Whether they know it or not, NFL superstars are heroes and role models to thousands of people around the world. They are seen with watchful eyes every weekend by tons of kids who want to be just like them. While a lot of NFL players are amazing role models, there are others who are not. While these people were blessed with all the athletic talent in the world, they apparently didn’t inherit a good personality. These 12 NFL superstars have done it all from abusing drugs to domestic violence and much, much more. You’ll probably remember #8 once you see it, on account of how awful it was.
#12 Darren Sharper
During his playing days, he was beloved by his fans everywhere. However, after his retirement, the floodgates of terrible behavior opened. It turned out he was a serial rapist and had numerous different women claim he drugged and raped them. He has been sentenced to serve up to 20 years in prison for his actions.
#11 Michael Irvin
Irvin is one of the best players of all time and currently works as a sports analyst. Unfortunately, he is a total jerk off the field. He has had numerous instances of substance abuse throughout his career and one reported sexual assault. He also allegedly cheated on his wife on multiple occasions.
#10 Greg Hardy
Hardy is without a doubt one of the most talented defensive ends in the NFL in recent memory, but his off-the-field issues are too massive to ignore. He allegedly abused his significant other and threatened to kill her. While several teams thought about signing him, he brings more harm than good and is currently out of the NFL.
#9 Aaron Hernandez
When he was playing, Hernandez was amongst the most talented tight ends in the league. However, he was a straight-up thug off the field. He was arrested for murder and a number of gun charges. Then, he had his name attached to a handful of other homicides as well. He is currently serving life in prison as a result.
#8 Michael Vick
In the early-mid 2000s, there were fewer players more exciting to watch than Michael Vick. He could do it all from the QB position and was loved by his fans. Then, Vick was arrested for running a dog fighting ring, which made him public enemy number one. He served some time in jail and eventually got back into the NFL, but this crime followed him throughout his career which eventually fizzled out. Check out the 6th entry for a case that made more headlines than Mr. Vick …
#7 Rae Carruth
Carruth was a talented wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers, but is now known better for what he did off the field. When he found out a woman he was dating was pregnant, he thought up a scheme in which he blocked her car in, and his friend shot her. He was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 18-24 years in prison.
#6 O.J Simpson
This is one example of a person’s criminal case being more famous than their athletic career. Simpson was actually an extremely talented running back, but what he did off the field will always be what he is famous for. He abused his wife throughout their marriage, and even after it. And we all know how that turned out, after the highly-publicized case in which he was accused of murdering her. He was deemed innocent, but was later thrown in jail on unrelated charges.
#5 Pacman Jones
Pacman still has a job in the NFL, but his off-field behavior is still hurting his career. In 2007, he went into a strip club and got into a physical altercation with a dancer after she went to go pick up some money off the stage. One of his associates from that evening actually fired a gun in the club as well.
#4 Lawrence Taylor
Taylor is arguably among the best defensive players in NFL history. However, his career was also full of controversy. He abused drugs and alcohol throughout his time in the NFL. After his career was over, he got into huge legal trouble for engaging in sexual intercourse with an underage girl he had paid!
#3 Warren Sapp
Sapp was among the best DTs in the NFL in his playing days and was a lovable analyst off the field. However, he turned out to be a real jerk. He would constantly get in arguments during his playing days and after retiring, he was arrested on suspicion of abusing a prostitute.
#2 Adrian Peterson
Peterson may go down as the most gifted running back in the history of the league. However, when he is not running over opponents on the field, he is not a good guy. While disciplining children is okay, that is not true when you are using a tree branch to beat the crap out of them. Peterson thought it was okay to use a “switch” on his child, which left some serious bruises and lacerations.
#1 Ryan Leaf
Leaf is seen by many as the biggest bust in NFL history. He simply didn’t care about the game and thought he was above the rules, which he wasn’t. After his career ended quickly, he was constantly in trouble with the law for drugs, burglary and more, on more than 5 occasions.
While these 12 NFL athletes might be stars on the field, they get attention for all the wrong reasons off of it. Despite the heinous acts they have committed, there are tons of fans out there willing to look past these crimes because of how good these players are. The problem is, many people idolize these players based on what they do on the field, and refuse to believe they are jerks. The sad part is, there seems to be no slowing or stopping this as every year a new superstar athlete gets in trouble for drug abuse, domestic violence or something worse. Hopefully these guys will eventually learn their lesson.