The ones you love to hate: The biggest heels in sports

Machado reacts to Yelich's 'dirty player' comments (0:39)

Many Machado reiterates that "what happens on the field, stays on the field" in reaction to the feud with Jesus Aguilar. (0:39)

Manny Machado is set to become mega-rich when he hits free agency this offseason. His talent certainly can't be denied.

His character, on the other hand? That has come into question during the NLCS. The Dodgers shortstop has lacked hustle at times and was called a "dirty player" by several Brewers after clipping the back leg of first baseman Jesus Aguilar while running out a groundout Tuesday night in the 10th inning of Game 4. Machado also has had a history of questionable slides into second base, including in Game 3, when he slid hard at the legs of Orlando Arcia to try to break up possible double plays. Last season, Machado spiked Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia while sliding into second.

But Machado is far from the only "bad boy" in sports. Here's a look at the guys that you love to hate.


Grayson Allen

While he has a clean slate in the pros to date, the rookie likely will be the target of trash talk by his NBA foes after his multiple collegiate brush-ups made him perhaps hoops' biggest heel. Most of those involve tripping opposing players (at least three in his career), with an emotional outburst or two mixed in. Add that to playing at Duke (a notable bastion for "heels" such as Christian Laettner) and Allen is the perfect villain.

Draymond Green

Green's all-star playing ability might be bested by his all-star antagonism. Green has made it his mission to get under the skin of opposing players and referees since being a second-round pick in 2012, always ending up at the top of the list in technical fouls and finding himself in the middle of on-court skirmishes. While his tiff with Tristan Thompson in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals was the latest, a run-in with LeBron James in which he struck James' groin helped turn the tide of the 2016 NBA Finals.

Lance Stephenson

If Green's antics seem angry, then Stephenson's come off as a bit cartoonish. The Lakers forward is known for going to weird places to get in an opponent's head, most notably blowing in LeBron's ear during Game 5 of the 2014 Eastern Conference finals. LeBron isn't his only target though, as Stephenson has tripped Bucks forward John Henson and gotten into fights with teammates, most notably Evan Turner back in Stephenson's first stint in Indiana. It'll be interesting to see if being LeBron's teammate in L.A. will change Stephenson's approach.


Vontaze Burfict

When Burfict's head is right, he's one of the best linebackers in the NFL. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen very often. Burfict is a heel due to his tendency to go over the line and try to injure opposing players, something that started in high school against Matt Barkley when they both were committed to USC. That behavior has carried over to the pros, as Burfict has been fined and/or suspended for illegal hits against players such as Greg Olsen, Cam Newton and, most famously, Antonio Brown in the 2015 playoffs. Burfict received more criticism this past week for sketchy hits on Brown in Cincinnati's Week 6 matchup with the Steelers.

Lane Kiffin

While Nick Saban might be the most decorated coach in the nation when it comes to winning championships, no one trolls as well or as effortlessly as the Florida Atlantic coach. From tweaking other coaches and schools while at Tennessee -- he accused Urban Meyer of NCAA recruiting violations when Meyer was at Florida and allegedly told Alshon Jeffery that he'd be "pumping gas" if he went to South Carolina -- to tweaking people on Twitter now, Kiffin has fully embraced the heel persona.

Josh Norman

Self-confidence is a big reason why Norman has gone from a fifth-round pick from a (former) FCS school to a Pro Bowl corner for the Redskins, but that swagger has crossed the line into villainy on occasion. The most famous Norman heel turn came in a game-long tussle with Odell Beckham Jr. in 2015, but he's also been involved in verbal sparring matches with Dez Bryant, among others. Teammates aren't immune to Norman's excess either, as the cornerback got into a physical altercation with Cam Newton at practice when they were on the Panthers in 2015.

