Athlete WAGs Fans Can't Stand

For every beloved WAG, there's one that sports fans hate. Although WAG is a widely accepted acronym for "wife and girlfriend," there are obvious levels to the label. For example, there are celebrity WAGs — such as Gabrielle Union, Victoria Beckham, and Giselle Bundchen — who are/were married to and/or dating high-profile athletes such as Dwayne Wade, David Beckham, and Tom Brady, respectively. These three specifically boast an acting career, a singing/fashion empire, and a successful modeling profession. 

There are also the equally important WAGs who are just as well-known as their celebrity counterparts but who built their careers years later. Savannah James and Ayesha Curry, who are married to Lebron James and Steph Curry, respectively, are two of the most famous examples. In recent years, Ayesha has become the face of an impressive culinary empire that includes cooking shows, cookware, and the whole lot. Meanwhile, James has since started several businesses, including a popular juice bar. 

Of course, there are lesser-known WAGs who haven't caught the attention of the sports world. Instead of branching off into separate careers, they've been perfectly content supporting their famous husbands and nurturing their families as they enjoy the perks that come from their cushy lifestyles. Unfortunately, there are just as many, if not more, WAGs who have caught the eye of sports enthusiasts for reasons they'd probably rather not. Sometimes, these worlds intersect.

Ayesha Curry

Unfortunately, fame doesn't necessarily equate to popularity in the world of sports. Even though Ayesha Curry's adorable family with NBA star Steph Curry has thrust her into the spotlight, she's learned that not all attention is positive. In 2016, Ayesha egregiously claimed the NBA was rigged after the Warriors lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers. "I've lost all respect sorry this is absolutely rigged for money," she tweeted.

From there, Ayesha was bombarded with a slew of criticism from fans telling her to stay in her place, which, in their opinion, was certainly not on the field. "Ayesha Curry has not known peace on this app since she tweeted that the Finals were rigged as the Golden State Warriors were blowing a 3-1 lead to  LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers," tweeted one fan. Ayesha also faced criticism following her 2019 appearance on "Red Table Talk" when she candidly expressed her feelings of not feeling as desired as her husband, who often received attention from others. (via Buzzfeed).

Kelly Stafford

Married to Rams player Matthew Stafford since 2015, Kelly Stafford has had her fair share of time to wade through some juicy drama. In November 2022, she didn't hold back in rallying for her husband when he suffered a concussion and wasn't promptly put into concussion protocol. However, some fans blamed Kelly for attention-seeking and also questioned her intelligence. One fan tweeted, "How many times has he had a concussion and she's been clueless," before calling Stafford a "Drama Queen" who finds ways of making every situation about herself. Kelly also angered football fans when she threw a pretzel at a fan of her husband's opposing team, according to Outkick. After the incident, Kelly acknowledged that her response was inappropriate.

"Being a professional athlete's significant other, you don't wave want to bring attention to yourself negatively," Kelly shared on her podcast. "I f**king lost it and here we are." And though Kelly used her podcast to acknowledge her faux pas, she's also shared a little too much. Recently, Kelly admitted that Matthew once shared he was finding bonding with his younger teammates challenging, info he probably didn't want to be blasted out online. "I put my foot in my mouth pretty good last week," Kelly admitted during an appearance on Local 4. In 2016, Kelly stirred up a fierce political debate when she condemned Colin Kaepernick for kneeling in support of Black Lives Matter. However, she later apologized and donated $350,000 to social justice relief.

Evelyn Lozada

It's been a few years since "Basketball Wives" star Evelyn Lozada was a WAG, but she has more than enough history to fit into this list. Lozada enjoyed two long-term relationships with former NBA star Antoine Walker (1998-2009) and MLB star Carl Crawford (2013-2017), with whom she had one son. Lozada is also the only ex-wife of former NFL star Chad Ochocinco Johnson. The July 2012 marriage didn't last long, as Lozada's relationship with Johnson took a violent turn shortly after exchanging vows. According to TMZ, Johnson headbutted Lozada during an argument about his alleged infidelity and was swiftly arrested.

Although Johnson admitted to physically assaulting Lozada, fans were slow to show Lozada compassion as she dealt with the aftermath of her assault and eventual divorce. According to All About The Tea, Lozada has continuously defended herself against fans who felt her history of physical altercations while filming "Basketball Wives" negated Johnson's assault. In a since-deleted video, Lozada called out Johnson's 2020 tweet where he minimized their altercation as losing his "temper for 3 seconds" and hit back at fan comments criticizing her past behavior. "The person that I am on 'Basketball Wives' and who I am as a mother and who I've been in my personal relationships, whether it be with Carl or Chad, are two totally different things," Lozada said. "What happened to me that day and other days I didn't deserve.

