Athletes and anger seem to go together like hammers and nails. The hyper-competitive personalities of sports professionals combined with the incredibly intense pressure of competing in high profile and often high-stakes events could force anyone to lose their temper.
To compile a list of 33 athletes who often get carried away, 24/7 Tempo consulted ESPN and other sports websites, as well as general interest sources, including Youtube, USA todayand The Guardian. We only included athletes who had a few outbursts during the competition.
Most of the time, athletes take losses and bad calls in stride and move on to the next competition. Yet there are some who seemingly cannot contain their anger at the slightest perceived transgression or insult. These hotheads quarrel with anyone – coaches, teammates, opponents, officials and even fans, often earning them hefty fines and sometimes lengthy suspensions. (Maybe fines don’t matter if they’re among the 100 highest paid athletes in America.)
At one point, the explosions were only visible if a television camera was present. But with today’s social media channels, every fight is documented on YouTube or Twitter, so athletes can’t deny the incident ever happened. (Here are some scandals that have rocked the sports world.)
Click here to see 33 athletes notorious for their bad temper
On that list are the usual suspects, like tennis champion John McEnroe, who has made a career of berating umpires. Still, he’s far from the only angry person in the sport. Tennis seems to produce a lot of stars who break their racquets and yell at officials when calls don’t go their way.
Other sports are also full of sore (and vocal) losers. Former NBA star Vernon Maxwell was nicknamed “Mad Max” for his frequent clashes with fans and opponents. MLB pitcher Carlos Zambrano sent a teammate to the hospital after a fight. Unfortunately, their tempers sometimes spill over into their personal lives, with alleged abuse against partners.
No one denies the talent of the athletes listed here. But it’s also true that their anger management issues have clouded otherwise stellar careers.