Richard Sherman

Sherman has a gift for making the big play in the secondary, leading the Seahawks' "Legion of Boom" secondary to consecutive Super Bowl appearances and one championship. But Sherman also has a "gift" for making the big comment, most notably in his yelling condemnation of Michael Crabtree's abilities in his postgame interview after the 2013 NFC Championship Game. Sherman will turn on former allies for a sound byte, as he let the Seahawks organization and Pete Carroll have it after he signed with the 49ers in the offseason.

Ndamukong Suh

At times Suh has been one of the more dominating defensive linemen in football since being drafted No. 2 overall by the Lions in 2010, but he's mixed in that dominance with sophomoric villainy, especially when it comes to quarterbacks. He's slammed heads (Jay Cutler), stomped on calves (Aaron Rodgers) and arms (Packers OL Evan Dietrich-Smith), kicked groins (Matt Schaub) and used chokeholds (Ryan Mallett), which is why he's regarded as one of the game's dirtiest players. He's been on good behavior with the Rams so far this season, but we'll see if that lasts.


Jose Bautista

OK, so baseball players might take their unwritten rules of celebration a bit too seriously, but even the most demonstrative of players aren't enamored with the slugger. Bautista was one of the most feared power hitters in the game a few years back with the Blue Jays and didn't hesitate to let people know about it. His violent bat flips (most notably his bat throw in Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS against the Rangers) induce rage in opposing players and fans, and Bautista got punched in the face by Texas' Rougned Odor after an illegal slide in 2016.

Bryce Harper

While not universally regarded as a villain, Harper has played the heel quite a bit since emerging as a star with the Nationals. From little things such as dragging his foot across the Braves' logo to bigger things such as getting into heated discussions with umpires and getting into a dugout fight with teammate Jonathan Papelbon, Harper has a natural tendency to rub people the wrong way, which sometimes ends in an ugly beanball war. Is Harper just "making baseball fun again?" or does he belong on this list?


Brad Marchand

Marchand has been a prolific scorer for the Bruins, notching 34 or more goals in each of the past three seasons, but his on-ice psych-out stunts are what get him attention. Marchand has been caught licking or kissing opposing players four times during the past two seasons, including twice in the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs. It got so bad that the NHL had to release a statement putting Marchand "on notice" to stop the public displays of "affection." Marchand also engages in more traditional dirty play on the ice, as he's been fined or suspended multiple times for elbowing and tripping opponents.


Hope Solo

Solo's fiery competitiveness has made her the goalkeeper for the United States in four World Cups, but it has also made her a villain in many circles. Solo's heel-type behavior started in 2007, when she verbally castigated U.S. coach Greg Ryan after he benched Solo for veteran Briana Scurry, whom Solo also insulted. Solo called the Swedish national team "cowards" for their playing style after a loss in the 2016 Olympics, has been suspended by the U.S. National Team twice and was charged with assault after a 2014 incident with her half-sister and nephew.

Luis Suarez

No one likes a biter, and Suarez's tendency to bite off more than he can chew has overshadowed many of the wonderful things he's done on the pitch. Suarez has been a star, both professionally for Liverpool and Barcelona and internationally for Uruguay, but three biting incidents -- including one against Italy's Giorgio Chiellini in the 2014 World Cup -- have made him a villain. Add in Suarez's penchant for diving, his ability to rile up opposing fans with obscene gestures and accusations of racial slurs and it's easy to see why Suarez is not universally popular.

Combat sports

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Mayweather is considered one of the greatest boxers in history, holding multiple world championships in five weight classes and recording a 50-0 mark. But instead of being humble, he'd rather brag about his bank account, which certainly annoys the average Joe. A prime example came at the first news conference to promote Mayweather's mega-fight with Conor McGregor. Mayweather threw a jab at the MMA star, saying, "I'm a nine-figure fighter. ... And y'all know what? This b---- only made $3 million in his last fight!" Mayweather's frustrating defensive style is also a troll in its own right.

