Athletes You'd Never Want To Meet In Real Life

As the famous saying goes, you never want to meet your idols. Athletes across various sports are worshipped like heroes around the world. If their million-dollar paychecks or trophy collection doesn't make them happy, they can always count on the love from their adoring fans to lift their mood. While some athletes play with a competitive spirit, a few of them don't know how to turn it off when the game ends. The aggressive persona they crafted during their career, often bleeds into their personal life and makes for some awkward and even violent encounters and terrible treatment of fans and journalists.

Despite being considered a hero to many, some athletes have shown their villain side to the public more than once. These following sports stars are a must-see while they're competing, but if you ever catch them in real life, it might be best to keep your distance. You never want to be around when these athletes lose their cool. 

Derrick Caracter fought a waitress

Playing for the Los Angeles Lakers is a dream for many basketball enthusiasts who grew up die-hard fans of the team. Getting a chance to wear the iconic purple and gold jersey and play in front of Hollywood's biggest stars every night is a pretty sweet deal. For Derrick Caracter, his time as a rookie on the Lakers didn't quite go as planned in 2011.

As his team was prepping for a playoff series against the Hornets, Caracter was out at 1 a.m. in New Orleans looking for a place still open to eat. He soon stumbled into an IHOP and things took a turn when he assaulted a waitress. The 6-foot 9-inch tall basketball player reportedly grabbed and shoved the waitress while visibly intoxicated. Other reports even claimed the waitress was pregnant

He was later arrested and charged with battery, public intoxication, and resisting arrest. Just a year after drafting Caracter, the Los Angeles Lakers decided to cut him from the team. Next time, he should probably just order room service.

Maria Sharapova the tennis ice queen

Maria Sharapova is one of the biggest names in tennis. During her peak, she was the highest-paid female athlete for eleven years straight. However, her wins and endorsement deals didn't mean she was the most liked player in her sport. In fact, Sharapova always had a reputation amongst her peers for being distant and icy at times. Despite many of her peers taking it as a slight, Sharapova insisted she didn't care to make many friends in her sport. As reported by the New York Post, she was quoted in 2013, saying, "I'm not really close to many players. I think just because you're in the same sport it doesn't mean that you have to be friends with everyone." 

While some athletes show respect to their opponents off the court, Sharapova never bothered to. "Even if the players don't like each other, they converse and are cordial," an anonymous coach told the New York Post. "That is definitely not the case with Maria."

While some might brush that off as an athlete taking their craft seriously, rumors have circulated about Sharapova's attitude away from the sport as well. In 2007 the tennis star was reportedly rude behind the scenes of a Vogue photoshoot. It was reported that the star refused to eat the food catered on the set and only changed her attitude when the paparazzi came around.

Latrell Sprewell went after his coach

Being a team player is more than just scoring winning plays and cheering on your teammates. It could also mean not physically assaulting your coach. Latrell Sprewell learned the hard way in 1997 when the anger got the best of him during a practice with the Golden State Warriors. Things got chippy between Sprewell and coach P.J. Carlesimo. The two already butted heads weeks earlier when Carlesimo benched Sprewell during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers. During practice, Sprewell warmed Carlesimo to stay away from him, a warning that he ignored. 

Sprewell retaliated by grabbing his own coach by the throat and choking him. After being thrown out of practice, he returned 20 minutes later — only to punch him. He spoke to ESPN about the incident saying, "What I did was wrong, but when you sit back and watch it take off, you realize you have no control over it. Once the media got hold of it, it wasn't coming back. It was me against the world at that point." 

Sprewell was handed a year-long suspension by the NBA for the incident and the Golden State Warriors terminated his contract. After appealing the suspension, it was later reduced to 68 games. After being traded, he returned to his old stomping grounds and taunted the fans. The league didn't appreciate the profanity he reportedly yelled at the crowd and later fined Sprewell $10,000.

