Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o are in a virtual tie for the dubious honor of the most disliked athlete.
Since Armstrong had more name recognition than Te’o, the tiebreaker for the most disliked athlete went to Armstrong.
The Forbes rankings were based on a Nielsen poll.
Stephen Master, the senior vice president of sports at Nielsen, said Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey in which he confessed to having used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career hurt Armstrong more than it helped him.
“The Oprah interview hurt him, he came off as pompous, arrogant and unapologetic,” Master said.
As for Te’o, the Notre Dame linebacker whose girlfriend who allegedly died of leukemia never existed and turned out to be a hoax, Master said the incident hurt Te’o’s image even with people who believed he was legitimately duped.
“The story was just so creepy,” Master says. “And even when he knew he’d been duped he stuck with the story for awhile, and he’d told people he had met the woman in person.”