The 5 Most Polarizing Players in the NFL
With the hundreds of players in the NFL, there are plenty who are extremely popular and well-like by most, and there are those who are decidedly less so. But there are a handful of players who have both a massive fandom and a massive hatedom. Here are the five most divisive players in the league right now.
We would be shirking our duties were we to leave off one of the player responsible for more than a few heated online debates and shouting matches at Thanksgiving. Colin Kaepernick has a unique talent: a strong arm, fast legs, and the ability to run the ball made him look like the second coming of John Elway. But when Kap stepped into the realm of politics by refusing to stand for the Star Spangled Banner in protest of police abuse he ignited a firestorm among NFL fans on both sides of the issue, and has led to his current status in free agency limbo.
Richard Sherman is an uncommon talent. When it comes to cornerbacks in the league, if he’s not the best he’s in the top two. But dude has a serious attitude and is known for telling it like it is–even if it means insulting his teammates, coaches, and fans. While many find his antics entertaining and refreshing at times, others find them grating and evidence of a hothead without the capability of playing a team sport. But because he is the building block around which the Seattle Seahawks build their vaunted defense, he’s likely to be jawing for several more seasons to come.
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When we say the name Ndamukong Suh you likely either think of the dirtiest player in the league or the player who gives his all and just needs to control his emotions at times. Known for setting the record for the most on-field fines of any player dating back to his rookie season, he often sees the wrong side of a flag or whistle for late hits, low blows, or the occasional stomping. But defenders say he is just a competitor and that he just doesn’t get away with it quite as much as other players who do the same.
The only thing everybody agrees on with regard to Richie Incognito is that he has a cool name. Beyond that, he is known as an extremely divisive player not only among fans but players as well. Much of the debate centers on his hazing of former teammate Jonathan Martin and whether it went too far into the territory of bullying. A lot of he said/she said followed, and whether or not you like Incognito depends on whether you believe the narrative of Martin being a whiner, Incognito being a bully, or something in between.
Of course Tom Brady is on here. He has been at the top of the league for most of his career, and his long time rivalry with the now retired fan-favorite Peyton Manning fueled debates over who was the better quarterback. But being on top means there are always people trying to knock you down–fairly or otherwise. Being a member of the New England Patriots during their repeated controversies which included spygate and deflategate and playing a role in at least one of them has led to him being cast as either a phony who cheated his way to the top or a martyr who is being scapegoated for his popularity. His friendship and support of the even more divisive President Donald Trump hasn’t helped matters much either.
(Cropped image courtesy of Quasimime via Flickr.)