Athletes Who Are Only Famous Because They Dated A Celebrity

Celebrities don't usually step outside their realm when it comes to dating, and two A-listers getting together sometimes turns into an incredible Hollywood power couple (see: Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, or Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds). But A-list actors aren't the only people who can bring prestige to a relationship — a famous musician or even a star athlete can increase a couple's public persona as well.

Take NFL quarterback Tom Brady, who cemented his own fame outside of his marriage to Gisele Bündchen, who was the highest-paid model from 2002-2017, and is one of the most celebrated models in the world. In 2011, the duo was named the World's Highest-Paid Celebrity couple by Forbes, and Brady once told People, "I think without her, there's no way I could be doing what I'm doing. It takes an amazing partnership to do it." They're clearly the best teammates ever. 

However, some athletes owe their own fame not to their prowess in their respective sport, but rather to who they have dated. Though these athletes may have won plenty of games and even snagged a trophy or two, they aren't superstars in their own right. In fact, it's the celebrities they have dated that have brought them increased recognition and fame. While some might not know these athletes from watching them play, they may recognize them from appearing in paparazzi photos or on red carpets with their famous partners. So who are these famous celebs' athletic partners? Let's find out.

Mike Fisher is Carrie Underwood's beau

Mike Fisher has had a long career in hockey after being drafted by the Ottawa Senators in 1998 and finishing his career with the Nashville Predators in 2018. However, he would become more widely known in the country music scene after he began dating superstar Carrie Underwood.

Underwood was already a megastar in the music business after winning Season 4 of "American Idol." She won three Grammy's for her 2005 debut album "Some Hearts" and her sophomore album, 2007's "Carnival Ride" found its way to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Top Country Album charts, per Reality TV World. According to Country Living, the two first met backstage at one of Underwood's concerts in 2008 and it was a match made in heaven, with the songstress texting her bassist, who set them up, "Hot, hot, hot." The two got engaged in December 2009 and wed in July 2010, and since then, Fisher has been a regular at red carpet events, attending award shows like the CMT Music Awards and the CMAs, per Us Weekly

Fisher has been a huge supporter of his wife. He took to Instagram to praise Underwood for her Grammy win for her 2021 album "My Savior" and congratulated her for her win for Entertainer of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2020. The pair are also loving parents to two sons, Isaiah and Jacob, and the whole family often travels together when Underwood tours.

Cole Tucker makes headlines for dating this 'High School Musical' star

Cole Tucker is relatively new to the MLB, having been drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates and making his debut in 2019. As of this writing, the shortstop plays for the Arizona Diamondbacks, but his name appears to be making more headlines in the world of entertainment after he began dating triple threat Vanessa Hudgens. 

Tucker and Hudgens went Instagram official on Valentine's Day in 2021, when the "High School Musical" actor shared a photo of the two kissing, though the Daily Mail reported their romance began back in November 2020, just 10 months after she split from "Elvis" actor Austin Butler. Since putting their love on display, Hudgens has posted pictures with Tucker regularly on her social media, including photos of the two celebrating their one year anniversary and the actor attending his games. So how exactly did they meet? She shared with ET that they met on a Zoom call: "Me and Cole met on a Zoom meditation group. Very random, yes." 

As of this writing, the two are still going strong, and Tucker attended the premiere of Hudgens' movie, "Tick, Tick ... Boom!" in November 2021 and appeared by her side at the SAG Awards in February 2022, per Us Weekly. Talking about her romance with the pro athlete, she told ET, "It's just easy. We're like the same person, very much the same person, but with different tastes."

Mike Caussin was married to a country starlet

Mike Caussin's name might ring a bell for country music fans. The former NFL tight end was married to Jana Kramer from 2015 until 2021, and their relationship made headlines for his many infidelities.

Caussin and the "Voices" singer wed in May 2015, but by August 2016, the couple announced their separation after Caussin admitted to cheating and went to rehab for sex addiction, per Us Weekly. The couple managed to work through their issues and renewed their vows in December 2017, but it was all over again by April 2021, with Kramer sharing a heartbreaking post on Instagram confirming that the two were going their separate ways. Speaking with Extra, Kramer hinted that the cause of their divorce was Caussin being unfaithful yet again. The former spouses share two children

Caussin had a short-lived career in the NFL. He was an undrafted free agent when he was picked up by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2010, though his time there would be brief. That same year, he headed to the Buffalo Bills, but he did not play a game until 2011, where he played six games and started in two. He was waived by the Bills in 2013 and picked up by the Washington Commanders in 2014, where he was placed on injury reserve. He retired from the NFL the following year. 

