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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 10 Most Hated NFL Players of All Time: Who Is the Most Hated NFL Player?

Top 10 Most Hated NFL Players of All Time: Who Is the Most Hated NFL Player?

Publish Date: 01/05/2024
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

They are the most hated players in NFL history; now we aren’t talking about a Packers fan that hates a specific player from the Bears. We are talking about players who were generally hated league-wide during their playing days.

Close to 27,000 individuals have taken part in at least one NFL game. While many players have enjoyed wide acclaim from fans, media, teammates, and opponents, others have created considerable dislike among some fan bases, teammates, opponents, or general audiences. This may be due to aggressive playing styles or personalities which create envy; others may attract criticism due to statements made off-field that cause unhappiness; whatever their reasons, it is vitally important that we recognize and analyze who are the most disliked NFL players of all time!

Criteria

No, OJ Simpson is not on this list; OJ was a hero when he played, but it was 15 years after he became hated. The players on this list were hated when they played because of cheap shots, running their mouths, etc… Now if you were hated when you played and made things worse after retirement, that counts. We love controversial and hated and we invite you to checkout our Top 10 List of the most controversial playoff games in NFL history.

10) Rodney Harrison

Reason for Hatred: Harrison made headlines early in the 2004 season for his hard late hit on Josh McCown, which stunned even those familiar with football. At that moment, when McCown stopped running near the sideline, the whistle was blown, and Harrison launched into him viciously, spearing him mercilessly and drawing cheers from Patriots fans and disapproval from others alike. This play came to symbolize Harrison’s career, with both supporters and critics taking notice.

Harrison is perhaps the ultimate example of a player you admire if they play for your team yet dislikes if he doesn’t. Some may disagree with some of his actions on the field, but players like him make sports truly great.

In 2008, NFL Head Coaches voted Harrison the dirtiest player in the game.

Video: Rodney Harrison

Rodney Harrison “THE BIG-HITTER”

9) Cam Newton

Reason for Hatred: Newton’s outspoken personality and early declarations as an “entertainer and icon” alienated some fans and players, leading some to perceive him as a selfish player, especially early on in his career. Additionally, controversial issues related to him created more conflict within opinions on Newton.

Of course, the Prima Donna perception came true during his lone Super Bowl when he was reluctant to dive on a Fumble with his team still having a chance to win. Of course, the way he dressed also caused some hate, but generally, his me-first attitude caused many to hate this talented Quarterback. As a player, he was very good, but he tended to be a front-runner, which meant when things went bad, Cam went south quickly.

Newton was a tremendously talented Quarterback that cannot be questioned. He was the NFL MVP during his best season, injuries shortened his career to the point where he was just a backup by the end of his career.

Video: Cam Newton Degrades Women In Hate-Filled Rant

Cam Newton Degrades Women In Hate-Filled Rant

8) Tyreek Hill

Reason for Hatred: Tyreek Hill, has been accused of domestic assault and child abuse, prompting fans and players alike to question his character and conduct. This has caused widespread outrage from both fans and peers alike. Hill has faced harsh criticism, which has damaged his image and led to negative responses on social media and other online platforms.

These cases have had a devastating impact on his personal life as well as professional career – becoming one of the most despised players in NFL. It seems people don’t like it when you punch your pregnant girlfriend in the stomach.

The recently married Tyreek Hill has fathered three children within four months – none of them with his wife. As a result, two women have filed paternity suits against Hill, alleging their children born between February and May were his; these suits seek child support. It’s easy to see what Tyreek has been doing with his free time.

Video: The ABSURDITY of Tyreek Hill.

The ABSURDITY of Tyreek Hill.

7) Ray Lewis

Reason for Hatred: Despite his all-time great linebacker status, Lewis often faced criticism for invoking God in controversial situations – particularly concerning involvement with a murder case in which he was accused. This and his passionate on-field demeanor served to divide public opinion further.

Due to the circumstances surrounding Lewis’ murder case–with him turning state’s witness against two others to avoid murder charges of his own and with no trace being found of the white suit he wore on that fateful evening–many came to suspect that Lewis was indeed guilty. Yet they all ended up being cleared. Many still have questions about the case.

Lewis will go down in history as one of the greatest linebackers in NFL history, but that stigma from that night in 2000 still follows him.

Video: The Ray Lewis Murder Mystery

The Ray Lewis Murder Mystery

6) Ndamukong Suh

Reason for Hatred: Suh’s notoriety has only increased due to his aggressive play and ongoing discipline from the league. While some fans admire his intensity, others view it as dirty play or unsportsmanlike behavior – leading them to debate whether he deserves his spot among history’s most-hated NFL players.

Suh’s physicality and frequent accumulation of fines have drawn widespread ire from media outlets and fans, prompting discussions regarding both his abilities on the field as well as behavior off it. This has caused heated discussions regarding both aspects of his performance.

Suh was a good player, and his career has been cut short because of his past actions.

Video: Ndamukong Suh Dirtiest Plays

Ndamukong Suh Dirtiest Plays

5) DeShaun Watson

Reason for Hatred: Deshaun Watson, a well-known NFL player, has recently come under scrutiny over serious allegations of sexual assault and misconduct, leading to much public debate and damaging his reputation despite his success on the field. These issues have left a permanent stain on Deshaun’s legacy. Deshaun Watson ranks high on the list of disliked NFL players due to allegations against him of sexual assault and misconduct, according to reference data presented here.

