One thing is for sure, Detroit fans are extremely passionate about their sports. The athletes that play hard, do well, and show loyalty will always have a place in the hearts of the fans. That being said, if a player does not do those things, they will soon become hated for all time.
Here is a list of the top 9 most hated Detroit sports athletes in recent history.
Are there any current Detroit athletes who could end up on this list in the future? Let’s hope not!
*Note: This list is not in any particular order.
Even though Prince Fielder only played two seasons as a member of the Detroit Tigers, he will go down as one of the most hated athletes in Detroit sports history.
Maybe it was the massive contract or the declining power numbers, or maybe it was the fact he was nonexistent in the playoffs. All of those things were reasons why the fans of Detroit hated Fielder, but what sealed his fate were his comments following a Game 6 loss in the ALCS.
“It’s not really tough for me. It’s over, bro.” Fielder said.
Seriously? Losing is not tough for you Prince? Get out of town and don’t come back!
When Darko Milicic was drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the second pick of the 2003 NBA Draft, he was immediately a polarizing figure in Detroit. Some fans loved the pick while others, including myself, did not understand how Joe Dumars could pass up Carmelo Anthony.
Milicic only spent three seasons with the Pistons, but he never seemed to improve. In those three seasons, he started only two games and barely earned any playing time. Darko will go down as one of the most hated figures in Detroit sports history, even though he barely played.
There is no question Ndamukong Suh will go down as one of the most dominant players ever to play for the Detroit Lions, but he is also one of the most hated.
It was always pretty clear Suh never really wanted to be in Detroit and he made that official by signing with the Miami Dolphins following the 2014 NFL season.
Coming off an 11-5 season, the Lions made Suh an offer but he opted to go where the money was in Miami. The grass is not always greener on the other side buddy. Hit the road Suh!
Brandon Inge was also one of the most polarizing athletes in Detroit sports history. As a member of the Detroit Tigers, Inge was always a very good defensive player, but his lack of production at the plate seemed to rub many fans the wrong way.
Personally, I was a HUGE Brandon Inge fan, but I was often destroyed by my friends when I voiced that opinion!
By the end of Inge’s career in Detroit, many fans were booing him on a regular basis when he stepped up to the plate.
Ironically, despite his lack of production, Inge also had a group of fans who insisted he was a good player and he was good for the team. Sorry, but when you post a .197 batting average over 102 games, you do not belong in professional baseball.
Jose Valverde, better known in Detroit as Papa Grande, always drew his fair share of boos at Comerica Park. Valverde was the Tigers closer and even racked up 49 saves in 2011, but the fashion in which he did it rubbed fans the wrong way.
Valverde would allow a runner or two to reach base in what seemed to be every outing. He probably took a bit more heat than he should have, but there is no doubt he is one of the most hated Detroit athletes.
In 1995, Scott Mitchell threw for 4,338 yards and 32 touchdowns as he led the Detroit Lions to a 10-6 record. From that point on, Mitchell quickly became one of the most hated players in Detroit as he would often throw interceptions that could not be explained.
The worst part about Mitchell is he always seemed like he could care less about football. Whether or not that was true, who knows, but it was a perception he often gave off. The Lions could not get rid of Mitchell fast enough for Detroit fans.
When the Detroit Tigers signed Joe Nathan, many fans jumped for joy that Dave Dombrowski had finally addressed the bullpen issues. After all, Nathan was coming off back-to-back All-Star seasons for the Texas Rangers and he was supposed to be the answer to the Tigers bullpen issues.
Unfortunately, Nathan struggled to shut down his opponents as he was expected to do. When fans started to get on him about his struggles he took things too far by making an obscene gesture. Though he later apologized, it was too late.
When Joey Harrington was drafted third overall in the 2002 NFL Draft, Detroit Lions fans were convinced they had finally got the quarterback that was going to lead them to the Super Bowl. It’s safe to say that was a pipe dream.
Harrington played four seasons with the Lions. During that time, he only managed to throw for over 3,000 yards on one occasion. He quickly became one of the most hated athletes in Detroit sports history.
Sorry Joey, but when you’re drafted that high and you are the quarterback of the Lions, it’s expected that you win playoff games.
Whether it was his fault or not, from the moment Eric Ebron was selected by the Detroit Lions with the 10th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, he has been disliked by the majority of fans.
During his time with the Lions, Ebron was actually a respectable tight end except for one thing…
Though Ebron put up decent stats, he never came through when it mattered or when the Lions really needed him and his drops just magnified that.
Now that Ebron has moved on to the Indianapolis Colts, he can’t seem to lay off the Lions or their fans on Twitter. Because of that, he certainly deserves to be on this list.