The Mo’Kelly Report

Where Michael Vick Meets OJ Simpson

Michael Vick

Forbes magazine recently released its list of “The Most Disliked People in Sports” a survey of 1,100 people age 13 or older who are active in sports as either a player, coach, manager, broadcaster, agent or owner.

Before we go further, let’s keep this honest.  It’s the “most-hated” poll.  It is what it is.  Don’t get tripped up and tricked by the euphemism of “dislike.”  These are athletes that evoke visceral responses, as is evidenced by their “strong dislike” quotients below.

The respondents had to be actively involved as to eliminate the multitude of those who might only know of Vick through his dog-fighting arrest and nothing more.  Before we go any further, let’s take a look at the full list with the percent of “Strong Dislike” in parentheses.

1.         Michael Vick (69%)

2.         Al Davis (66%)

3.         Ben Roethlisberger (57%)

4.         Tiger Woods (53%)

5.         Jerry Jones (53%)

6.         Mark McGwire (48%)

7.         Terrell Owens (47%)

8.         Alex Rodriguez (45%)

9.         Allen Iverson (45%)

10.       Gilbert Arenas (44%)

Today is only going to ask questions.  Some are rhetorical, others are interrogatives actually in search of an answer.  But today, it’s going to be more about questions than anything else.  This survey is supposed to be the answer to the question of “who is the most ‘disliked’ in professional sports?”  The list above is your answer.

Mo’Kelly could extrapolate out and write a scathing editorial on how troubling it is that even the “more informed” (i.e. sports enthusiasts) still have a disproportionate amount of contempt for Michael Vick than anyone else, but no…not today.  Mo’Kelly could theorize the implicit role of race in the perception of athletes, but no…not today.  Mo’Kelly only has questions, you the readers will have to provide the answers.

Ben Roethlisberger

  • How is it that Michael Vick is still the “most-disliked” in all of sports when he’s been a model citizen since he’s been out of jail for more than a year?
  • Why is it that Michael Vick tops this list and Ben Roethlisberger who has been accused of rape TWICE is nowhere close in percentage to Vick?
  • Should Mo’Kelly make the leap that killing my neighbor’s dog 3 years ago is somehow socially less acceptable than (allegedly) raping the same neighbor’s daughter 3 months ago?
  • Why is Terrell Owens as “disliked” as much Mark McGwire and more than Alex Rodriguez, when of the three, he’s the only one who didn’t cheat in his sport (or on his wife for that matter)?
  • Did these people somehow forget that Mark McGwire’s career was a fraud and he in essence “pleaded the 5th” before Congress?

    Terrell Owens...and the popcorn

  • Don’t these people know that being a fraud for your whole career like McGwire is probably worse than making a career of creative endzone celebrations like Owens…and the two shouldn’t be equated on any level…ever?
  • How did Gilbert Arenas make this list and not Plaxico Burress? (Is that because since he’s “in” jail, he’s not “in” sports…i.e. ineligible?)
  • If Michael Vick were never to have played in the NFL again, (despite not being eligible for the list), Mo’Kelly wonders if people would still dislike him as much…i.e. less jealousy/contempt?
  • Why is Tiger Woods so much more “disliked” than A-Rod when Tiger’s never been caught cheating in his sport and arguably equally as unfaithful as Alex Rodriguez?

    A-Rod and Madonna

  • Does that mean cheating on your wife with a married Madonna (and presumably plenty others) is somehow socially more acceptable than cheating on your wife with porn stars and cocktail waitresses?
  • Or let Mo’Kelly ask the same question slightly differently.  Why is cheating on your wife (as a superstar golfer) comparable in “dislike” to being accused of raping two women (as a superstar NFL quarterback) and more “reprehensible” than the superstar baseball player who cheated on his wife AND cheated in his sport?
  • Jerry Jones

    What did Jerry Jones do to deserve to be on this list?  Al Davis, I get it.  But Jerry Jones?

  • How many people tried to write in OJ Simpson’s name, even though he’s not eligible for this list?
  • Is Mo’Kelly the only one who wonders what “other” criteria was considered by the respondents…be it consciously or subconsciously?


The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant; published weekly at The Huffington Post and  It is meant to inform, infuse and incite meaningful discourse…as well as entertain. The Mo’Kelly Report is syndicated by Blogburst. For more Mo’Kelly,  Mo’Kelly can be reached at and he welcomes all commentary.

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16 Comments so far
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I don’t know how many people know the details, Morris, but Vick deserves to top that list.

He personally killed dogs. Hanged them, tazed them, fought them against each other.

He wasn’t just some distant Mr. Moneybags. He has blood on his hands, literally.

He served his time and deserves the fresh start he’s gotten, but people don’t forget.

And the verdict is in: People hate dog-killers more than they hate cheaters.

Comment by Walt Bennett

You forgot something Walt. People hate dog-killers more than accused rapists. And there’s something wrong with that. Something exceptionally wrong. The rape cases didn’t go to trial because NOT he was innocent, it was because the prosecution felt it was impossible to prove to a jury of 12 and get a unanimous verdict. Huge difference. Which takes me back to “Obama’s Katrina”…I place the affairs of humans above those of animals and pets. Otherwise, we wouldn’t use them as food…or pets for that matter.

How many humans would we stand for being on a leash or kept in the backyard all day for the whole of their lives? Exactly.

Comment by mrmokelly

I can’t say why Vick gets 66% and Ben gets 57%.

Ben disgusts me quite a bit.

So let’s chalk 9% up to, some people just hate on blacks more than they hate on whites.

Comment by Walt Bennett

ok 12%.

