I read a column recently that listed Sports’ Most Disliked People. Although I don’t know how the list was developed, it was current and was published by Sports Illustrated. It contained 35 people and was quite interesting. See what you think!
Number One was Donald Sterling, and with his current situation I am certainly not surprised. The owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers has been the most talked about sports figure since he issued some racist comments which were taped and later made public. He has been banned from the NBA and forced to sell his team for a measly $2 billion. I’d say he won on both counts.
It is obvious that American sports fans don’t forget what athletes are accused and convicted off of the playing field. Many on the list are still fighting to regain their positive reputations after off-field transgressions.
This list of bad guys is made up of #2 Alex Rodriguez, #3 Ryan Braun, #5 Michael Vick, #11 Lance Armstrong, #16 Tiger Woods, and #20 Ray Lewis. Some of these guys have admitted their wrongs, but the public is slow to forgive. Out of this group I find Lewis the hardest to forgive. He has admitted to nothing, but he was either involved in a murder or knows who committed the crime. As far as I know, he has never admitted to either. I just change the channel when I see him appear. There are only three people on the list that are directly involved in college athletics. This is a bit odd, but for SEC football fans it would be rather easy to guess who two of these men are. Yep, #8 is former Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin. He is now the offensive coordinator at Alabama. As I said before, people are slow to forgive!
The next college guy is Kiffin’s boss, Nick Saban, who stands at #22. Who could be surprised that Saban is on the list? Very few outside of the Alabama fan base like Saban for numerous reasons that I will not entertain here. I guess his success creates serious doubt about his methods and also causes much envy.
The final college representative is Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, who sits at #17. Again, his style and success create much speculation about his methods, especially in recruiting. His hair-slicked-back presentation also gives him an appearance that some can’t attach to. He gives the impression of a slick con-man. Again, success breeds contempt! There are some other interesting folks on this list like #7 Richard Sherman, #9 Don Snyder, #13 Ndamukong Suh, #14 Roger Goodell, #15 Jerry Jones, #26 Bill Belichich, and #32 Kurt Busch.
Sherman showed he was an arrogant and brash jerk after last year’s Super Bowl. I trust that Snyder, the Washington Redskins owner, will not change his team’s name. Some folks don’t like Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, because he is trying to clean up that tarnished league. Nobody really likes Jones, the Dallas Cowboys’ owner, do they? Belichick, the Patriots coach, is a much disliked person because of his success and his smug personality. Few NASCAR fans care for Busch who is outspoken and cocky.
I enjoyed looking through this list. I agree on many of them but by this time next year there may be a couple of additions. Sports’ personalities and sports’ fans change on a daily basis.