25 Superstar Athletes: Where Are They Now?


In the sports world, star athletes come and they go. In the blink of an eye, an athlete who rises to stardom can see it all stripped away and vanish from the spotlight. From moments they can’t control to a wicked twist of fate, you never know what will take a person’s career away or cause them to step back from the public eye. Some are able to recover, while others conto to search for the next step in their careers.

That leaves fans wondering “where are they now?” and we are here to answer that question.

Let’s take a look at where some of the most popular and controversial athletes throughout the years are today.


Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow, a former Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Florida and a former first-round pick, is widely regarded as one of the best college football players of all-time. Tebow was the first sophomore to win the Heisman and led the Gators to two national championships. However, he struggled in the NFL and was out of the league within five years after stints with the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, New England Patriots, and Philadelphia Eagles. After a brief baseball carer in the New York Mets organization, Tebow appears to have settled on a career as a broadcaster with ESPN.

Patricia Schlein/WENN.com

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick was a two-time WAC Offensive Player of the Year during his time with the Nevada Wolf Pack before being selected with a second-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick led the 49ers to one Super Bowl appearance and an NFC Championship game the following year. However, after the departure of head coach Jim Harbaugh, it was all downhill. Kaepernick eventually lost the starting job while recovering from a shoulder injury. From there on, Kaepernick became more known for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial inequality. His actions sparked a controversial leaguewide movement. Kaepernick was later released by the 49ers and has been out of the league since. Now, he is a political and social activist with his “Know Your Rights Camp,” an organization which holds free seminars to disadvantaged youths to teach them about self-empowerment, American history, and legal rights.


McKayla Maroney

McKayla Maroney was a member of the “Fierce Five” United States women’s gymnastics team during the 2012 Summer Olympics. She won a gold medal in the team event and an individual silver medal in vault. During the Olympics, Maroney became a viral sensation thanks to her “not impressed” face which instantly became a meme. Maroney briefly acted on multiple television shows before disappearing from the spotlight. Her disappearance from social media came after she was one celebrity victimized by “The Fappening,” which released private photos. Most recently, Maroney alleged that she was one of the many victims of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who she says molested her multiple times.


Pete Rose

Pete Rose, the all-time MLB leader in hits, games played, at-bats, singles, and outs, is a three-time World Series champion with three batting titles, one MLB MVP award, two Gold Gloves, 17 All-Star appearances, and the Rookie of the Year. Unfortunately, despite his success on the diamond, Rose was banned from baseball and blacklisted by the Baseball Hall of Fame after it was revealed that he bet on baseball while a player-manager for the Cincinnati Reds. Rose admitted years later that he did bet on baseball, but his eligibility for the Hall of Fame remains one of the most discussed controversies in baseball to this day. Nowadays, you can often see Pete Rose signing autographs in Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas where he is reportedly still a heavy gambler. According to an ex-wife, Rose makes $1 million per year from autographs and appearances.

eisman Trophy finalist Johnny Manziel poses with the Heisman Trophy at the 2012 Heisman Trophy press conference at Marriott Marquis in New York City on December 7, 2012


Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel, affectionately known as “Johnny Football” during his days with the Texas A&M Aggies, became the first freshman in NCAA history to win the Heisman Trophy, Manning Award, and Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. After his record-setting college career, Manziel was drafted in the first round by the Cleveland Browns. However, he flamed out of the year after two seasons and found his personal life spinning out of control with multiple arrests, a stint in a treatment program for unspecified reasons, and domestic violence allegations. The night before the final game of his NFL career, Manziel was spotted out in a Las Vegas casino and was scratched by the Browns with a “concussion.” Manziel is currently playing with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in an attempt to revive his NFL career.


Anna Kournikova

Anna Kournikova was a standout tennis star who cracked the top ten rankings during her singles career. Her greatest success came in doubles, reaching the No. 1 ranking alongside Martina Hingis which resulted in two WTA Championships and two Grand Slam titles. The Russian retired at an early age, however, due to back and spinal issues which included a herniated disk. And while she was finding success on the court, she was better known for her stunning good looks. Kournikova was one of the most commonly searched athletes on Google Search thanks to her appearance. Kournikova is married to the “King of Latin Pop” Enrique Iglesias and the couple now has two children who are twins.