Joey Barton is always looking for a fight

Joey Barton's days as a Newcastle United player were filled with drama on and off the field. In 2009, Newcastle United had enough of his antics and suspended the player. What led up to the suspension was a long list of unprofessional conduct, brawls, fights, and legal trouble throughout his career. His general unruly behavior included spitting on fans and flashing them his bum. 

But in 2004, Barton's antics were even more reckless. During a holiday party, Barton stubbed a lit cigar in his own teammate's eye. His teammate was left with a burnt eyelid and successfully sued him. Though he apologized for the incident, six months later he was back in the headlines after fighting with a 15-year-old fan in Thailand. 

In 2007, he was once again back at odds with a teammate and struck him during a training session. Barton reportedly struck Ousmane Dabo in the head and face which resulted in him needing to go to a hospital. He suffered a detached retina in the scuffle and ended up suing Barton for the incident. He was forced to pay a fine and was suspended for six games. In 2022, Barton offered a rematch between the two...for charity. 

Barry Bonds wasn't so nice off the field

On the field, Barry Bonds was a legend. The former San Fransico Giant put up career home run hitting numbers that made history and made him millions in endorsement deals. Despite being an undisputed baseball star, fans and media frequently butted heads with the star. Bonds' steroid controversy aside, fans found him rude and arrogant. He also gave the media a hard time, and generally seemed unapproachable. His past behavior is something Bonds regrets. 

As NBC Sports reports, the player admitted, "I'm to blame for the way I was [portrayed], because I was a dumb—. I was straight stupid, and I'll be the first to admit it. I mean, I was just flat-out dumb. What can I say? I'm not going to try to justify the way I acted toward people. I was stupid."

In 2011, his dirty laundry played out in court with his ex-girlfriend testifying to his volatile temper. Bonds was accused of perjuring himself to a grand jury about his past steroid use. His girlfriend, Kimberly Bell, testified that he used steroids, which in turn made him more controlling and angry during their relationship. Bell even accused the star of threatening to cut her head off and leave her in a ditch.

Rae Carruth did the unthinkable

If you're a football fan, the name Rae Carruth will give you chills. The former wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers went from a beloved player to the main suspect in a horrific murder investigation. Carruth plotted to kill his then-girlfriend, Cherica Adams, and their unborn baby in 1999 after she refused to have an abortion. Adams, who was eight months pregnant at the time of the shooting, was shot four times as she drove home. Carruth who was in a separate car, allegedly used his vehicle to block her in so she couldn't safely escape from the shooter he had hired. 

After the shooting, Adams managed to muster up enough strength and called the police. In the heartbreaking 911 call, she tells operators that she suspected Carruth was behind the shooting. At the hospital, doctors performed an emergency C-section and managed to save the baby. Sadly, Adams died just four weeks later from her injuries. Her son, Chancellor Lee Adams, was born with cerebral palsy and ended up being raised by her mother. 

In 2001, Carruth was convicted of conspiring to murder Adams and served 19 years in prison before his 2018 release. During the court case, it was argued that Carruth hired the hitmen to kill Adams and their unborn child to get out of paying future child support.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Kenny Rodgers will not smile for the camera

In baseball, you're supposed to hit balls, not the cameramen. In 2005, that rule seemed to slip Kenny Rodgers' mind as he took the field. The Texas Rangers star made headlines when he went attacked two cameramen. According to ESPN, the incident took place just before a game when the pitcher entered the field. The video shows him approaching two cameramen and ripping their equipment out of their hands. "I told you to get those cameras out of my face," he reportedly told them. 

During one scuffle he shoves down one cameraman and breaks his camera while the team attempts to restrain him. Following the incident, one cameraman went to the hospital and even filed a police report. His team seemed shocked by his actions but admitted the star had a short fuse. "Kenny is having anger issues right now," Rangers general manager John Hart said."We're responding to something that's very unusual. I don't know what's going on inside." 