Sterling Shepard and Chanel Iman were once an item

Sterling Shepard was drafted by the New York Giants during the 2016 NFL draft and as of this writing, continues to play for the team. While Giants fans are always rooting for this wide receiver when he's out on the field, he's most recognized in the entertainment business for having married model Chanel Iman. 

According to Us Weekly, Shepard and Iman met at NY Giants player Victor Cruz's birthday party in 2016, and the next year, the two were engaged and tied the knot in March 2018. The couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Cali, in August 2018 and in December 2019, they welcomed their second daughter, Cassie. However, Shepard filed for divorce in June 2021, with Us Weekly reporting that in September 2021, the former couple agreed to share joint custody of their two daughters.

Although they split, the former Victoria's Secret model and the athlete appear to be doing a great job co-parenting their kids. Iman told Us Weekly, "I'm all about a positive mindset and staying connected with people and trying to just work out everything. Like I'm a people person so it's not very difficult for me to co-parent at all."

Eric Johnson found love with Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson and her husband, Eric Johnson, have been married since 2014, after having been engaged for four years, which is a pretty big deal in Hollywood. It's the second marriage for both stars, too, with fans well aware of Simpson's ex-husband, Nick Lachey (of the former boy band 98 Degrees). That marriage ended in 2006, but luckily, the singer got a second chance at love. 

So who exactly is this man who swept Simpson off her feet? Johnson is a former NFL player who spent most of his career with the San Francisco 49ers and ended his time in the league with the New Orleans Saints after the 2007 season. Johnson wasn't Simpson's first NFL beau, though, as she dated former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo from 2007 until 2009. However, Johnson seemed to be the perfect match for Simpson, and the "Open Book" author celebrated being together with her husband for 10 years, sharing on Instagram, in part, "He knocked on my dreamy cottage door (sigh), I let him in and never let him leave."

Before they wed, the couple welcomed two kids, a daughter, Maxwell, and a son, Ace. In 2019, the couple welcomed their third child, a daughter named Birdie. Talking to Us Weekly in 2020 about her successful relationship, she shared, "In terms of my marriage to Eric, I have never felt more myself or more free. Eric and I have a true mind, body [and] soul connection."

Hank Baskett was with a Playboy model

Former NFL wide receiver Hank Baskett found himself in the spotlight after marrying former Playboy model Kendra Wilkinson. The couple made headlines for the ups and mostly downs of their marriage, which included Baskett being unfaithful to the reality star, a situation that ultimately led the couple to divorce in April 2018 after nearly nine years together. 

Baskett admitted to falling into a depression when his NFL career was over. He began his football career in 2006 and bounced around to teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts. Unfortunately, his career ended following the 2010 season. He shared with People, "I fell into what happens to a lot of professional athletes who change careers. It hit me, and it hit hard." The former sports star revealed that he began using drugs and drinking alcohol, which led to his 2014 cheating scandal that occurred when Wilkinson was eight months pregnant with their daughter, Alijah.

The couple, who also share a son named Hank IV, worked through their issues on the reality show "Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars." However, it wasn't enough to help the celeb couple, and the two went their separate ways in 2018, their divorce finalizing in February 2019. In April 2021, Wilkinson told Us Weekly that they were doing their best to co-parent their kids, sharing, "It is stable. We are [in a better place]. Time heals all."

Danny Amendola had a short-lived romance with Olivia Culpo

Danny Amedola has bounced around as a wide receiver for the NFL. He began his career with the Dallas Cowboys in 2008 and soon found himself with the St. Louis Rams, the New England Patriots, the Miami Dolphins, and the Detroit Lions. Although he does have two Super Bowl wins under his belt, he's made more headlines for having dating model and influencer Olivia Culpo. 

Amendola was playing for the Patriots when he began dating the former Miss Universe in early 2016. However, the couple would be on-again, off-again for two years. One of their first breakups occurred around March 2018, when Amendola signed with the Dolphins. According to Us Weekly, Culpo was not in any rush to move to Miami, but by June 2018, the two seemed to have rekindled their relationship. In October 2018, things seemed to hit a rough patch when Amendola was seen with another woman, but by December, he and Culpo were back on. 

