Professional Athletes not only receive a lot of attention from the media and fans for their skills, but also for their actions on and off the sports field and there are many instances where athletes get trolled by fans for what they do. Depending on how hilarious or ridiculous they are or how the target athletes clap back at the trolls, some of these moments go viral and become memes.
Now, with all of that being stated, let’s take a look back at 1o Memorable Times That Athletes Were Trolled By Fans:
1. Michael Jordan – The Crying Jordan Meme:
Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time, but he’s also perhaps the most famous case of Athletes getting trolled by fans. During his infamous speech during his induction into The NBA Hall of Fame, the six-time NBA Champion took shots at those who opposed him. As he made his speech, Jordan broke down into tears and that image has been dubbed as the “Crying Jordan” Meme, which is superimposed on images of athletes or others who have suffered misfortune.
The NBA legend gets trolled by fans over his tears to this very day. Most recently, Jordan poked fun of the “Crying Jordan” Meme in his eulogy at the funeral service of the late NBA Player Kobe Bryant and his second eldest daughter Gianna. Jordan, who was in tears while giving the eulogy stated, “Now [Kobe] has me [crying]. Now I will have to look at another Crying Meme […] I told my wife I wasn’t going to do this because I didn’t want to see that for the next three or four years. That is what Kobe Bryant does to me.”
2. Harry Kane – Claiming Goals:
During a game between Tottenham and Stoke City in April 2018, Tottenham won 2-1, but the match became infamously known for the debate as to who scored Tottenham’s second goal. The game-winning goal was initially given to Tottenham Midfielder Christen Eriksen, but was eventually awarded to the Dane’s teammate (and Captain of The English National Team) Harry Kane (#10 after an appeal.
After the game, Kane claimed to the media that he got a touch on the ball as Eriksen sent it towards the net. The captain of the English National Team even swore on his eldest daughter’s life that he touched the ball. Given the fact that appeal was successful and that Kane had scored the second-highest amount of goals at the time behind the eventual Premier League Golden Boot Winner Mo Salah, the Tottenham Star was ridiculed by fans, media, and both fellow and former players on social media. Some even photoshopped Kane stealing some of the famous goals in football history while others joked that Kane was part of some of the most historic moments in world history.
Harry Kane claiming the second goal against Stoke was perhaps one of the funniest incidents where athletes got trolled by fans in 2018. Just type in “Harry Kane claiming” on Twitter to see some of the funniest content about the incident.
3. John Terry – Full Kit:
Another one of the most famous incidents where Athletes were trolled by fans for a non-sports play took place during the 2012 Champions League Final, when Premier League Team Chelsea beat Bayern Munich (who hosted the final that year) in penalties. However, Chelsea Captain John Terry stole the show when he lifted the Champions League Trophy in full kit (including shin pads and cleats) despite not playing a single minute of the game due to being suspended after getting a red card in the second leg of Chelsea’s semifinal vs. Barcelona.
Despite his suspension, UEFA officials said that Terry would still be allowed to lift the Champions League Trophy if Chelsea won. Terry instantly became an internet meme and was trolled by fans for lifting the Champions League Trophy in full kit despite not playing in the match.
Similar to the aftermath after Harry Kane claimed to have scored Tottenham’s second goal vs. Stoke City (See #2 above), images of John Terry lifting the trophy in full kit were photoshopped into images of some of the greatest moments in history, fiction, sports, and soccer. The photo below of the Chelsea Captain being photoshopped into a photo of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011 is one of the most hilarious ones.
Whenever any sports team wins a major trophy or when athletes don’t contribute much to their team’s victories, sports fans joke that these athletes are ‘pulling a John Terry’. To this very day, Terry, who has retired and is now an assistant coach for Premier League Team Aston Villa, still gets trolled with Full Kit Jokes. Just type in “John Terry Full Kit” on Twitter to see some of the funniest content about the incident.
4. Neymar – Diving at The 2018 FIFA World Cup:
Neymar is one of the most famous athletes (across all sports) in the entire world. His talent and skills are obvious, but his antics on and off the field make him a target for fans to troll amongst the most famous athletes (of all sports).
The one thing he gets trolled for more than “getting injured” in March each year in order to attend his sister’s birthday party is his play-acting (aka diving) on the field, particularly at The 2018 FIFA World Cup. During Brazil’s run at that World Cup, Neymar spent 14 minutes on the ground and his diving was ridiculed and mocked by many fans and former players around the world, especially during the Brazil-Mexico Round of 16 Match. The Brazilian’s diving antics lead to the viral #NeymarChallenge.
5. Dak Prescott – The Dak Dance:
The Dallas Cowboys Quarterback provided one of the most viral moments of the past NFL Season (not related to the actual game) with his pregame warmup dance prior to The Cowboys’ game against The Minnesota Vikings. The “Dak Dance” was set to various songs. NFL Fans even expressed their desire for Prescott to be one of Shakira’s backup dancers during The Super Bowl Halftime Show, which was co-headlined by The Columbian and Jennifer Lopez.
