Sports stars who end up big news

From stolen taxis, nightclub scuffles to dates, our sports writers look back on just a few of the times when sporting stars gained media attention for controversies outside of their sporting careers

Rebecca Johnson
12th March 2018
Ben Stokes proved to be a big miss during the 2017 Ashes Image: Wikimedia Commons

Ben Stokes (Cricket)- by Rebecca Johnson

England cricketer Ben Stokes made the front pages of national newspapers in September after an incident outside a Bristol nightclub.

Stokes and fellow England team mate Alex Hales were in the nightclub after a one-day international against the West Indies when Stokes was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm, with a man being left with a fractured eye socket as a result. Two other men were also charged alongside the England star.

It is certainly arguable that this incident contributed towards England's defeat to the Australians

As more details of the incident unravelled, Stokes was left out of the Ashes squad against Australia, which England subsequently lost 4-0. It is certainly arguable that this incident contributed towards England’s defeat to the Australians, as whether or not Stokes would be playing for the team and how England would cope without him tormented England throughout the tournament.

The court case for Stokes is still ongoing, his first court appearance was held on 13th February this year, coincidentally that date was the same day Stokes was due for his England return. Currently though, Stokes is representing England in their one-day international series against New Zealand. The case is still ongoing, Stokes’ first hearing at Bristol Crown Court is on 12th March this month, although he doesn’t have to be present at court.


West Brom (Football)- by Tom Shrimplin

Football is the biggest sport in the world never mind the UK, so whenever a player or a group of players do something rather bad from outside the stadium it almost always ends up in the front pages of tabloids or trending on twitter.

The alleged theft or ‘borrowing’ of a taxi outside a McDonald’s drive-thru in Barcelona by the West Bromwich Albion quartet Jonny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill to get back to the hotel as the team took a three-day bonding break was no exception. While it did not go to court in the end and the four players later issued an apology, it is a rather ridiculous and sorry debacle.

Footballers are human beings, and human beings make mistakes, but they are still role models and should always try and show a good example for kids everywhere.

It is a rather ridiculous and sorry debacle

Nevertheless, while a majority of the responsibility should lay with the quartet from West Brom, questions should be answered by manager Alan Pardew, for both the lack of the discipline and taking them on the trip in the first place as they were bottom of the Premier League. Furthermore, there has also be little to no punishment for the ‘Cab Four’, with Barry only stripped of the captaincy, and Pardew continues to just about stay in charge of the club.

Ultimately, I feel sorry for the West Brom fans who must surely feel embarrassed by the taxi theft fiasco, yet in a football league full of excess it should come as no surprise and in time no doubt another misbehaving footballer will surely be plastered on the front page of some rag.


Genie Bouchard (Tennis)- by Toby Bryant

When you type Genie Bouchard’s name into Google, one of the first search options you will find is “Genie Bouchard date”.

The 24-year-old Canadian is most widely known for (or was before date-gate) her tennis prowess which has seen the star in and amongst the upper echelons of the sport ever since making the Wimbledon final in 2014.

A short while later, the Patriots had indeed claimed the win and a date was on the cards.

It was during the Super Bowl in 2017 that Bouchard tweeted to predict the win of Atlanta Falcons, who were leading the New England Patriots 21-0 at the time. University of Missouri student and Patriots fan, John Goehrke, had the bravery to bet Bouchard a date if his side were to emerge victorious. A short while later, the Patriots had indeed claimed the win and a date was on the cards.

Soon after Goehrke and Bouchard attended a Brooklyn Nets game in New York together, the tennis star following through on the bet. Ever since then the two have been pictured together on multiple occasions, seemingly the best of chums, although we are lead to believe that the relationship is purely platonic. Most recently, the two were reunited at the 2018 Super Bowl to celebrate the bet’s one-year anniversary, organised by NFL Canada themselves!

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