Things finally ended for good in April 2019, when Amendola confirmed he was single on Instagram and blasted his ex's lifestyle. He wrote (via Us Weekly), "Olivia chooses and wants to be noticed on the internet and in Hollywood to make money. Where as [sic] the cost of fame in the world doesn't appeal to me." Their not-so-nice split didn't seem to turn Culpo off from dating NFL players, however. As of this writing, she's with the Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey

Kris Humphries is known for his short-lived marriage to Kim Kardashian

Kris Humphries' career in the NBA was tarnished when he famously married Kim Kardashian in August 2011. After 72 days of being husband and wife, Kardashian filed for divorce, though Humphries took it a step further, filing for an annulment on grounds that the marriage was a total fraud. While his annulment was not granted, the divorce settled in April 2013. However, Humphries was now known more for his failed marriage to Hollywood's biggest reality star than his game on the court. 

Humphries was playing for the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets when the two wed. After their marriage ended, Humphries found himself on several teams, including the Washington Wizards and the Atlanta Hawks. In March 2019, after being waived by the Philadelphia 76ers, Humphries announced his retirement. In an interview with The Players Tribune, the former NBA star admitted that his romance with Kardashian was tough on his career. "I was getting booed so hard in Philly, and I thought ... 'Why exactly are they booing me, though? Is it because I'm That Guy from TV? ... Is it because they think I disrespected the game of basketball?' The last one killed me, because all I've ever wanted to be known for was basketball.'"

Humphries has since moved on from both basketball and his infamous failed married. He moved back to his home state of Minnesota and is busy with several business ventures, including getting into real estate

Perrie Edwards snagged soccer player Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Perrie Edwards of the British girl group Little Mix and former One Direction member Zayn Malik were a match made in pop star heaven when they announced their engagement in 2013. He was so dedicated to his bride-to-be he even tattooed Edwards' face on his bicep. But things began to crumble when he left the band and called off his engagement in a text message in 2015. Oh, and he eventually covered up that massive tattoo.

Malik ended up with model Gigi Hadid shortly after his split with Edwards, and the two welcomed a daughter named Khai in 2020, while Edwards moved on as well. According to People, the songstress has been in a relationship with Liverpool star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain since 2016. Oxlade-Chamberlain has had quite the career as a professional soccer player. He first signed with Arsenal, where he won the FA Cup three times. In 2017, he signed with Arsenal rival Liverpool, and he and his team won the UEFA Champions League in 2019 and the Premier League in 2020, per The U.S. Sun

In August 2021, the couple welcomed a son and shared the sweet news on Instagram. In June 2022, Edwards and her soccer beau announced that they were engaged, with the Little Mix singer sharing the news with her fans on social media. 

Mike Comrie has a son with Hilary Duff

Mike Comrie played professional hockey for 13 years, having played on several teams from the Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Ottawa Senators, and New York Islanders. In February 2012, Comrie announced his retirement, which was the same year his then-wife, "Lizzie McGuire" star Hilary Duff, was expecting their first child, per The Hockey News

While he would no longer be making headlines in the sports world, he was highly talked about after he married the actor. The pair wed in August 2010 and welcomed their son, Luca in March 2012. However, the couple had a short-lived marriage and ended up separating in early 2014, with Duff filing for divorce a year later, per People. According to TMZ, the actor pulled the plug on their marriage a day after Comrie's wild behavior at a Los Angeles restaurant resulted in the drunk hockey player propositioning women. Although their marriage was over, the two have worked on co-parenting their son. Duff told Ellen DeGeneres in 2016, "We are good friends and we laugh a lot. And we have great communication and we share stories and pictures when one is not with Luca. He's great, we are great, and we keep on trucking." 

Duff has since moved on and married singer-songwriter Matthew Koma. The pair has welcomed two daughters, Banks and Mae. 

Scotty McKnight was Hayden Panettiere's type

Scotty McKnight was a wide receiver for the New York Jets, though his time with the team was brief, as he was waived a year after he was drafted in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL draft. Although his career as an NFL player was cut short, he still made headlines for dating "Nashville" actor Hayden Panettierre at the time. She told Us Weekly in October 2011, "I've always been that girl who has a lot of dude friends. I'm into sports, so Scotty and I have a lot in common."

