The following are my selections for my 2016 Sports All-Losers Team. When selecting players for the team, I definitely focus on the frivolous and try to keep things on the lighter side. As such, potential nominees for worst of the worst, like serial rapist Darren Sharper, aren’t included. But without further adieu, here’s perhaps the best of the worst from 2016 – athletes that did wrong but didn’t go so overboard as not to redeem themselves.
Nick Kyrgios – ATP tennis player
Nick Kyrgios’ problems go back to before 2016. In 2015, for instance, during a match against Stan Wawrinka in Montreal, Kyrgios spoke openly about the sex life of Wawrinka’s girlfriend. The comments were caught on audio equipment and made major headlines.
In 2016, Kyrgios was fined $6200 for uttering an obscenity en route to a loss to Richard Gasquet at the French Open. Kyrgios also shouted at a ball kid at the same tournament, the kind of behaviour that we’ve come to expect from the Australian. In fact, so predictable are his tirades that he received a warning to behave well in Rio from the Australian team ahead of the 2016 Olympics starting.
As a low point to 2016, Kyrgios tanked a match in Shanghai and claimed that he didn’t “owe (the fans) anything.” The tanking was so apparent that the fans booed Kyrgios and he reponded by saying “I feel like if they knew what they were talking about they’d be on the tennis court and being successful.” Kyrgios received a suspension from the ATP for the balance of the 2016 season. Many, incorrectly in my view, see Kyrgios as the future of men’s tennis. If that’s the case, the sport could be in plenty of trouble when it mass public appeal.
Grayson Allen – Duke Blue Devils basketball player
There's no beating around the bush, Grayson Allen is a dirty player, @YahooForde writes. https://t.co/3OSR8KaIgq pic.twitter.com/vdVgG6WLio
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) December 22, 2016
Grayson Allen is a little young to have fallen from grace. However, he’s certainly come a long way down since playing such a critical role in the Duke Blue Devils’ national championship win in April of 2015. As a freshman, Grayson made numerous offensive plays to resurrect what appeared to be a sinking Blue Devil team in the 2015 national championship against the Wisconsin Badgers.
Allen, besides powerful driving-to-the-basket moves, appears to have some dirty tricks in his repertoire. He’s certainly not above tripping his opponents like he did to a Louisville player early in 2016. At about the same time Allen tripped another player at Florida State University. As of December 22nd, Allen is suspended from Duke basketball indefinitely following another tripping incident. Some of the tripping incidents look innocent enough during the gameplay. However, the replays often appear to show intent.
Draymond Green – Golden State Warriors’ basketball player
It’s no compliment to the Golden State Warrior when you might prefer to be guarded by Grayson Allen. However, anyone that would rather do a face plant then get canned would prefer to play against Allen than Green. Draymond Green seems to like kicking players right where it counts and that has cost him his reputation. Green faced a suspension for game five of the 2016 NBA Finals, arguably allowing the Cleveland Cavaliers to get back into the series after facing a 3-1 deficit. Green also smiled for some mugshots in 2016 after allegedly slapping a college student-athlete.
Ryan Lochte – Swimmer
Ryan Lochte, a swimmer on Team USA at the Rio Olympics, has faced criticism over a drunken fiasco in Brazil. He and his teammates claimed that they were robbed and threatened, a story that hasn’t lived up to investigative scrutiny. The events surrounding his claims hurt the good-spirited nature of the Olympics and may have contributed to an over-representation of Brazil being a land overrun by robbers.
Donald Trump – Peripheral favorite to win the Royal Rumble
Donald Trump may not be remotely athletic and professional wrestling might not be a real sport. However, Donald “The Deporter” Trump is the last favorite to win the 2017 Royal Rumble with Ladbrokes sportsbook, and that’s good enough for me (he’s 500 to 1 – no joke).
Trump won the American presidential election after scores of allegations involving sexual misconduct. He fought Jill Stein’s recount efforts to validate election results, and there’s plenty of intelligence out there that suggests the Russians at least tried to intervene in the election to get Trump in. Trump has empowered global-warming denialism, and he has the support of the KKK. The survival of the human race may yet hang in the balance so even if he’s low on the athleticism scale as last favorite to win the Royal Rumble, his 2016 ‘season’ still makes him off the charts as a member of my 2016 Sports All-Losers team.