His antics cost him $50,000 in fines and a 20-game suspension. The Seattle Times reported that Rodgers later apologized for his actions telling reporters, "I'm deeply disappointed and embarrassed in myself and my inability to rise above the situation, regardless of how it became."

Michael Jordan isn't too keen on meeting fans

Despite being the face of one of the funniest crying memes ever, Michael Jordan has a reputation for being a total competitor that doesn't joke around. With his career as a Chicago Bull, Jordan also known as His Airness, became loved by fans around the world. They collect his sneakers and beg for autographs when they spot him during a rare public outing. In 2009, rapper Chamillionaire shared an encounter he had with the hooper during a charity auction. The rapper reportedly dropped over $7,000 on a signed jersey and later approached him for a photo. "I don't ask nobody for nothing, I never do," he recalled during a video on YouTube. "I was just like, man, this is just that one moment. I'm gonna ask Mike for a picture." 

Chamillionaire explained the NBA champion shot him down his hopes in a brutal way reportedly telling him, "Oh hell nah, man. I ain't taking pictures with no *****." The rapper was left stunned and told him about the signed jersey he had recently purchased. "You know what, I tell you what, you pay $15,000 right now for a jersey from me and I'll take a picture with you," Jordan retorted. 

The running rumor was debunked in 2017 when 2 Chainz was able to snag a photo with him. Luckily for Chamillionaire, Jordan's security didn't body slam him like they did to comedian Hasan Minhaj after he went in for a high-five.

Bill Romanowski loves controversy

On the football field, Bill Romanowski was a controversial figure. He landed in trouble frequently for his violent outbursts and was at the receiving end of hefty fines by the NFL. In 1997, while playing for the Denver Broncos, Romanowski struck Carolina Panther quarterback Kerry Collins and broke his jaw. He was later fined $20,000 for that incident. In 1999, he once again harmed his opponents with illegal hits and was fined $42,500. Despite the frequent fines, Romanowski didn't care about his opponent's safety and doubled down on his violent style of play. "Is it going to change the way I approach the game? Absolutely not," Romanowski said (Via Hartford Courant).

His violent outbursts haven't just been toward opponents. Romanowski had a run-in with his own teammate that resulted in a lawsuit. In 2003, Romanowski punched Marcus Williams in the face. Williams suffered a broken eye socket that sidelined his career. After successfully suing Romanowski, he was awarded $340,000. 

His current career as an NFL commentator is just as controversial. In 2016, a tweet about quarterback Cam Newton caused controversy. "You'll never last in the NFL with that attitude. The world doesn't revolve around you, boy! #CamNewton," Romanowski tweeted. The use of the word 'boy' in this context has negative racial connotations and he was called out for it. Just a week prior to that tweet, Romanowski even threatened to choke him until he "couldn't breathe".

Mike Tyson doesn't like being bothered

Avoiding a fight with Mike Tyson should be considered common sense at this point. Though the famous boxer has certainly chilled out in recent years, it's best not to test him. Making the heavyweight champion upset is a dangerous game to play and some fans have been up for the risk. In 2022, Tyson made headlines when he punched a passenger on a plane multiple times in the face. The full video of the incident shows the excited fan, slightly intoxicated, sat behind Tyson and began pestering the boxer. The fan repeatedly touches him while another passenger filmed him. 

Eventually, Tyson loses his cool and punches him. He later joked about the incident in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel. "I'm usually good at these things," the boxer said of fans provoking him. "But I guess it was his number." 

It's not just fans who could quickly agitate him. The champ also doesn't like journalists. In one tense interview on CP24 Toronto News, Tyson went off on a reporter for bringing up his past rape conviction. "It's so interesting because you seem like a nice guy but you're really a piece of s–t," Tyson spat. "F–k you!" The reporter attempted to smooth things over, by reminding him that they were on live television. "I don't care," Tyson retorted. "What are you going to do about it?" Those are definitely terrifying words coming from a man who beats people up as a profession.