Conor McGregor

It's arguable that no person in sports has embraced being the "bad guy" more than McGregor, the UFC's first simultaneous two-division champion. It's no wonder why he's attained superstardom in such a relatively short period of time. He's spouted his trash talk effectively to promote his fights and has used controversial actions -- whether it be flipping off an opponent, throwing water bottles at them at a news conference or hurling large metal objects at a bus -- to also gain notoriety. He was recently suspended by the UFC for his role in a post-fight brawl after losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 on Oct. 6.


Kyle Busch

Busch has taken over as NASCAR's current No. 1 villain and seems fine with the role, welcoming any and all attention. Busch has been involved in several incidents with other drivers and been fined. The hate perhaps hit an all-time high after he rear-ended Dale Earnhardt Jr. during a race in 2008. Busch has done plenty to egg on fans though, including climbing atop his car with a broom after completing the sweep at Bristol in 2017. In response to some in the stands booing him, Busch said, "I don't care. Make the noise. Who cares?" After another race in 2017, Busch went after Joey Logano, throwing punches at him. And Busch's antics have extended off the track. He famously dropped the mic after giving a short response during the news conference for the 2017 Coca-Cola 600, where he finished second.

Brad Keselowski

Keselowski is another driver that fans love to hate and has rubbed some drivers the wrong way with his brash style. In the Nationwide Series from 2007 to 2009, Keselowski had a number of run-ins with Denny Hamlin and later with both Kyle and Kurt Busch, among others. Keselowski was fined for tweeting a photo from his car during a race in 2012 and later admitted during a SportsCenter interview that he was "buzzed" from celebrating his Sprint Cup championship. The following season, Keselowski went on a Twitter rant against David Ragan and NASCAR for which he later apologized. Always saying what's on his mind, Keselowski has also claimed other teams stole Roger Penske's employees and information. Keselowski has said, "My No. 1 goal in racing was never to be the most popular driver."


Patrick Reed

Reed has rubbed people the wrong way since he made his presence known on the PGA Tour. It's a theme that has carried over since his college days, where he was dismissed from Georgia's golf team and reportedly also had issues at Augusta State. Before ever playing in a major, Reed, at age 23, brashly boasted that he was a top-5 player in the world after winning a WGC event. Reed has seemed to embrace the villain role, most notably at the Ryder Cup with his theatrics in 2014, 2016, and again in this year's Ryder Cup, when he complained about U.S. captain Jim Furyk not playing him enough and was angry about not being paired with Jordan Spieth. Britain's Telegraph named Reed the most hated player in golf.


Bernard Tomic

It makes sense that the sport that spawned the outbursts of John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors would have an entry, and this cantankerous Australian gets the nod. Tomic is a heel for many reasons, but the fact that he had a match stopped in the 2012 Miami Masters to try to get his own father thrown out might take the cake. Tomic has also thrown unfriendly fire at fellow players, refusing to practice with Lleyton Hewitt and Dan Evans. Tomic's petulant comments have also drawn the ire of Andy Roddick and Tennis Australia, who dropped him from the country's Davis Cup team in 2015 after Tomic targeted them verbally.


Phil Hellmuth

"Buddy, you're an idiot!" "This guy can't even spell poker!" Those are some of the more famous lines spouted off over the years by Hellmuth, arguably the most famous poker player in the world. He's won a record 15 World Series of Poker bracelets and has earned well over $20 million in tournaments in his career, which took off in 1989 with his WSOP Main Event title. But click on YouTube and you will find dozens of videos dedicated to rants by Hellmuth, who is quick to show why he's coined the "Poker Brat" when he takes a bad beat.

Honorable Mention

Bill Belichick, Football

Ryan Braun, Baseball

John Calipari, Basketball

Diego Costa, Soccer

Colby Covington, MMA

Tyson Fury, Boxing

Baker Mayfield, Football

Ian Poulter, Golf

Sergio Ramos, Soccer

Tom Wilson, Hockey