Caitlyn Jenner - Bruce Jenner


Bruce Jenner (Caitlin Jenner)

Jenner was an Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon and parlayed that into a career in television and film. Jenner has six children, most notably Kendall and Kylie Jenner with his former wife Kris Jenner. Jenner’s step-children are reality stars Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, and Rob Kardashian. In 2015, Jenner came out as a trans woman and completed sex reassignment surgery while undergoing a name change to Caitlyn. Jenner publicly supported President Donald Trump before pulling her endorsement while attempting to further advocate for the LGBTQ community. In 2018, Jenner mulled running in the 2018 race for US Senate in California.


Rae Carruth

Rae Carruth was a former first-round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers in the 1997 NFL Draft after starring at the University of Colorado. Carruth spent just three seasons with the Panthers before finding himself in legal trouble. Carruth was found guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle, using an instrument to destroy an unborn child after prosecutors claim Carruth hired a hitman to murder Cherica Adams after she refused to abort their unborn trial. He was sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison. The child, Chancellor, was born prematurely as a result and suffers from cerebral palsy. In October 2018, Carruth was released from prison after serving 19 years of his sentence.


Chuck Liddell

Chuck Liddell was once one of the baddest men on the planet. As one of the first true mixed martial arts stars, Liddell was a former UFC light heavyweight champion and is now a member of the UFC Hall of Fame. Liddell was also a coach on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter which helped break the UFC into the mainstream. He was known for his takedown defense and knockout power, along with his signature iceman trunks, head tattoo, and mohawk. Since retiring from mixed martial arts, Liddell was a contestant on the first season of Celebrity Big Brother in the United States. However, he was the first to be evicted. Liddell attempted an MMA comeback in November 2018 but was knocked out by rival Tito Ortiz in the first round.


Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey is widely credited with bringing women’s mixed martial arts to the mainstream. In fact, it was her success inside of the cage that convinced UFC president Dana White to bring a women’s division into the UFC. Rousey, a former Olympic medalist in judo, was known for her deadly armbar submission and was one of the most dominant champions in UFC history. After a string of knockout losses and with multiple movie offers on the table, Rousey decided to move on from MMA. Now, “Rowdy” has turned to professional wrestling where she competes in WWE and is currently Raw Women’s Champion. She remains one of the most marketable and popular athletes in the world today.

Charlie Steffens/WENN.com

Torrie Wilson

Torrie Wilson is a former professional wrestling star who spent time in WCW and WWF (now WWE). Wilson was a member of the company back when women were marketed mainly off of their looks, and she delivered. Wilson was on the cover of multiple magazines including FHM and Playboy. Wilson briefly dated MLB star Alex Rodriguez before the couple ultimately split. After retiring from her professional wrestling career, Wilson turned her focus towards being a fitness instructor and blogger, promoting health and fitness online.


Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds is one of the greatest hitters to ever step onto the baseball diamond, earning seven NL MVP awards and making 14-All-Star appearances during his 22-year career with the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. Bonds holds MLB records for most career home runs, most home runs in a single season (73), and most career walks. However, his career was not without controversy as he was one of the biggest names in the center of the steroid investigation. Bonds was indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice during the investigation into BALCO, but they were ultimately dropped or overturned. Bonds returned to baseball as a hitting coach for the Miami Marlins but lasted just one season. Now, Bonds is enjoying the retired life and appears to spend most of his time caring for animals which he shares on Instagram.


Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius, known as “Blade Runner” because of prosthetics he wore after his legs were amputated due to a congenital defect which left him without the outside of both feet and no fibula bones in his legs, rose to stardom as a standout sprinter in the Paralympics. Pistorius also competed in the Olympic Games where he became the first double-leg amputee to participate, and in the 2011 World Championships, he became the first amputee to win a non-disabled world track medal. It all came crashing down for Pistorius in February 2013, however, after he fatally shot his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his home. Pistorius is currently behind bars after being convicted of murder despite his claim that he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder. Pistorius is not eligible for parole until at least 2023.


Michael Vick

Michael Vick was one of the most electrifying players to ever step onto the football field and is considered as someone who revolutionized the quarterback position due to his ability with his legs. Vick holds the NFL record for most career rushing yards by a quarterback and most single-season rushing yards for a quarterback. In 2007, Vick’s career hit a roadblock when he spent 21 months in federal prison for his involvement in a dogfighting ring. After being released, Vick returned to the NFL where he played for the Philadelphia Eagles where he put together the best statistical season of his career and reached a fourth Pro Bowl. After football, Vick served as an analyst for FOX NFL Kickoff on FOX Sports 1 and is currently a coach for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football.


Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong was one of the most successful road racing cyclists, winning a record seven consecutive Tour de France races after his career was temporarily halted by testicular cancer. However, he was later stripped of those titled due to rampant performance-enhancing drug use throughout his career which he admitted in 2013. Before the doping allegations hit a fever pitch, Armstrong founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation to support people affected by cancer by raising awareness. The signature yellow Livestrong bracelets from the foundation earned more than $325 million. Since cycling, Armstrong has started the company WEDU, which has two podcats — The Move and The Forward. They put on bike races and also sell merchandise. The Move is expected to bring in between $700,000 and $1 million during the upcoming Tour de France and had five million downloads in 2017.

Michael Jordan being interviewed


Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all-time. The former NBA star helped lead the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships while earning 6 NBA Finals MVP Awards and the league’s Most Valuable Player Award five times. MJ was a 14-time all-star and 10-time All-NBA First Team honoree, and a two-time Olympic gold medalist. Because of Michael Jordan, Nike was able to revolutionize the sneaker game with their Jordan Brand. Jordan became the first billionaire player in NBA history and is the third-richest African-American in the world behind Robert F. Smith and Oprah Winfrey. Jordan is currently the owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.

Supplied by WENN

Ricky Williams

Ricky Williams is a former Heisman Trophy winner, NFL rushing leader, and College Football Hall of Famer. Throughout his career, Williams notably played for the New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins. Williams was selected by the Saints after Mike Ditka traded all of the Saints’ 1999 draft picks to the Washington Redskins to move up to select the Texas Longhorns star. Unfortunately, his career was hindered by multiple failed drug test. Williams is currently a football analyst on the Longhorn Network. Williams is also a yoga instructor and an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry after co-founding an herbal wellness company, Real Wellness, with his wife Linnea Miron.

Patricia Schlein/WENN.com

Mike Tyson

One of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all-time, Mike Tyson was the youngest boxer to ever win a heavyweight title at 20 years old. He defended his title nine times. He is also known for his rivalry with Evander Holyfield, and the infamous fight where Tyson’s in-ring antics led to disqualification after he bit off a piece of Holyfield’s ear. Tyson spent three years in prison after being convicted of a rape charge, putting him out of action from age 24 to 29. He registered as a Tier II sex offender. After his release, Tyson won the WBA and WBC heavyweight titles. After boxing, Tyson has become a pop culture icon and has appeared in ads, written books, and even appeared in films. To this day, Tyson remains a mainstay ring or cageside at combat sporting events.

Johnny Louis/WENN.com

Nancy Kerrigan

Nancy Kerrigan is a decorated figure skater who was the 1993 US National Figure Skating Champion, silver medalist at the 1992 World Championships and 1994 Winter Olympics, and bronze medalist at the 1991 World Championships and 1992 Winter Olympics. While she was a decorated skater, Kerrigan is most widely known for being the victim of an assault in January 1994. Kerrigan was beaten with a police baton by someone who was hired by her rival Tonya Harding’s ex-husband. Harding was permanently banned from competitive skating. Since retirement, Kerrigan has appeared in multiple biographical films, a season of Dancing With The Stars, and even joined Inside Edition as a Super Bowl correspondent in 2018.