Miko Grimes

Journalist Miko Grimes has been married to Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Brent Grimes since 2010, and she's spent much of their marriage generating negative attention. In 2015, Miko was arrested ahead of one of Brent's games. After she repeatedly tried to access a barred stadium entrance, she reportedly resisted arrest by the police and assaulted them in the process. She was eventually taken into custody. The next year, Miko went on an antisemitic rant. 

In a since-deleted tweet, Miko wrote, "Gotta respect ross for keeping his jew buddies employed but did he not see how tannebaum put the jets in the dumpster w/that [Mark] sanchez [contract extension] deal." According to the New York Post, Miko was expressing Brent's then-recent firing from the Miami Dolphins, which they accredited, in part, to her past social media behavior. Following the backlash, Miko was slow to apologize for her comments and instead doubled down on Twitter. "Lets see how long it takes for yall fake reaction to end. I say noon. Its almost 10am in LA. Lets see if yall still offended in 2hrs," tweeted Miko. She added, "Yall want me to be the bad guy so bad. And im cool with that. But dont call me a racist u ignorant f**ks! Thats one thing im not."

Brittany Mahomes

Brittany Mahomes is the longtime partner of NFL pro Patrick Mahomes, who currently plays for the Kansas City Chiefs. And though Patrick is one of the league's most popular (and richest) stars, many fans can't stand Brittany. At all. Over the years, Brittany's offenses have included being overly outspoken, accidentally pouring champagne on fans (and not exactly being sorry about it), and selling — not donating — her old clothes. Her past behavior once even inspired BuzzFeed to publish an article about all the reasons why Brittany's personality hasn't been well-received. 

Despite her confident persona, Brittany once revealed that she wasn't always prepared to live such a high-profile life in the public eye. "I was not prepared for this," Brittany revealed during an episode of "Quarterbacks" (via People). "And at such a young age. We were in love and I loved him with all of my heart." She continued, "But, you know, I didn't expect it to skyrocket this soon, and us kind of just being thrown into the fire like this." People also quoted Brittany's Instagram comment about whether or not fans' opinions bothered her. "It used to yes," Brittany shared. "But not anymore. I could give two s**ts about people's opinion of me that don't even know me."

Danica Patrick

Although Danica Patrick is the most famous female NASCAR driver in history, she also used to be a WAG. Twice actually. Patrick dated two professional athletes: fellow racer Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2012 to 2017) and NFL star Aaron Rodgers (2018 to 2020). Through her career and relationships, Patrick has drummed up a ton of drama and haters within the sports world. Interestingly, Patrick's drama didn't exactly revolve as closely to her relationships as other WAGs. Instead, Patrick's drama came by way of her confrontations within her sport. 

The Wisconsin native is known for having a fiery personality. According to ESPN, she's even owned up to dealing with anger issues. She's also given out very public verbal lashings to fellow drivers after mishaps during races — except Stenhouse. As the outlet noted, in 2013, Patrick refused to speak to her then-boyfriend during what was probably a super awkward car ride home after he caused her to crash. Today, Patrick is no longer a WAG, as she's not currently dating a pro athlete, but she hasn't gained much favor among fans. Following the death of Sherry Pollex, racer Martin Truex Jr.'s recent ex-girlfriend, who recently passed away from ovarian cancer, Patrick criticized his public statement, according to Fox News. "I avoid negativity on social at almost all costs," she wrote. "Almost.... But this is the most insensitive disconnected statement from a guy that I have never liked. And obviously for good reason." Of course, her comments caused an uproar on social media.


Time and time again, women in relationships with NFL athletes find themselves forced to retaliate against the "gold digger" stigma leveled at them. Recording artist and business owner Ciara, wife of Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, still has to contend with such naysayers, even though she could easily live without her spouse's $39-million salary. Detractors tried to have a field day back in March with the release of her single "Da Girls" and accompanying video of Ciara frolicking with four of her dancers. Antagonists hit social media with derisive comments ranging from, "Keep lying to them, while you stay in the mansion bought by your husband," to "clearly the girls don't know how to make 'happily married' music." Ciara retaliated with a meme captioned with "Me watching y'all miss the point," adding, "A woman's independence is not dependent on their relationship."

