When you invite trouble, there is no turning back as trouble accepts the invitation with open hands, and attacks you with no second thoughts. And this notion gains more prominence when athletes and celebrities are involved.
Talented athletes who have gained worldwide reputation know for a fact that they are famous and that anything they do will draw a lot of attention from media and fans alike. However, some of them refuse to think twice before they act. These athletes earn fame and money with their on-field performances but lose it all with their stupid actions off the field.
There are several athletes who risked their careers with their off-the-field shenanigans. So what are the top 11 dumbest things done by athletes off the pitch?
#11 Louis Smith mocks a religious prayer
The reveller in British gymnast Louis Smith had no idea what was coming his way, when he got drunk with his fellow gymnast James Carson and shot a supposedly funny video imitating a Muslim prayer. The drunken revelry landed the athlete in a major controversy. He is now in the eye of the storm and the Olympic medallist might even face expulsion for his recklessness.
The video that was recorded at the wedding of another British gymnast Daniel Keatings at the Kettering Park Hotel, published by The Sun, shows Carson pulling off a rug, kneeling on it, and imitating a Muslim prayer.
Carson shouts, “Allahu Akbar”, while Smith joins the chorus and imitates a muezzin’s call. A woman comes up to Carson, asking him to stop his performance, and also tells Smith that he is not being funny, to which he replies, “Yes it is.”
The gymnast released a statement of apology on Instagram. This turn of events has put Smith’s glorious career in jeopardy and he has also received death threats.
#10 Claude Giroux’s misguided attempt at humouring a cop
There are plenty of stories doing the rounds online of NHL players being involved in major controversies off the pitch. Among the list of things done by NHL players, Claude Giroux’s is probably the funniest.
In July 2014, NHL superstar Claude Giroux tried to be a bit more humourous than he actually was and was arrested after a hilarious incident with the Ottawa Police. According to reports by the Ottawa Sun, the NHL player was arrested for repeatedly grabbing the buttocks of a male police officer in the Bayward Market in Ottawa.
Giroux was drunk at the time, and as a result of his ‘mischief’ he had to spend a night in jail.
#9 Sir Jadeja’s selfie with lions
Ravindra Jadeja was in the news for the wrong reasons when he took selfies with a pride of lions.
Jadeja, who is a native of Jamnagar district in Gujarat, went on a lion safari at Gir National Park and Sanctuary in June 2016. During the safari, he got down from his vehicle and posed for pictures, along with his wife, in front of a pride of lions.
Some of the forest guards and fans joined the party, and soon these pictures started to spread like wildfire on social networking sites. The forest department ordered an inquiry into the issue, and in August 2016, Jadeja paid a fine of Rs. 20,000 for the act strictly prohibited by law.
#8 Mike Tyson is headbutted by his tiger
For boxing legend Mike Tyson, controversies are the norm, and it seems like he doesn’t care about being in the news. But what he should have cared about, is his tooth.
Tyson has knocked out many boxing greats during his career, but little did he know that his decision to pet a tiger would knock his teeth out one day.
The reason for a gap between his teeth is his pet tiger Kenya, who headbutted him when he tried to kiss her.
“On one occasion I went ‘give me a kiss’ and she put her head in and boom I had gold teeth back then and she knocked my teeth out because her head is like concrete,” Tyson explained.
For people who can afford golden teeth though, losing a tooth shouldn’t be a problem.
#7 Floyd Mayweather announces his new pet!
He owns supercars, superbikes, fancy gadgets and everything that one of the richest sportspersons in the world should have.
Supercars and bikes can never make for controversy, but tigers can!
Not averse to showing off his extravagant wealth on social media platforms, the boxer posted a photo of his Bengal tiger on Instagram in December 2015, which his family had gifted him for Christmas. Mayweather’s post was widely condemned, with animal welfare advocates slamming him for keeping a tiger as a pet.
#6 When Tiger Woods lost his control
This is the incident that paved the way for the downfall of Tiger Woods’ legendary career.
