In a single year, Ndamukong Suh went from superhero to diabolical villain.
According to an annual poll conducted by Nielsen and partner E-Poll Market Research, Suh is now the fourth most-hated professional athlete in American sports — behind Michael Vick, Tiger Woods and Plaxico Burress — placing the Lions defensive tackle in rarefied bad air.
Two of the athletes ahead of Suh in the poll — Vick and Burress — have served prison sentences longer than 12 months, and Woods’ extramarital transgressions made headlines around the world.
In 2011, Suh was at the top of Nielsen’s most-liked athletes.
The long wave of positive recognition that Suh had been riding since his days at Nebraska came crashing down on Thanksgiving, when he stomped on Green Bay’s Evan Deitrich-Smith and then didn’t make a straight apology following the game. He was later suspended by the league for two games.
Kris Humphries, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Terrell Owens, Alex Rodriguez and Kurt Busch also made this year’s dubious Nielsen list.