Celebrities represent the modern-day hero, and like any leading protagonist, they are extremely fallible. Headlines have always been dominated by stories about rich, good-looking people behaving badly and celebrity athletes are certainly no exception. With all their money and muscles, we’ve seen some of our most beloved “hero” athletes take some pretty bad dives in the press lately. Here are some of the most disappointing ones.
This shy, nerd-hunk of a golfer turned out to be a major player! Back in 2009, Tiger was ousted on the Internet for cheating on his wife (who P.S. was completely gorgeous.) C’mon man! Why do the sweet ones always get corrupted by fame and fortune?
Tiger publicly apologized, and then went to cheater rehab but he was a day late and a dollar short by that point. Public opinion turned against Tiger faster than his wife could file for divorce. The story immediately morphed into a “sex scandal” and our sexy, shy-boy, golfer was downgraded overnight into just another dude who happened to be really good at doing one thing who let own stardom take him down. If anyone could retain his humility in the face of being rich and famous, I thought for sure it would be Tiger. Oh how wrong I was. . .
America’s pride and glory of the biking community turned out to be little more than spotlight seeking scumbag. Armstrong was the poster child for the notion that any of us could “beat the odds.” He won the Tour De France an astonishing 7 times after winning a battle with testicular cancer. He even started his own charity. Up until a few months ago, he had one of the best reputations in sports, and was known as being nothing short of a hard working do-gooder. Then the story broke that he had been doping and using performance enhancing drugs for years. His many adoring fans did not take too kindly to the idea that all of his miraculous physical achievements in the last decade were not the well-deserved fruits of hard work, but simply the hollow results of sustained drug use. People were outraged.
If it makes you feel any better, Armstrong was taken down like 15 notches in everyone’s books. To begin, he was unceremoniously stripped of all his titles and awards he got while cycling (including his 7 Tour De France wins.) All his sponsors dropped him like a bad habit, the charity that he started basically kicked him out of the picture because his image was so toxic that he was scaring away donors, AND he just got slapped with a $12 million dollar lawsuit. Oh and everyone hates him forever. Oh how the mighty do fall.
Oscar Pistorius is a track and field sprinter from South Africa. He is also a double amputee, missing both his legs from above the knee. Pistorius inspired the whole world last year when he became the first Paralympian to compete in the able-bodied Olympic track and field games.
He made headlines at his Olympic debut and quickly became a global icon. But, in a startling change of events, just earlier this week, Pistorius was arrested and charged with the premeditated murder of his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. To make matters worse, she was murdered on Valentine’s Day. South African authorities say that Steenkamp was shot multiple times. Authorities later announced that Pistorius had a criminal arrest record for various domestic violence incidents in the past.
Although Pistorius has not yet been convicted, in court his prosecutors revealed that they will pursue a charge of premeditated murder against him. This tragedy brings the hero track runner’s “feel good” Olympic fairytale to a screeching halt. His certainly won’t be the first celebrity mugshot we’ve seen before.
Nobody said that being in the spotlight was going to be easy. You’d think that with all money these athlete celebs have, they could’ve just bought themselves some therapy instead of choosing to make horrible decisions that would ultimately ruin their lives and careers. It’s not pretty when our heroes fall from their high horses, but it sure is fun to watch.
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Author Jessica Ruane uses Instant Checkmate’s public record seach service to discover the truth about her favorite celebrites. To learn more, check them out on Crunchbase.