On November 27, 2009, Tiger Woods crashed his SUV outside of his Florida home, igniting a massive scandal that would sideline his golfing career. Woods was already in the eye of the storm after stories about his extramarital affairs were doing the rounds online.
According to media reports, Woods left home in his SUV, and crashed into a fire hydrant, a tree and several hedges. He was treated for minor injuries, and took sole responsibility for the accident, calling it a ‘private matter’. He also credited his wife for helping him out of the situation.
The golf legend also announced that he would not be appearing in any golf tournaments because of his injuries, which would later take a toll on his career and personal life.
#5 Jahlil Okafor fights a fan
For the Philadelphia 76ers, Jahlil Okafor has been a revelation. He has the ability to turn the tables on the opponents in a flash, and the youngster is one of the most sought after players in NBA.
In November 2015, Jahlil Okafor’s team, the Philadelphia 76ers, lost to Boston Celtics by a huge margin. Okafor was upset because of the defeat and when a Celtic fan approached Okafor and shouted, “The 76ers suck,” it added fuel to the fire, and the NBA superstar pounced on him straightaway.
A scuffle broke out, and even as people tried to hold him back, he managed to escape and punched the fan.
Okafor was famous, but he had just started his professional career, and this controversy earned him the reputation of being a ‘hot-headed rookie’.
#4 Peterson takes it all out on his own son
Minnesota Vikings’ footballer Adrian Peterson was indicted in September 2014 on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child, in an incident that happened in May 2014.
Peterson had hit his 4-year-old son and the beating resulted in multiple cuts and bruises on the boy’s lower body, and defensive wounds on the boy’s hands. The prosecution in the case alleged that Peterson used a tree branch to beat his young son repeatedly on his back, buttocks, genitals, ankles, and legs.
Various reports suggest that this was the kind of punishment Peterson received during his childhood, and that he vented out all of his anger on his own son. The athlete avoided a jail sentence after reaching a plea agreement with the Texas court later on.
#3 Intoxicated NFL player beats his fiancée, drags her out of a lift
Former NFL player Ray Rice and his then fiancée, Janay Palmer, had no idea that they were under CCTV surveillance when Rice assaulted Palmer.
Rice was arrested on February 2014, on charges of assaulting his fiancee; he even knocked her out. Both of them were found to be highly intoxicated during the incident.
The video footage of the incident, later posted on TMZ, shows Rice dragging Palmer out of a lift after hitting her. Rice was indicted of third-degree aggravated assault with the possibility of a three-year prison term.
Rice’s inclination towards domestic violence was treated as a serious matter by the court, but the criminal charges were dropped later after Rice agreed to undergo counselling under the court’s supervision.
#2 Burress shoots his own leg
There is no dearth of athletes in sports who have a penchant for hooliganism and violence, and former NFL Player Plaxico Burress is a good example of that. He suffered an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot to his right thigh at a nightclub in New York.
The Glock pistol that Burress used was in the pocket of his jeans and when he was allegedly reaching for his gun, the player pushed the trigger by mistake, and the gun fired. Burress had to be immediately taken to a hospital following the accident.
Two days after the incident, the athlete had to turn himself in to face charges of criminal possession of a handgun. Even the New York City Police learned about it only after seeing the news on television.
#1 Rae Carruth hires a hitman to assassinate his wife
Rae Carruth, a former professional American footballer who played for NFL club Carolina Panthers from 1997 to 1999, was sentenced to prison in 1999. His crime? Conspiring to kill his pregnant girlfriend, Cherica Adams.
The former NFL player hired a hitman, Van Brett Watkins, to assassinate Adams because she did not abort their unborn child. She was eight months pregnant with Carruth’s child when Watkins shot her multiple times. Soon after Adams’ admission to the hospital, she fell into a coma.
Doctors were able to save her son, but Adams died a month later, and Carruth became a fugitive. He was eventually captured after being found hiding in the boot of a car.