8 Retired Athletes Who Tarnished Their Images

The sports world has been buzzing about the recent allegations of one Lawrence Taylor.

LT has been no stranger to controversy. This guy used to pour coke over his Wheaties for breakfast. After his retirement from the NFL in 1993, Taylor kept the good times rolling. By that, I mean snorting coke.

When it was time for Taylor to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, in 1999, there was no doubt that he would be inducted. Not even his drug addictions, and a brief stint in the WWF, could stop the inevitable.

Within the last decade, LT has seemingly cleaned up his act. And then he gets busted for having relations of the sexual kind with an underage prostitute. Ouch.

After years of trying to atone for his past actions, LT goes and screws it up. It’s so bad that some are considering that his NFL Hall of Fame induction be revoked.

While many may be condoning LT’s recent escapades, we know one guy who isn’t…Ben Roethlisberger. I bet he’s sent LT a huge fruit basket with a thank you card.

However, LT isn’t the former athlete to have a hiccup or two in his retirement. Here’s a look at eight former athletes who tarnished their career in retirement.

8. Bob Probert

Bob Probert was one of the elite NHL tough guys from 1985 to 2002. He’s probably most notable for his fights with Craig Coxe.

In 2004, he was arrested for parking his BMW SUV on the wrong side of the street and then getting into a tumble with some bystanders. He was appearantly so out of control that police had to subdue him with a taser. Even after this altercation, Probert couldn’t keep himself out of trouble. In 2005, he was arrested for breach of peace, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. The whole incident escalated after he violated his probation for drinking alcohol.

7. Mark McGwire/Sammy Sosa

Baseball was still feeling the aftershocks of the 1994 lockout. Then, in 1998, two players single handily saved the game.

Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa raced for the single season home-run record set by Roger Maris in 1961. It was kinda like the space race between the US and USSR, minus the threat of nuclear apocalypse.

On September 8, 1998 Big Mac hit his 62 homer while his Cardinals played Sosa and the Cubs. By the end of the season McGwire topped out at 70, while Sosa finished at 66.

During McGwire’s career there was speculation of him using steroids. It was hard not to. During his career, he went from Bill Bixby to Lou Ferringo.

The thing that has landed him on the hot seat with fans during his post-career is that he had a chance to admit any steroid use. In 2005, he was subpoenaed to testify in front of Congress about steroid use. He didn’t fess up. Five years later, he gave a half-ass apology by admitting that he had indeed used performance enhancing drugs.

Sosa, like McGwire, was asked to testify before Congress in 2005. Like Big Mac, he lied, despite testing positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003. The dude then had the balls to say that he would “calmly wait” for his MLB Hall of Fame induction in 2013. However, the biggest blemish during his retirement has been his desire to pull a Michael Jackson.

6. Rick Tocchet/Janet Jones

Rick Tocchet was one of my favorite NHL players as a kid while on the Philadelphia Flyers. After his retirement in 2002, Tocchet began a new career as a coach. By 2005, he became assistant head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, while the Great One, aka Wayne Gretzky, was the head coach.

A year later, Tocchet was caught in an illegal gambling ring in New Jersey, appropriately dubbed “Operation Slapshot”. Also involved was actress/aerobic instructor Janet Jones. While we won’t actually consider aerobic instructor as an athlete, she’s lumped into this list by marriage. The hottie just so happens to be Mrs. Wayne Gretzky.

That’s why we’re putting these two in here.

We have The Great One’s assistant head coach and wife involved in an gambling ring. You mean to tell me that he knew absolutely nothing about the ring?

5. Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona was a fantastic soccer player from Argentina mainly throughout the 80’s. This was the same decade where coke was all the rage.

After his retirement in 1997, Maradona couldn’t kick his expensive habit. In 2004, he suffered a cocaine overdose. In 2007, even after kicking the nose candy, he was rushed to the hospital for hepatitis and alcohol abuse.

While he’s reportedly been clean since, Maradona recently ran over a cameraman and presided to yell insults at the guy as he laid injured.

4. Isiah Thomas

Isiah Thomas enjoyed a great basketball career with the Detroit Pistons from 1981 to 1994. After retiring, Thomas became VP for the expansion team Toronto Raptors in 1994. He then became head coach of the Indiana Pacers, whom he led to the playoffs. He moved on to the New York Knicks, and that’s where his problems began.

In 2006, he was charged with sexual harassment. While he denied any wrong doings, he did admit to calling his accuser a bitch. He made a settlement and skipped town, but not before having a drug overdose in 2008. He’s currently coaching some school in Florida called Florida International University.

3. George Best

Irish born soccer player George Best is best remembered for his days with Manchester United. They’re like the Yankees of soccer.

After he put his playing days behind him in 1984, Best let alcohol, well, take the best of him.

In 1990, he pulled a Joe Namath and showed up on the teley plastered. In 2002, he had a liver transplant, but come on, the dude was Irish, do you think he was going to stop drinking? In 2004, he faced another drunk driving violation. On November 25, 2005 Best passed away from bring Irish, er, we mean alcoholism.

2. Michael Jordan

Who didn’t want to be like Mike when their were a kid?

Even if you hated the Bulls, you had to at least respect the guy’s skills. In 1993, MJ put aside his basketball sneaks for a pair of baseball cleats. He played some minor league ball for the Chicago White Sox, probably not because he was great at baseball, but probably because he was Micheal freaking Jordan.

After his baseball career faltered, Air Jordan returned to the Bulls in 1995, sporting number 45 since his original number 23 was retired. MJ didn’t miss a beat during his second basketball run, but called it quits again in 1999. A year later he became part owner and President of Basketball Operations for the Washington Wizards. Eventually MJ realized he was Micheal freaking Jordan and suited up for the Wizards.

After being fired from the Wizards in 2003, Jordan became part owner of the Charlotte Bobcats.

So, why’s MJ in here?

Look, we love Jordan. He’s the greatest. But, the child in us has shaken it’s head after the following mishaps.

There’s the baseball experiment, for one. Retiring with the Bulls, the second time, only to come back for the Wizards. Then, there’s his divorce. The reports of having a mistress. Plus, his excessive gambling and partying. Finally, there was his petty Hall of Fame induction speech. Come one Mike. You’re so much better than that.

1. O.J. Simpson

Do we really need to explain ourselves here? Ever since he was found not guilty of murder in 1995, The Juice has been going down a slippery slop.

Most of us are forgetting that Simpson was a great football, and a lovable goof in the Naked Gun film series. We now think of a criminal with a huge set of balls.

Leave a Comment

  1. Hey! Just wanted to say you own a great little website and I want you know how nice it looks. Will be back on a regular basis.