It is no surprise that sports have captured the hearts of youth for decades. Almost every child aspires to play a professional sport during their younger years, and this dream is usually supported by parents, until the child can no longer compete at top levels, and they pursue another passion.
In extreme cases, we see parents push their athlete to the limits in hopes of getting them a scholarship drafted to the big leagues, or to follow in the parent’s footsteps. Let’s take a look at seven of the worst parents in sports history.
7. Andrea McDonald
Alex Collins was the nation’s number one rated tailback in 2013. After showing interest in signing with the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, his mother, Andrea McDonald stole Collin’s letter of intent, and refused to sign it.
Collin’s father signed the letter instead, but that didn’t slow down an aggravated McDonald, as she soon got a lawyer involved to see about nullifying the letter of intent, and instead forcing her son to commit to the University of Miami.
6. LaVar Ball
Okay, Lavar Ball might be a low hanging fruit on this list but think about a man that sacrificed his own family for monetary gain. That’s essentially what Ball did. When his son Lonzo was drafted to the NBA in 2017, in came a ton of shoe deals that would have made the number 2 overall pick a millionaire overnight.
Ball made the decision for his son to turn down over 20 million dollars, in exchange for helping Lavar with the “Big Baller Brand” of shoes that ended up flopping harder than a fish out of water. Lavar’s attitude and controlling behaviors also led to his youngest son, and Point Guard for the Charlotte Hornets LaMelo turning his back on the family.
All in all, Lavar used his kids to create monetary gain, thus leading the ball family as one of, if not the most hated family in basketball.
5. Marv Marinovich
Marv Manovich is a former USC Football player, who won the 1962 National title, then immediately pursued a life of training and preparing his son, Todd for the NFL. For years, Marv overworked his son, pushing him through grueling workouts, strict diet, and an intense training schedule. The man that many referred to as a “test tube athlete” was essentially Marv’s science experiment to create the best possible athlete. Todd Marinovich attended his father’s alma mater (shocker), then was eventually drafted into the NFL. Todd eventually snapped due to the pressure he felt from his father, and spiraled out of control, becoming addicted to drugs, and finding himself in and out of jail. His fall from glory was hard, but it can be attributed to the intense pressure that his father put on him to be the best possible athlete.
4. Jim Pierce
Mary Pierce is a three-time Grand Slam champion in the sport of Tennis. Mary Pierce said her father made her life “hell on earth”. When Mary was eighteen, she left the family due to her father’s abusive nature.
Her father, Jim Pierce was physically, and verbally abusive with Mary at home and in public. Jim was abusive not just to his daughter, but also to her opponents, getting banned from spectating WTA tournaments. It got so bad that eventually Mary filed a restraining order against her father who passed away in 2017.
3. Steve and Sue Jefferson
As a teenager, Mike Jefferson was given up by his parents Sue and Steve, who essentially forfeited their son to a junior hockey coach named David Frost. Frost ran a junior hockey team, that was filled with sexual, and mental abuse, with David Frost as the main antagonizer.
Frost hid this, but it still effected Mike, who changed his last name from Jefferson to Danton. Danton actually hired a hitman to kill David Frost, later claiming he hired them to kill his father. Danton was arrested for conspiracy to commit Murder; and served five years in prison, returning to the national Hockey League in 2011.
Steve Jefferson claims that David Frost “stole Michael” and “took his mind from him”, but in the end, the Jeffersons are the ones who let Frost manipulate David in the first place.
2. Rosalio Pacquiao
Legendary boxer Manny Pacquiao confirmed that at the age of 12, after a night of drinking his father came home drunk, and got into an altercation over the family’s finances.
Out of spite, Manny’s father, Rosalio killed his son’s dog, then cooked and served it to the family as a meal. Manny ran away from home at the age of 12, choosing to be homeless instead of live with his father. Manny Pacquiao denies eating his dog, but claims his father did in front of him.
1. John O’Sullivan
Former Minor league hockey player, and father to former NHL player Patrick O’Sullivan created an abusive, and painful life for his son. Patrick O’Sullivan recalls his father beating him without mercy since he was a small child.
John O’Sullivan allegedly hit his son with belts, whips, and his fists, going so far to burn his son with cigarettes. His mother was not much better, threatening Patrick for bad performances on the ice.
John O’Sullivan was eventually arrested, and Patrick has cut ties with his parents.
WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.