Comment by Walt Bennett

And I remember so well the many posts at the NY Times Fifth Down Blog concerning Vick.

There were many.

And let me just say that those PeTA people can be crazy. They clearly believe in the ethical treatment of animals other than human, or at least other than human and non-white.

I know intimately the many vicious things that were said about Vick. Some people were bound to feel this way permanently.

He tazed Toto. He tortured Snoopy.

Those memories will be long.

And of course I said at the time, “What would you be saying if the accused was named Brett Favre?”

They tended to ignore that question.

Comment by Walt Bennett

As for Ben, no charges were pressed in either case.

Although that doesn’t slow down you or me in declaring him a douchebag of the highest order, it might affect some others.

Some might assume it was just another gold-digger.

Comment by Walt Bennett

Which takes me to Terrell Owens…he’s never been accused of anything except being selfish. How does that “compare?”

Comment by mrmokelly

He’s just an asshole in general :-)

I hate his ass too.

Comment by Walt Bennett

And Morris, why is Davis more hated than Ben?

Jeezus, what’s HE done to deserve that?

Comment by Walt Bennett

I agree he hasn’t, but Al Davis has been disliked for a very, very long time from his treatment of coaches to how he’s run the team into the ground for more than a decade. He has single-handedly ruined careers. In fact, some are still angry with him for his treatment of Lane Kiffin, Marcus Allen and Art Shell (both times). There is a long list with Al. Personally I don’t think it should rise to the level it does, but I know from where it originates.

Comment by mrmokelly

T.O. Is something of a poster boy for the “look at me” generation.

He is therefore the proxy for all that I hate about that style.

I’ve heard him talk, and I know he is intelligent, thoughtful and sensitive.

And of course he can catch that damn ball. Whew.

So I don’t really hate him, I just have a bad reaction to certain things about him.

And I would have had him on that list, for sure.

And don’t tell me he doesn’t bring it on himself. Some of the things he’s said were just mean, stupid or both.

If he was a better team guy, maybe I’d put up with the rest. But all of the hysterics about playing time and all that, then criticizing teammates in the press, he lost me a long time ago.

When he dumped on McNabb, and got booted off the team, I was real close to that story here in PA.

I was a happy man when Reid took that stand.

Comment by Walt Bennett

I think McGwire has been a model citizen a LOT longer than Vick if you want to use that argument. But didn’t last week one of Vick’s codefendents get shot outside a party for Vick? So if he’s been a model citizen, he sure hasn’t stopped hanging around criminals.

And for Owens, who says cheating has anything to do with this list? He is hated because he is a poison to every team he’s been on.

And you can’t say A-Rod is “equally unfaithful” as Tiger. I don’t recall A-Rod having 13 mistresses.

Your info is definitely slanted.

Comment by Model CItizen

McGwire has NOT been a model citizen when you bring into account he only RECENTLY admitted to PEDs. And what does a PARTY for Vick have to do WITH Vick? You’re trying to attribute something that isn’t there. You’re obviously not from a major city. There are club shootings in every city every week. Unless you can prove he hangs with the shooter, you can’t say he hangs with criminals?


By your argument, someone can get robbed and is “hanging with criminals.”

And I didn’t know that there was a sliding scale for “cheating.” Like I said, if you only cheat “once” with Madonna (who’s married) that’s cool evidently. And A-Rod (and men) don’t only cheat “once”…how foolish are you to believe that? And remember, it’s not “just” cheating on his wife, it’s ALSO cheating in his sport. You “don’t recall” his admission and press conference as to PEDs? You have selective amnesia, since you want to talk about what you “don’t recall.”

Comment by mrmokelly

And to go further..the club shooting was THIS WEEK. The survey was posted LAST week, so you can’t say Michael Vick hasn’t been a model citizen NO MATTER WHAT, when discussing this survey. That’s like A-Rod getting arrested TODAY and I incorporate that into my discussion of this survey. The survey took place BEFORE. I still think you’re reaching with the party, but that’s neither here nor there…it’s not for inclusion of a discussion of a survey taken WEEKS before the party.

Comment by mrmokelly

Although I agree with you about these questions being asked, MO, I’m not a sports follower anymore. I would ask how much press coverage Roethlisberger’s two situations got? Which would re-open up an old can of worms, I’m sure, because Vick’s coverage was ridiculous. For F*ing DOGS. But apparently, possible rape victims don’t even get the support of the prosecution, much less the media.

Growing up in the Bay Area, I wasn’t suprised that Al made the top 10 either, though I’d have thought lower 10, not #2.

I think a lot of Tiger’s placement comes from disappointment/disillusionment with his old projected image. It doesn’t lessen the ridiculousness of being only behind 4% behind Roethlisberger or Vick scoring much higher, but I’m not surprised Tiger scored high.

Then again, looking at these numbers, it makes me wonder why are the athletes who cheated in their sport were scoring lower than people who’s crime was not sports related? Am I reading this right? Are athlete’s taking the concept of cheating and dishonoring their sport “in stride”, while rejecting people for their failings in society and Law? Not sure how I feel about that, but I’m surprised by it.

Comment by Baba Kifo

I wish people would just get off the Vick dog story already! Ozzy Osbourne can bite the heads off of birds and bats etc… and still have a thriving career BECAUSE of it! Where was PETA then and now? Osbourne is a FREAK! Vick did wrong, he was punished more than others can probably fathom, he was embarrassed, yet still chose to keep on keeping on. He got up, dusted himself off-and still can’t get a fair shake??? Young men please be warned-when mainstream society thinks you aren’t cute or profitable for them anymore-watch out! they will throw you to the gutter! What a shame!

Comment by onemom

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