The hubbub coincided with reaction over the star's sheer fishnet gown she donned for the Oscars after-party hosted by Vanity Fair that same month, prompting hordes of naysaying moralists to attack her for the revealing elements of the outfit. Hilariously, Ciara struck back with a Tik-Tok preview of her 2024 attire (playfully dubbed "selective outrage"), when she dressed up in a bedsheet. But the volleys lobbed against Ciara go back as far as 2014, after reports that she and Wilson were about to become parents, when trolls argued that was her way of getting back at Future, her ex-husband. Conveniently, they forgot Future's alleged philandering ended that marriage.

Rachel Bush

Fashion model Rachel Bush, wife of Buffalo Bills safety Jordan Poyer, has pretty much everything she wants. But according to fans, what she really needs is a filter. Bush has created a great deal of backlash for comments she's made on social media, but few were as contentious as her railing against a COVID vaccine directive introduced by the Bills in 2021. "NONE of us are comfortable with getting the vaccine," she tweeted. "NONE of us should be forced to do so in order to watch our own husbands play live." The backlash varied from defiant ("You do not have a right to spread misinformation.") to sarcastic ("'The Bills Wives Club' scholars I'm sure"). 

The following year, Bush was livid after her husband's charity golf tournament was cancelled when its beneficiary, the non-profit ECMC Foundation, withdrew upon discovery that the event was slated for a golf course owned by Donald Trump. She once again took to social media to attack the parties that bailed out. "The event was cancelled due to the arrogance of others, and then backing out last minute leaving us in a difficult spot to make everything happen properly," she posted, per Fox News, before praising Trump and other benefactors for supporting the tourney. Reaction was mixed, from accolades to outright condemnation from others, per Heavy, posting comments from "Sad to hear you are supporting that criminal," to "The fact that anyone is doing anything to line [Trump's] pockets is just so far beyond me."

Paulina Gretzky

In much the same way rural folk protected the Bubble Boy in a Seinfeld episode, old stock Canadians treat NHL legend Wayne Gretzky like a precious artefact. That same crowd had loads of contempt for the former Edmonton Oilers champ's daughter Paulina Gretzky, who they felt was a threat to his pristine legacy due to the multitude of risque selfies she posted online. Similarly, she likely disappointed her fawning following when Pops allegedly shut down her Twitter (now X) account, but not before the Daily Mail reported that she ruefully posted "Having a nice sit down dinner with my dad about social media..haha." The outrage continued when Paulina started romancing golfing great Dustin Johnson, who talked her out of posing for Playboy and when the senior Gretzky threatened to axe the young couple's forthcoming marriage if the duffer didn't cut down on his partying.

These days, folks have plenty of other reasons to dump on Paulina, including her friendship with far-right rowdy music personality Kid Rock, who serenaded her and Johnson at their wedding. "Dumb n dumber," tweeted one detractor; "Goes to show, money can't buy you class," added another. Her alluring image on the cover of "Golf Digest" in 2014 drew its share of criticism from professional women in the sport. "It's frustrating for female golfers," said former champion Stacy Lewis to the New York Times. "It's kind of the state of where we've always been. We don't get respect for being the golfers that we are."

Melissa Satta

Invariably, whenever celebrity coupling hits the news, the topic drifts towards sex, but those perceptions spiked to outrageous heights regarding tennis star Matteo Berrettini and Melissa Satta. Tabloids frequently call her a "sex-mad tennis WAG," while fans claim that she's a headboard-slamming distraction to Berrettini whenever he hits the circuit. The allegation came to light when The Sun revealed in 2023 that Berrettini withdrew from a couple of tournaments after suffering from torn groin muscles, the same injury that affected soccer Kevin-Prince Boateng, to whom Satta was previously married for nine years, a union that produced one son. "How can you write something like that?" asked Satta in the Italian edition of Vanity Fair. "It's unethical. Legitimate hatred."

In the same article, Satta cited a discrepancy in the timeline of Berrettini's injury, which has happened to him more than once. "It's a shame that it's an injury at the same point as the one in 2021, when I didn't know him," she remarked. "But in any case, do I really have to answer to these people?" The short answer is no, but even remaining silent hasn't stopped her haters from mouthing off online. "I receive a lot of messages of insults, bullying and sexism," said Satta, per MSN. "I have chosen to be a public figure, and I accept being exposed and exposing myself on social media, but I'm just trying to have a romantic relationship with another person; I simply want to try to be happy, too."