Ben Roethlisberger (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers argues a call with back judge Perry Paganelli during the game against the Green Bay Packers on December 20, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
King James ...
LeBron's perceived bad attitude makes him one of the most disliked people in sports, but who else makes the list? Whether it's their run-ins with the law or generally unpleasant dispositions, these men have distinguished themselves as the 10 we most love to hate in sports.
LeBron James, NBA, Miami Heat
"The Decision" and the perceived arrogance behind it instantly made James one of the 10 most disliked people in sports. He doesn't seem to mind being the bad guy, so he may be on this list for years to come.
Tiger Woods, Golf legend
OK, where to start. He's been in the news so much the past couple of years, it's tough to tell you anything you don't already know about him. We can talk about the women who've come forward saying they were Tiger's mistresses, a list that includes at least two porn stars, a prostitute and Woods' neighbor's college-age daughter. The lurid details of the affairs have only enhanced the growing disdain for him, and not being able to win a sanctioned event since his return to the sport hasn't helped his cause.
Kobe Bryant, NBA, Los Angeles Lakers
Bryant's skills and five titles make him one of the greatest NBA players of all time, but his perceived arrogance, on-court temper tantrums and scandals both big and small make him a jerk in the eyes of many fans.
Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Do you really have to ask why? Vick's case is obvious. After admitting to operating and financing a dog fighting operation out of his home, Vick also was convicted of killing some of the animals with his bare hands. It became national news when dogs were dug up from his backyard, which led to his release from the Atlanta Falcons and a nearly two-year prison stint. You can do a lot of things to a lot of people, but when you hurt defenseless animals, there's nothing that gets you on the public's bad side any quicker.
Terrell Owens, former NFL WR
T.O. has been a headline maker for years, but more for his antics and attitude than for his play. The six-time Pro Bowler obviously has lost a step, which has only increased the scrutiny he gets in the press for dropped balls, his failed reality television show, shirtless driveway situps and the mounting number of quarterbacks he's thrown under the bus. It's always been more about T.O. than about winning or his team, which has been the main reason fans have begun to tune him out.
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, New York Yankees
The big contracts spurred everything, but A-Rod's oblivious attitude toward people made him unpopular for many years. He turned much of that around when he finally won that World Series ring he had been waiting 16 years for, but it came with a highly publicized divorce, plus unending tabloid fodder his love life creates. He's turning some people to his side again, but not nearly at the rate we know he hopes to.
Allen Iverson, G, former NBA All-Star
This former all-star most recently played in Turkey at the end of 2010, though he was actively seeking an NBA comeback during the lockout in 2011. There are several legitimate reasons for his absence from the league. Iverson's thug-life persona, his refusal to play second fiddle to anyone, his off-court problems and his highly-publicized run-ins with past coaches haven't made him the most likable of NBAers. Even though he may be a generally nice guy to most people who come across him, it's the perceived selfishness he displays on and off the court that turns the ticket-buying public against him at times. Walking out on the Grizzlies, then again on his adopted hometown Sixers, didn't do him any good, either.
Jerry Jones, Owner, Dallas Cowboys
His ouster of legendary Cowboys head coach Tom Landry wasn't the best way to make friends with the local faithful. He turned that hate around by sending his 'Boys to three Super Bowl victories in four seasons. However, that was 16 years ago, and this is a "what have you done for me lately" NFL. The team has just one playoff win in the past 15 seasons, while going through mulitple coaches and courting jerks such as Terrell Owens and Pacman Jones. If he doesn't win a title soon, Jones will be a fixture on this list for years to come.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
OK, two rape allegations in two years will put just about anybody on this list, even a two-time Super Bowl champion. Big Ben's been well liked most of his career, but the latter of the two incidents left him suspended to start the 2010 season. He also had a well-publicized motorcycle accident that left his seriously injured and forced him to miss Pittsburgh's opener in 2006. The combination of off-the-field happenings has turned a lot of once-adoring Steelers fans against him.