This end of the calendar year list is going to be tough. It’s so hard to find athletes doing the wrong thing. Where should I look for the woman beaters and the guys with syringes sticking out of their toes as they walk to the batter’s box?
Obviously, it’s easy to find athletes who do not deserve our admiration. As I mentioned in my positive role models list, the bad news is the first to get reported and noticed. We crave the bad news over the good, even though the good news is what happens most on a normal day.
Thus, the bad behavior standing out and getting all the attention.
2015 was no different than any other year. We saw the reckless actions of a few athletes along with some downright criminal acts. As bad as the athletes listed below acted, they are still the outliers. I try to see the good in all people. Athletes are just people themselves. Some will screw up, but most do the right thing the vast majority of the time.
That said, these athletes were not role models, at least for 2015. Some of these guys even crossed over into the pariah section of sports. Here are the worst role models of 2015. Hopefully, some can clean their act up as 2016 ramps up.
10. Lamar Odom is far removed from being a real athlete anymore. Hooking up with the worst family in America and allowing your every mundane move to be filmed will turn anyone into a joke. The joke was eventually on Odom when the guy nearly died of a drug overdose in a whore house in Vegas. No matter how much of that story was exaggerated for publicity, Odom’s life has been unraveling for quite a while, and it just took the Kardashians to complete the implosion.
9. Lance Armstrong admitted under oath in 2015 that he lied about steroid use for years. Using performance enhancing drugs is not a great example for kids obviously. That said, if you don’t want your kids involved with PEDs then you should steer them away from organized sports. At the higher levels of competition, it is harder and harder to avoid the temptation. Just check out how far down the list of Armstrong’s competitors you would have to go to find a “clean” cyclist to give his trophies to.
8. Tiger Woods is a great role model if you’re into being a billionaire and known all over the planet. If you want to remain the best in your sport you might want to pick another athlete to model your game after.
It’s amazing how far Tiger Woods has fallen in such a short time. What’s more amazing is how badly the golf world wants him to be relevant again. Even more amazing than that is the manner in which Tiger has melted down. I don’t remember ever seeing an athlete so hard to like. If he was the greatest ever, a tiny distraction like a camera snapping would not be enough to make him come unglued so many times.
7. Johnny Manziel hasn’t been a terrible citizen of the USA. He’s just been a detriment to his own career by placing the party scene above football. Hopefully, the younger generation of quarterbacks out there will see that chugging a full bottle of champagne for the cameras isn’t the right way to go about things for an NFL quarterback.
But they likely think his money sign is pretty cool, and he is still starting for the Browns, so I don’t know if the lesson will be learned actually.
6. De’Andre Johnson made national headlines at FSU not for throwing touchdown passes, but for throwing a punch at a woman in a bar. The video was in black and white with no sound, but what happened was clear as day. Johnson ended up being just another FSU player with no respect for women or the law.
He also represented a larger issue with college athletes getting away with these acts. Of course, his football career isn’t over as he transferred to a smaller college and will get another shot at a prime time school should he show his ability to score touchdowns is greater than his potential to screw up again off the field.
5. The NCAA is not an athlete, but they are a bad example for any organization in charge of athletes. This group, along with universities and coaches across the country, continues to take advantage of so-called student athletes.
If America is so big on capitalism, I fail to see why CEOs in this country don’t speak out about the smothering of capitalism when it comes to college athletes. I’m not sure why it’s OK for everyone involved with college athletics to earn money except the ones that are most vital.
4. Ronda Rousey isn’t the female version of the devil. She did piss a lot of people off with the way she carried herself leading up to her fight with Holly Holm, though. That dark side of Rousey had been growing for a while, however. Acting over the top cocky was a good way to polarize herself to get more PPV buys, but she clearly started believing her own hype.
It ended up costing her the UFC Bantamweight Belt and much of her pride as she was bloodied and beaten by a humble Holly Holm. Rousey’s accomplishments are still to be admired, but she lacked a lot in the sportsmanship department. Not a good look for someone who has been a positive influence on young girls for most of her career.
3. Floyd Mayweather is an all-time great in the world of boxing. It’s too bad he is one of the worst guys ever. A known abuser of females, Mayweather went next level in barring a couple of female reporters, who had the courage to call him on his past nasty behavior, leading up to the money grabbing “Superfight” with Manny Pacquiao.
Boxing isn’t the best sport to find good role models, so Money May fits right in with some of the trash from the past.
Hernandez was convicted of Murder One in 2015 and is awaiting trial for two other murders. Not only is he a bad role model for any upcoming football players, the former Patriots tight end is a bad role model for criminals. His life sentence was for a murder that was allegedly supposed to cover up two prior killings.
He should have consulted Bill Belichick on a better game plan. While Hernandez rots away in jail, he should probably sue the University of Florida for the lack of education he received there. Surely a college educated man would have more sense than this guy displayed after leaving Gator Nation.
1. It’s hard to let Greg Hardy slide. It feels like I keep beating him up. That’s just the price of being a woman beater I guess. I don’t know what he could do to turn his public persona around, but I imagine it would involve saving a bus load of kids or maybe donating all his earnings in 2016 to a women’s’ shelter. Every dime!
Hardy looked bad enough after initially being convicted of beating his girlfriend. Then he makes people hate him even more by using his wealth to get over on the legal system. His next move was to pitch a few fits on the field to let the casual football fan know just what kind of maniac the guy really is.
Hardy could have done a lot with his fame and fortune, but will now be remembered as one of the lowest of low lifes in the history of the NFL.