6. Kawhi Leonard – Laugh:
Kawhi Leonard might be one of the most famous and talented professional athletes across all sports, but he’s also one of the most reserved superstars as well. Anything that Leonard does that shows some kind human emotion goes viral instantly.
One of the most notable of those said moments was during Media Day during the 2018-19 NBA Season, Leonard’s only season with The Toronto Raptors. During his press conference, Leonard laughed as he described himself as a “fun guy” and his laugh went viral and sent fans, including current and former NBA Players, into hysterics. Leonard even got trolled by The Milwaukee Bucks for his laugh during a game against that team.
7. Brandon Ingram – “Lebron’s Gonna Trade You” Chant:
Dedicated Sports Fans can be savage at times with their posters and taunts towards opposing teams and athletes. Across all sports, the team with most savage fan base is perhaps The Indiana Pacers of The NBA, who have provided some of the most epic burns of all time.
One of the most famous chants by Pacers fans happened last season during a game between the Pacers and The Lakers, which the former won in a blowout. When Lakers Player Brandon Ingram went to the free throw line in the 1st quarter, Pacers fans chanted “Lebron’s gonna trade you” as Ingram was making his free throws.
The chant was a reference to the rumors that then-New Orleans Pelicans Star Anthony Davis being traded to The Lakers, which were at an all-time high when the game was being played. Lebron James’s influence and status in The NBA as players is so high that it has influenced decisions in the management of the teams he’s played for make. Although the trade didn’t happen, it eventually did during this past off-season, where Ingram, along with teammates Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball, were traded to the Pelicans in exchange for Davis. The Pelicans also received three first-round draft picks from The Lakers too.
8. Kyrie Irving – Earth is Flat:
As stated earlier, due to celebrity status of professional athletes, anything they say or do has the potential to have a lot of people talking about their comments regardless of what subject they were on. In the past, some athletes had made some statements that raised tons of eyebrows.
One of the most famous cases of Athletes making such comments comes from NBA Star Kyrie Irving, who has made it known that he believes that the Earth is flat. His stance has resulted in him being trolled to this very day by fans on social media with many “Flat-Earth Jokes”.
9. Toni Kroos – “Feliz 20🇧🇷🇩🇪” Tweet:
One of the most infamous games across all sports is the Brazil-Germany game during the 2014 FIFA World Cup where Germany beat the host nation 7-1 in the semifinals on their way to winning the entire tournament. Professional Athletes have tons of followers across all social media platforms and anything they post is bound to get tons of attention.
Real Madrid Midfielder Toni Kroos, who was a member of the German Team that won the 2014 FIFA World Cup and also scored two goals in the Brazil-Germany game, wished his fans a Happy New Year in 2017 with a cheeky tweet.
The tweet instantly went viral and left many Brazilians (including Marcelo, Kroos’s club teammate who was a member of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Squad) furious. While the German’s tweet is hilarious, it is also an example of a tweet that comes back to haunt famous athletes. Kroos’s “Feliz 20🇧🇷🇩🇪” Tweet went viral again over two years later after Germany lost 2-0 to South Korea in the their final group stage match at The 2018 FIFA World Cup. The loss meant that Germany would be eliminated in the group stage for the first time since 193_ and many fans (especially Brazilians) unearthed the tweet to wish Kroos “Feliz 🇰🇷🇩🇪18”, like this user did.
10. Rory McIlory – Fans Singing “Sweet Caroline”:
Although the golf star is happily married, he was previously in one of the most famous relationships between athletes with Danish Tennis Player Caroline Wozniacki from 2011-2014. McIlory and Wozniacki got engaged in January 2014 but the former called off the engagement in May of that same year due to getting cold feet. It has been reported that a week prior to the engagement being called off, the two athletes had sent their wedding invitations out and that McIlory dumped Wozniacki with a brief phone call.
Since the two athletes called off their engagement, McIllory has been trolled several times during golf tournaments by fans singing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” in reference to the golfer’s ex-fiancee. When fans did this at the 2016 Ryder’s Cup, McIlory’s response was epic.
11. Steph Curry – Moon Landing Comments:
Similar to Kyrie Irving’s belief on the Earth being flat, Steph Curry also raised eyebrows in 2018 after revealing that his doubts that the Moon Landing ever happened. Although he backtracked on his comments, NBA fans couldn’t help but troll the three-time NBA Champion over his stance on the issue.
The most famous trolling incident regarding Curry’s comments was done by fellow NBA Team The Sacramento Kings, who trolled Curry during a game between the Warriors and The Kings by playing a video of the Moon Landing (see below) when the players was being introduced as part of the former team’s starting lineup.
12. All of The Houston Astros Players – Sign Stealing Scandal:
The most infamous and current scandal involving athletes is The Houston Astros Sign Stealing Scandal, where the team stole signs from opposing teams with an elaborate system on their way to winning the 2017 World Series. Both the players and key figures in management are being heckled by fans and MLB players, coaches, and the media over their cheating ways and lackluster apologizes (which were done in a press conference). The video below is compilation of the best memes about The Sign Stealing Scandal.
Baseball season doesn’t start until April, but every single game that the Astros play this year is bound to produce tons of drama as a result of the fallout of the sign stealing scandal.