Just as I love beefing sports people, I love douchebaggery in sport. I often complain that I would just like to see athletes get on with it and stop trying to be celebrities…..but who am I kidding, the more they act like douchbags, the more I pay attention to them. Eh, I’m human. I love a good scandal.
Last month, Forbes Magazine put out their list of the 10 most hated athletes in the US. It got me wondering, who would be on the list of most hated sports people in Australia should such a list exist? With a little help from my Twitter followers and a few others, let me count down the biggest douchbags in Australian Sport. I do intend on continuing this list, but will be out of the country for a few weeks (in fact, this post is coming from the Emirates Business Class lounge in Dubai Airport) and since I know y’all are gagging for it – I give you the first 5.
Obviously Mundine is King douchbag on this list. The outspoken ex NRL player turned Professional Boxer never seems to be controversy challenged. He may be an exceptional sportsman, his current boxing stats are impressive – 44 wins with 5 losses. But the dude just can’t think before he opens his big stupid mouth. Most notable acts of idiocy include an interview in 2001 after the September 11 terrorist attack where Mundine offers up this pearl of wisdom:
“They call it an act of terrorism, but if you can understand religion, and our way of life, it’s not about terrorism. It’s about fighting for God’s law, and America’s brought it upon themselves”.
Yep, good one Anthony. And who could forget late last year when Mundine thought to question Tasmanian opponent Daniel Geale’s indigenous heritage since Geale is from Tasmania, married to a white woman and has white kids saying:
“I thought they wiped all the Aborigines from Tasmania out, he’s got a white woman, he’s got white kids. I keep it real, all day every day.”
After losing his bout to Geale and spouting off about being “Robbed” in said loss, a fan went on his Facebook page to write an open letter. I imagine this pretty much sums up most of Australia’s thoughts.
2. Quade Cooper
The title of #2 most hated Australian athlete goes to Quade Cooper. New Zealand born Quade is a brat. I blame this on the fact that for some reason media and coaching staff alike built him up as the best 10 Australia has ever seen, and that douchebaggery likely occurred after reading way too much of his own press.
Sure, Quade is talented, in attack he makes moves few other fly halves could get away with, but his defence is virtually non-existent. We all became very aware of this in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He just doesn’t seem to be bothered with tackling. I happened to be in NZ for the RWC, and I can tell you that there were just as many Australian’s booing Quade Cooper as there were other nationalities. Turns out, no one likes the kid.
The interesting thing to come from hating Quade Cooper is that Aussies and Kiwis seem to agree on this. This stems back to the 2010 All Blacks v Wallabies Test Match in Hong Kong where Cooper “accidentally’ kneed Sir Richie McCaw (my future husband) in the head. Australian’s hate to lose, but most won’t accept a low blow like that – especially in a Gentleman’s game like rugby. As for the Kiwis, you just don’t disrespect Richie McCaw.
Oh, did I mention he is another that dabbles in boxing? Yeah.
3. Jana Pittman
Coming in at #3, our first track and field entry, Jana Pittman, 400m hurdler and frequent member of 4x400m relay teams. Most famous for her long running feud with fellow sprinter Tamsyn Lewis.
The feud began back in 2002 at trials for the Manchester Commonwealth Games. Jana Pittman announced after winning her heat “I have no competition in Australia”. Tamsyn Lewis apparently was none too happy about this and reportedly stood behind the blocks for the finals saying “I’ll show you no competition, bitch”. Fantastic.
It escalated from there, during the Manchester Games, the 4x400m relay team, of which both were a part of won gold, only after the English team who came home first were disqualified. Now it is important to note here that both Pittman and Lewis went up to officials at the conclusion of the race to point out the violation of the English runner. But, some time later, Pittman wrote a letter to the English team openly blaming teammate lewis for the English runner’s violation, even going so far as to say that she would give her medal back. Such contrition Jana.
In 2006, Pittman announced her intention to leave Australia because everyone hated her. The final straw occurred when she was walking down the street and a man leaned out his car window, shouting “We love you Tamsyn, we hate you Pitts”. She also cited Tamsyn Lewis’ ‘Ralph’ magazine spread which was captioned with “It’s alright Tam, we don’t like Pittman either”.
Other acts of douchbaggery include:
- Her 2008 ‘comeback’ where she visualised her win in Beijing would be a world record. 5 months later, she pulls out of the games with a toe injury.
- In 2009, she had her breasts augmented, then removed them in 2010 as they affected her running. She isn’t opposed to having implants put back in after retirement though.
- In 2006 she married athlete Chris Rawlinson. In 2009 they divorced. In 2010 they remarried. In 2011 they separated again. Give it up guys.
4. John Steffensen
Keeping with the track and field theme (seriously, is it written somewhere that to make it as a sprinter you must be a tool?). Another outspoken entry, South African born 400m track athlete John Steffensen makes the list at #4. This may seem a little high, but given that Steffensen is a repeat offender I think it’s fair. John is frequently involved in disputes with Athletics Australia and has been suspended from domestic and international competition twice in the last 3 years. The most recent occurred following Steffensen’s unsubstantiated claims of racism in athletics and accusing the head of Athletics Australia of being a liar in a series of scathing tweets.
Next up for John, an appearance on TV’s ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ and rumour has it he is considering a boxing career in an attempt to stay relevant. Classic douchebag move right there.
5. Stephen Milne
At #5 we have the first AFL entry on my list. Alleged repeated homophobe and all round douchbag, Stephen Milne.
In 2012 Milne escaped suspension after he allegedly breached the AFL Players Code of Conduct and the and the AFL’s policy on discrimination and vilification after he called Collingwood defender Harry O’Brien a “fucking homo”. He was however fined $3000 and had to go through an AFL education program. I’m sure he took a lot from that….
This isn’t even his first offence. In 2010, Milne was also fined $3000 for a homophobic slur, this time against then assistant Collingwood coach Paul Licuria. Homophobes suck, and homophobic slurs are just so pedestrian and so uncool, I have no time for it.
UPDATE: 18 June 2013, Victoria Police have charged Stephen Milne with four counts of rape following an alleged incident in 2004. Milne will appear in Court on July 5.
To be continued…………
Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @jaimelouisegray