Lochte hadn’t blatantly ripped off Jeezy’s “Chea”– and perhaps contributed to why he ultimately ditched the application. Of course, there’s the 2016 Olympics fiasco, in which a slightly hungover Lochte concocted his own fan fiction, with him being the central hero. That's probably enough to love to hate this Olympian, especially since he cashed in further by appearing on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

#9: Luis Suárez

Some root against Suarez just because of his team: FC Barcelona. But Luis Suarez has a particular set of skills that makes him even more of a villain. Many fans despise him for his aggressive style of play, whether it be stamping or flat-out biting competitors. On the field, he can be absolutely enthralling, but his talent often plays second fiddle to his bush league antics. He's the epitome of unpredictable, an athlete that can lose his mind when the going gets rough... which makes for good television, as long as he doesn’t go too far. Even so, we still love to hate him.

#8: Hope Solo

It’s Hope Solo’s fiery demeanor that makes her a fantastic teammate, at least when she’s not berating those around her. But even if her inner circle manages to deal with certain issues, that doesn’t mean the outside world appreciates Hope’s perpetual trash talk. During the 2016 Summer Olympics, Solo managed to insult the host country while taking aim at Sweden as well. So, her collective demeanor doesn’t bode well for the United States, and it certainly makes Hope more than just a villain – it makes her a deeply polarizing athlete who often takes competition too far.

#7: Mike Tyson

Born in Brooklyn and educated in the school of hard knocks, this heavyweight champ famously bit part of Evander Holyfield’s ear clean off. Long before that, however, Iron Mike relished in his tough guy persona, knocking out opponents with aggressive uppercuts before heading to the slammer for sexual assault. Given the violent nature of boxing, Tyson naturally sold tickets during his prime. But it’s his unpredictability that landed him on our list, as it’s never quite clear if he’s performing or preparing to knock someone’s head off.

#6: Cristiano Ronaldo

Take one look at this Portuguese footballer and you’ll recognize why many are jealous. On one hand, Cristiano Ronaldo irritates because of his good looks, and he also happens to play for Real Madrid, which makes him even more despicable to the public. But really, Ronaldo has so much talent that he may clown any competitor, at any time. Of course, he often does just that, and he makes it look easy in the process. He’s not someone that gets into trouble exactly; he just lives a luxurious lifestyle because he can.

#5: LeBron James

Cleveland didn’t respond positively to LeBron’s big “decision” in 2010. But what irked LeBron’s native Ohio, and the entire world, is that he didn’t bring a championship to Cleveland during the initial run, and he split town to form a superteam in South Beach. Sure enough, LeBron did win two rings in Miami, but these victories only made him more of a baddie, at least in the eyes of pop culture. Despite LeBron’s ultimate relocation to Cleveland and a 2016 title, he’s just a guy that people love to hate on, whether it be the Michael Jordan comparisons or his sports legacy.

#4: Barry Bonds

During his illustrious career, Barry Bonds was known for his glove and graceful swing. Of course, he also got caught up in Major League Baseball’s steroid scandal, which thoroughly tainted his career numbers. He’s technically the single-season and career home run leader, blasting 73 in 2001 and 762 overall, but most correlate these achievements with “the juice.” As it is, many just don’t understand why a gifted athlete would tarnish his reputation for a few more bombs. Even more, Bonds often avoided direct questions about his feats, making him less of a hero and more of Major League supervillain.

#3: Tom Brady

As the quarterback of the New England Patriots, Tom Brady overcame the odds and became a legitimate NFL legend. Still, he gets on peoples’ nerves for many reasons - his composed demeanor, his GQ looks and his supermodel wife. He’s also been at the top of his game for years, which makes him a natural antagonist for anyone outside Massachusetts. So, when Deflategate transpired in 2015, fans just had more legit reasons to root against him. Is Tom Brady a criminal? No, maybe not. But we love to hate him because he always seems to rise above.

#2: Alex Rodriguez

Like Barry Bonds, A-Rod was considered a natural Hall of Fame selection during the early part of his career. But even then, Alex Rodriguez’s diva persona and massive contracts led to public scrutiny, long before he brushed off questions about performance-enhancing drugs. Rodriguez ultimately fessed up, which minimized some of the more aggressive hatred, but his persistent denials didn’t go over well with baseball purists, let alone those who already took issue with his public persona. Over time, Rodriguez may be earning back some credibility, but he’s still someone that fully earned his bad guy persona.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Tony Romo

Dwight Howard

Pepe [aka Képler Laveran Lima Ferreira]

#1: Floyd Mayweather Jr.

All right, it’s true that Mayweather has fully earned his reputation as the pound-for-pound champ, but his antics go far beyond the typical shenanigans of boxing promotion. Of course, there are the legal issues, and there’s certainly the trash talk. But what most casual boxing fans don’t realize is that Mayweather is actually a defensive fighter. So when they tune in, they’re often disappointed to see Floyd ducking and bouncing off the ropes, making them question if he's worth the money, worth the hype, and worth the extra bucks for that Pay Per View.