Celebrity sports scandals can be just as hot as those of music and movie stars. Without all the tabloid coverage, it's easy to forget that today's biggest sports stars sometimes cross the line too. From affairs to autobiographies, these guys made headlines off the baseball field, basketball court, and even the ice rink.
It Begins with Kobe BryantHow can you not start a sports celebrity scandal article with Kobe Bryant's rape allegations? When this story broke, it immediately crossed over from ESPN Sportscenter to the mainstream news and entertainment media. In the blink of an eye, the once squeaky clean Kobe had a major scandal to overcome. In the end, the criminal case was dropped and the civil case was settled, but not before some serious scandalous behavior surfaced:
- Kobe admitted to adultery. Suddenly his wife Vanessa was thrust into the spotlight. Would she stand by her man or send him packing?
- Kobe bought Vanessa a $4 million ring. You can't beat a multimillion dollar apology. For months, reporters were blinded by the rock on Vanessa's finger.
- He implicated Shaq. Kobe told investigators that Shaq had previously paid women off to avoid having news of the affairs hit the media. Needless to say, this shattered Kobe and Shaq's relationship. A truly sad event as the dynamic duo had partnered on three NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jose Canseco Gets JuicedFor years, Major League baseball fans watched with sheer joy as Jose Canseco launched homer after homer into the upper deck. All of a sudden, 500 foot homeruns became common place.
With homerun records falling year after year, nobody seemed to care that these behemoth athletes had bulging biceps, thick necks, and monstrous legs. That all changed when Jose Canseco retired and published Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big. The steroid controversy hit the national spotlight with some of the most startling controversies :
- Jose accuses Mark McGwire. The reigning home run champion (at least until Barry Bonds re-broke the record) is called out by Jose as a major steroids user. Jose even claims he personally injected Mark on several occasions.
- Canseco testifies before Congress. Mark McGwire was just the first of many baseball superstars accused of bulking up from steroid use. Over the course of the hearing, major stars face the music including Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro (who later tested positive).
- Jose lands on Surreal Life. Jose parlays his newfound writer fame into a spot in the cast of VH1's Surreal Life. He mixes it up with Omarosa and Janice Dickinson, two stars who are accustomed to scandals and outrageous behavior.
We're just getting started. Keep reading for three more sports celebrities who made headlines for their scandalous behavior.