Has an athelete's affair ever negatively affected their career?

With the whole Tiger Woods thing going on every single media outlet is asking “OMG!! WHAT WILL THIS DO TO HIS CAREER!?! IS THIS THE END FOR HIM!?!”
I know with politicians news of an affair can spell certain doom for their career. But it seems to have pretty much little to no effect on atheletes that I can think of. They just kind of bow their heads for a while and go on with their sport. Maybe lose an endorsement or two but if they are good enough those come back too. Kobe Bryant doesn’t appear any worse from his ordeal.
As long as something illegal doesn’t occur (the affair is with an underage gal, someone gets shot) it seems that nobody cares.

Why does the media seems to think this will DOOM him?

Because the media needs drama to sell ads and crank up ratings to sell ads for more money.

But… it’s the dopey people who buy the magazine and watch the shows that are the problem. People want this stuff, so the media crank(s) it out.

People seem to love downfalls.

Kobe did suffer a bit of a backlash during the trial IIRC. Didn’t some sponsors drop him or at least suspend their support?

Mind you, the controversy had mostly to do with the rape allegations, not the fact that he cheated.

There’s absolutely no way to prove cause and effect, is there?

But, for what it’s worth, Yankee pitcher Fritz Peterson never pitched worth a darn after swapping wives with Mike Kekich.

Eh? I haven’t seen any of that. I’ve seen some speculation he’ll lose sponsorships, which has not happened to this point and may not happen at all. He’s arguably the best golfer ever and he’s still got decades of playing left. Anyone who thinks his career might be over is clueless.

Any yes, by and large, the whole “IS THIS GOING TO BE A DISTRACTION???” angle is overplayed. It might be distracting but athletes see media feeding frenzies as part of their job. Most of them are able to set it aside. And in particular, it’s easy to get forgiven if you don’t get caught doing it again. You say your sorry, let yourself down, blah blah blah, stay clean for a little while and then everybody loves you for redeeming yourself.

Wide receiver Chris Chambers says his admission of an affair with a woman who later stalked his family played a role in his release from the San Diego Chargers. Chambers is now out of the NFL, by which I mean he’s on the Chiefs. So you could say that negatively affected his career.

Well, there was that business with Magic Johnson, whose magic johnson didn’t protect him from HIV. Pretty much ended his basketball career, but it wasn’t because of public opinion.

Steve McNair

Yeah, but maybe it is his magic johnson that is keeping him looking like the healthiest freakin’ AIDS victim I’ve ever seen in my life!

You know, the idea that this might affect Tiger’s performance never even crossed my mind. I figure the wreck would’ve caused more damage.

And here we thought Tiger’s affair (and the fallout) would really mess with his head. I think McNair wins on that one.

I remember Jason Kidd or somebody had their PPG or APG or something go down when going through their divorce.

Steve Garvey was Mr. Clean before his wife went public with stories of him having affairs.

Well Tiger is a bit different. Unlike most athtletes, he as a reputation for being a “nice guy.” And “nice guys” don’t cheat on their wives and do all sorts of things like he is supposed to have done.

Most people see basketball as kind of a sport where the athletes will fool around. After all they are traveling and surrounded by women. But golf, seems to be more “family” oriented. It doesn’t mean Tiger isn’t surrounded by women the same as basketball players, but it just seems different.

So you have a “nice guy” cheating on his wife.

Will this effect his career? Probably not much. Unless he has a complete breakdown from the guilt (if any) and can’t play golf as well as he could before, that part is covered fine.

Endorsements are where he’ll take the hit. He’ll lose some at first. Most companies simply don’t want controversy period.

So he’ll lose some endorsments but after this blows over he’ll get some back.

What’s most likely to happen is his worth will go down. So instead of getting five million to endorse Acme Golf Clubs, he’ll only get three million to endorse them.

It has already negatively affected his career given that he has pulled out of a tournament that benefits his charitable foundation.

If you’re talking pure golf, that remains to be seen. He seems to have that unique ability to compartmentalize and stay focused even when his personal life is distracting (e.g. his father’s death). But his first post-drama tournament will show how good he is at keeping his game face on now that he’s been ridiculed publicly. That’s something he’s never faced before.

If you’re talking outside of golf, then hell yes, I think it has negatively hurt him. He had a squeaky clean image which helped pull in endorsement deals. That image has taken a hurt. That doesn’t mean that companies already committed to him will drop him, but it does mean that companies who are looking for spokesmen in the future might pass him by in favor of someone else, like Roger Federer, who is at the top of his game AND has an image of being a gentleman. On the other hand, how he repairs his marriage will give him an opportunity to make him more marketable because he’s finally shown that he’s human.

Actually, I’m not sure that’s true.

Unlike, say, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods has almost NEVER tried to look like a nice guy. He’s well liked among his colleagues (unlike Phil), but he’s never tried to win the affection of fans.

Fans love watching him, because he’s probably the greatest golfer who ever lived… but he doesn’t inspire warm, fuzzy feelings. He’s usually kept fans at arm’s length.

Who the hell cares?

So Tiger hit par on more than one hole because he couldn’t keep his putter in his pants. Big friggin’ deal. But of course, the mainstream media is all over this like stink on shit because (gasssppp!) A Celebrity Fooled Around. And we all know how newsworthy that is.

And before McNair there was Eddie Waitkus, the inspriation for the Roy Hobbs character in The Natural.

Does Plaxico Burress’ gun going off while he was having a lapdance count?

Kekich’s career went downhill even faster, and his marriage to Peterson’s wife broke up.

Junior Johnson had a successful race team until his personal life ran it into the ground. Something about his wife accidentally getting the Corvette meant for his girlfriend on her birthday or something. Bill Elliott is still mad about it and wrote about it in his autobiography.