Just like any organization, the NFL has players that you can't help but root against. Players that if you ran into them at the grocery store, you would rather give a right hook than a handshake. While many professional athletes strive to set a good example for young fans, these are the players that are considered by many to be the anti-hero. They are the five most hated players in the NFL:
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers - Roethlisberger, the starting quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, has been accused of sexual assault, though no chargers were ever filed, and rape. The rape case was settled, yet the specifics of the settlement have never been made public. The NFL suspended Roethlisberger based on violating its personal conduct policy. While many people can agree that Big Ben is a pretty good quarterback, the consensus also seems to be that he's not such a great guy.
Tim Tebow, New York Jets - If there was a list of the most loved NFL players, quarterback Tim Tebow would likely make that list as well. It seems people either adore Tim Tebow, or they really can't stand him. Tebow is known for his open expression of religious faith both on and off the football field, which has produced not only flocks of followers, but gaggles of eye rollers as well.
Terrell Owens, currently without a team - TO played several seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and most recently spent the 2010 season with the Cincinnati Bengals. TO is looking to make a comeback after injury, but so far there are no takers in the NFL. This is likely due in large part to his over the top outspoken personality, as well has his public profile as an absentee father to his four children. It seems he has too much baggage for any team to carry.
Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles - Michael Vick was accused of, convicted, and sent to jail for his participation in the brutal crime of dog fighting. Though Vick has expressed regret and now speaks out against animal cruelty, it is difficult for many to separate the quarterback from the horrific images associated with his past.
James Harrison, Pittsburgh Steelers - Harrison plays the game in a brutal way that gives football a bad name. He has been fined and suspended for illegal hits time and time again, and offers no apologies. Harrison has made it clear that is how he plays and will continue to play, crushing quarterbacks with concussions that leave them on the sidelines for weeks on end, and who knows what other ill effects as they age.Martha Bellisle, "Ben Roethlisberger settles lawsuit alleging 2008 rape," usatoday.com
Chuck Shilken, "Terrell Owens faces mothers of his children on 'Dr. Phil' " latimes.com
Associated Press, "Eagles' Vick speaks out against cockfighting," phillyburbs.com
Lisa Stewart, "Pittsburgh Steelers' James Harrison deserves much more than suspension: Fan's Take," sports.yahoo.com