But, just like his football career, his relationship with Panettierre would be short-lived, too. Us Weekly reported that the couple called it quits in December 2012 after dating for more than a year. Their relationship began just one month after Panettierre split from another athlete — Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko, per the Daily Mail. The actor and boxer were first linked in 2009, but split in 2011. They later reconciled in 2013, got engaged, and welcomed a daughter, Kaya, in 2014. However, they called it quits again in August 2018, per Us Weekly

As for McKnight, he is currently in a relationship with wellness founder Tayla Burke and the couple welcomed a daughter named Aspen in March 2022. 

Doug Reinhardt was with an heiress and MTV star

The name Doug Reinhardt might ring a bell for fans of MTV's "The Hills," which starred everyone's favorite reality television good girl Lauren Conrad, along with her ex-BFF Heidi Montag and Montag's husband Spencer Pratt. Although Reinhardt wasn't a regular cast member, he did appear in an episode that featured him going on a date with Conrad and the two later hanging out at friend Audrina Patridge's birthday party, per Entertainment Weekly. According to Conrad, the two dated during her last year in high school, though it only lasted "a couple of weeks."

Reinhardt, a former baseball player who played for the minor leagues for three years after being drafted by the Anaheim Angels in 2004, also made headlines for dating Paris Hilton. The pair dated for over a year until they called it quits in April 2010. Hilton told Us Weekly after their break-up, "I don't even remember that time in my life. I am over it!" Even Conrad chimed in on the split, telling MTV News, "I thought they were a good match," and added after rumors that he and Hilton had plans to wed, "She was going to marry a lot of people. But he had fun. That's all that matters." 

According to the Daily Mail, Reinhardt was later engaged to "The Hills" alum Allie Lutz, and had also dated Amanda Bynes and Tara Reid. In 2019, Reinhardt and his girlfriend, Mia Irons, welcomed twin boys.

Kroy Biermann became a reality star thanks to his wife

Kroy Biermann was an outside linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons for seven years before hanging up his helmet in 2016. During his time with the team, he would meet his now-wife, Kim Zolciak-Biermann, who was known for starring in Bravo's "The Real Housewives of Atlanta." 

The pair first met in August 2010 at a charity event, which was featured on an episode of the Bravo show. Zolciak-Biermann told Biermann (via Us Weekly), "I've never seen as a** like that. I just had to tell you. Adorable." The former athlete appeared to take a liking to Zolciak-Biermann, and by January 2011, they were engaged. The couple wed in November 2011 and are still going strong as of this writing. In fact, Zolciak-Biermann's two daughters from a previous relationship, Brielle and Ariana, were adopted by Biermann and took on his last name. 

Besides playing in the NFL at the time, Biermann became a reality star himself when he and Zolciak-Biermann got their own reality show, "Don't Be Tardy," which first aired in 2012 and ran for eight seasons. The Biermanns would grow their family after they welcomed sons KJ in 2011 and Kash in 2012, and twins Kaia and Kane in 2013. The couple celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in 2021. Zolciak-Biermann captioned a sweet post on Instagram, in part: "My ride or die, my best friend, the only person I could smother with a pillow one second then snuggle the next!"

Cutter Dykstra found the perfect match with Jamie-Lynn Sigler

Cutter Dykstra followed in his father's footsteps to become a professional baseball player. His dad, Lenny Dykstra, played for the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies in the '80s and was a three-time All Star during his active days. Although Cutter has not made his debut in the MLB, he has played for Minor League Teams, including the Potomac Nations, the Hagerstown Suns, and the Harrisburg Senators, where he was released in 2016. 

Although he may not have hit a homer in the majors, Cutter did score big when he wed "The Sopranos" actor Jamie-Lynn Sigler in 2016. The couple had welcomed a son, Beau, two years prior, and he took part in his parents' wedding, per People. The actor and her baseball playing husband welcomed another son, Jack, in January 2018. 

While it may seem like happily-ever-after for the couple, Sigler has been open with living with multiple sclerosis since she was 20 and has spoken to Glamour about how it affects her romantic time with her husband. She shared, "But you don't want to lose feeling sexy, and I can feel that sometimes, where I'll say, 'I don't feel sexy. I don't feel good today.' Like, I feel dumpy. My husband is wonderful and great at making me feel good about myself — or trying to at least!'"