It seems that Mr. Watson enjoys massages; unfortunately, these massages can only be administered by females, and there is almost always a different massage therapist, and many of these massages are done in hotel rooms. On top of that, the Cleveland browns still gave him an enormous contract, and he is failing so far in Cleveland.

Video: The DARK Truth About Deshaun Watson..

The DARK Truth About Deshaun Watson..

4) Brett Favre

Reason for Hatred: Favre made headlines following the inappropriate text messages he sent to a female sideline reporter while at the New York Jets, sparking a scandal that tore apart both his public persona and brought on fines from the NFL. Retirement confusion, sexual harassment allegations, and other controversies culminated in creating one of the most divisive figures in NFL history – an embattled star known for making controversial choices and actions against himself and other teammates alike.

Favre was a great quarterback and was beloved throughout his career until the wheels fell off. Favre’s substance abuse while playing was overlooked because they liked him, but the issues with the Jets made everybody look at Favre in a new light. Favre was one of the Top 10 NFL Quarterbacks of the 1990s.

Video: Another INSANE Turn Arises from Brett Favre Welfare Scandal

Another INSANE Turn Arises from Brett Favre Welfare Scandal

3) Andre Waters

Reason for Hatred: Nicknamed Dirty Waters for his aggressive headhunting tactics, Cheap Shot took no mercy in breaking up kicker Jess Atkinson’s left plant leg (and may have paid with his life due to post-concussion syndrome). His suicide may also be blamed on his Cheap Shot’s actions.

Waters’s hard-hitting style quickly made headlines for all the wrong reasons, as his relentless hit on Kicker Jess Atkinson of the Washington Redskins ended his pro football career.

Waters caused serious knee damage to Minnesota Vikings quarterback Rich Gannon in 1990 and received an expensive fine from NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Waters was an average player who was kept around because he was intimidating.

Video: The Dirtiest Game in NFL History? | The Bounty Bowl - Eagles vs Cowboys (1989)

The Dirtiest Game in NFL History? | The Bounty Bowl – Eagles vs Cowboys (1989)

2) Bill Romanowski

Reason for Hatred: Romanowski was dogged by numerous controversies during his career, such as admitting steroid use and violent actions on the field, such as spitting at opponents – garnering him the reputation as an aggressive, dirty player. Please make no mistake: Romanowski was a dirty bastard on the football field.

Whether breaking a jaw (Kerry Collins), finger (Dave Meggett), eye socket (teammate, yes, a teammate, Marcus Williams) or spitting in a face (J.J. Stokes), Romo often ignored the bounds of sportsmanship. Romanowski was an above-average player and a below-average human being who should have been banned from football for his despicable actions.

Video: Bill Romanowski's SHOCKING Career: From Sucker Punches to Steroids

Bill Romanowski’s SHOCKING Career: From Sucker Punches to Steroids

1) Collin Kaepernick

Reason for Hatred: Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest during the national anthem to highlight racial injustice was met with intense debates. Some saw it as disrespectful towards the flag and military; this led to widespread disapproval and boycotts of NFL games.

Now, Kaepernick wanted to make everything racial; the problem with that was two White parents raised him in a very nice home. Collin has never been oppressed! He lost his job in San Fransisco after the 49ers went 1-10 with him at quarterback. After being cut he demanded back in the NFL, but understandably most did not want the distraction of him being in their locker room.

A couple of years ago, he was offered a tryout in front of NFL scouts but chose to hold his own workout without the scouts. Ultimately, it turns out that Kaepernick was a baby who always wanted his way. You know, the old selfish, spoiled superstar.

Video: How GOOD Was Colin Kaepernick?

How GOOD Was Colin Kaepernick?

(Dis) Honorable mentions

Terrell Owens

Owens was an influential figure in the NFL. He is considered one of the greatest receivers of all time, yet his confrontational ways caused debate within the league. Yet his legacy lives on through all-time receiving categories he ranks highly on.

Johnny Manziel

Issues included inconsistency and inability to meet expectations on the field, legal troubles and substance abuse problems, all of which caused his reputation to tarnish and cast doubt on his dedication.

Tony Romo

Romo’s perceived lack of playoff success, celebrity status, and post-football opportunities generated considerable resentment among fans who felt he received preferential treatment despite not achieving significant postseason achievements.

His relationship with Jessica Simpson was very similar to the Kelce-Swift romance, which turned people off. He was an exceptionally talented quarterback but always came up short in his biggest games. Now, he is an NFL analyst and is so bad at it that it is sickening. He seems to be in love with Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, and his constant stupidity in the announcers’ both is mind-numbingly annoying.

Josh Norman

His aggressive approach might appeal to some, but it has created a negative reputation within the NFL community. Despite being an impressive cornerback talent, his provocative behavior and trash-talking have garnered negative attention from fans and teammates alike.

Tom Brady

A sixth-round draft choice who became the Greatest Quarterback of all time should be loved, right? Will he is not people usually turn on greatness, and Brady has been greatness personified. Brady is considered by most to be the greatest quarterback of all time!

Ray Rice

This one is easy: you will be hated if there is a film of you beating up your wife in an elevator. Without that video tape Ruce would have played a few more years, because of that tape his career ended.

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