Derrick Salters/WENN.com

Sammy Sosa

Sammy Sosa was one of the best hitters in baseball history and burst into the national spotlight as a member of the Chicago Cubs. In 1998, Sosa was part of the home run race with St. Louis Cardinals star Mark McGwire that captivated the nation. The two were chasing Roger Maris’ home run record. Sosa became the fifth player in MLB history to hit 600 career home runs and is the second all-time home runs leader among foreign-born MLB players. Sosa was embroiled in baseball’s steroid scandal but has denied any PED use through his attorney. Since his playing days, Sosa’s skin has changed drastically. The Dominican-born player has a much lighter complexion and explained during an interview on a Spanish-language television station that he uses a bleaching cream before bed. To this day, a debate rages on about whether Sosa should be in the Hall of Fame.


Magic Johnson

Earving “Magic” Johnson is one of the best players in basketball history and is a two-time inductee of the Basketball Hall of Fame — once as a player and once as a member of the “Dream Team.” Johnson is a five-time NBA champion, 12-time NBA All-Star, and three-time NBA Most Valuable Player. Before the 1991-1992 season, Johnson revealed that he had tested positive for HIV and would retire from the game. Johnson admitted he contracted the disease due to his reckless sexual lifestyle as a basketball star. Johnson was voted as a starter in the NBA All-Star Game despite his retirement and went on to earn the game’s MVP honor with 25 points, 9 assists, and five rebounds. He spent the following summer in the Olympics with the “Dream Team.” Johnson is currently President of Basketball Operations of the Los Angeles Lakers.


Joe Frazier

“Smokin’ Joe” Frazier is an iconic boxer who began his career with a gold medal at the 1964 Summer Olympics. After turning pro, Frazier went on to claim the undisputed heavyweight championship. He was best known for his rubber match with Muhammad Ali known as the “Thrilla in Manilla.” Frazier was a three-time boxer of the year and inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame. After retiring, Frazier trained fighters at his gym in Philadelphia. He ultimately passed away from complications due to liver cancer.

Lukas Schulze/picture-alliance/Cover Images

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all-time and arguably the greatest swimmers to ever enter a pool. Phelps finished his illustrious career with 28 total medals, a record 23 gold medals, a record 13 individual Olympic medals, and the most gold medals in a single Olympics with 8. He is the world record holder in the men’s 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly, and 400-meter individual medley as well as the former long course world record holder in the 200-meter freestyle and 200-meter individual medley. Following his retirement, Phelps battled legal issues like driving under the influence but has since launched the Michael Phelps Foundation and Michael Phelps Swim School. He is also on the board of Medibio, which focuses on the diagnosis of Mental Health disorders and is outspoken about ending the stigma surrounding mental health.


Kerri Strug

A member of the “Magnificent Seven” USA gymnastics team, Kerri Strug helped represent the country at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. At the Summer Games, Strug provided one of the most iconic moments in Olympics history when she performed the vault and stuck the landing despite a serious ankle injury. She was carried to the podium by her coach Béla Károlyi. After gymnastics, Strug was a staff assistant with the White House Office of Presidential Student Correspondence and had a job at the General Counsel in the Treasury Department before joining the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention staff. She continues to work on philanthropic efforts.

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Kristi Yamaguchi

Kristi Yamaguchi is a U.S. Olympic Hall of Famer who was one of the most successful skaters of her generation. Throughout her career, Yamaguchi was a World Junior champion, two-time national champion, U.S. champion, two-time World Champion, and, most notably, the 1992 Olympic champion. Her junior success came as a pairs skater with Rudy Galindo. After skating, Yamaguchi authored a children’s book and competed on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars where she was the celebrity champion. Yamaguchi has also appeared in a number of films, making cameos as herself and as part-time characters in smaller films. She most recently appeared on the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat in 2018.

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