This article was originally published on MvpMode
As weird as it may sound, the reason people love watching sports isn't purely to see who's the best at a certain game. Sports have a way of taking people's minds off of their everyday problems. They're a way for people to relax at the end of a long day or week and just sit down and focus on the game. However, sometimes the combination of athletes pulling off almost-superhuman stunts in tight athletic clothing can lead to wardrobe mishaps that momentarily pull our eyes away from the game. Read on for some of the best examples ever captured on camera!
Thank God For Facemasks
Even though football is a pretty intense contact sport, it's not too often that you see wardrobe mishaps, at least not from the players themselves. However, when you do see them, they usually look a little something like this. A Baltimore Ravens player was trying to bring down New England's Rob Gronkowski when he got a little bit more than he bargained for and instead just got a face full of Gronk's backside.
However, the tackle did end up bringing Gronkowski down, which is a win anytime he gets the ball, even under the circumstances. However, we're not sure if the Ravens player would totally agree.
Right Down The Middle
There are a couple of swimsuits on this list that suffered from splits, and we're guessing it's because swimmers' suits have to be really tight to lower drag. Still, that tends to lead to unfortunate things happening, such as this incident at the World Championships. American swimmer Ricky Berens felt his swimsuit split right down the middle mid-dive. He continued on with the race, but we're sure all that extra drag affected his time.
What's even more amazing than that, though, might just be all of the different shots of the mishap that photographers were able to get. That would take some great timing skills.
How Do I Look?
There are a couple of athletes on this list that have owned their wardrobe malfunctions, but none more so than bobsledder Christopher Spring. The night before an Olympic event, Spring decided that he'd try on his uniform, and this happened. The front zipper busted, leaving him with an exposed stomach. But instead of getting discouraged, he posted the photo on Twitter for the world to see. We're sure it also helped him get a new uniform.
We suppose that it was a good idea to try on the uniform the night before, otherwise he would've had to deal with this during the competition the next day.
This one isn't nearly as bad as some of the other items on this list, but it's still worth mentioning just because of how absurd it is. Baseball player Adam Riggs once came out onto the field rocking a jersey that read "Angees." His team's name was actually the Angels, but it's hard to imagine how anybody could've messed something like that up. It was later revealed that it was the manufacturer's fault.
Perhaps someone at the factory just wasn't having a great day and missed the huge spelling error on the front of the jersey, but you would think that someone would notice "Angees" isn't a real word, right?
No Pockets, No Problems
We're not sure where or when this photo was taken, but it's got to be one of the funniest and most creative on this list. A cheerleader decided to store her phone in her shorts, but since cheerleading uniforms don't usually include pockets, she was basically forced just to stuff it down her shorts. During this move, someone snapped a photo of the phone, and we're sure some in the audience noticed as well.
We can't say we really blame her, though, we mean, if you don't have pockets, where else would you keep your phone? You can't just leave it on the ground.
Running Like You Do Care
To say that Italy's Alberto Nonino was a bit frustrated after this race would probably be an understatement. The runner had gotten off to a fairly good start and looked like he would place in the top three when disaster struck. He suddenly started reaching down towards his shorts, and it became apparent that he was having a wardrobe malfunction not long after the race had started. Needless to say, it cost him some time in the race.
The press chose to use some pretty colorful writing when they wrote about the scene afterward, to which the runner called them out for bullying — something they normally write about themselves.
That's Definitely A Penalty
Okay, so no penalty was actually called after this incident happened, but it should have been. The player with his pants down is Nick Helenius, and this happened during a soccer match in 2013. The opposing player was trying to keep Helenius from scoring, and he probably figured what better way to do that than to grab and pull down his pants. Actually, we're sure that wasn't what was going through his head at the time.
The more likely scenario is that he was just trying to do anything he could to keep Helenius from kicking and scoring a goal, and he accidentally ended up grabbing and pulling down his shorts.
You don't have to watch professional tennis to know that players in the sport place a heavy emphasis on style. Possibly the sport's greatest venue, Wimbledon, forces players to wear all white while playing their matches. So, it was a bit baffling for fans and players when professional tennis player Arantxa Rus showed up to an Olympic game with little underneath her skirt. However, tennis is a pretty tiring sport, and we can't say we blame her for wanting a little ventilation.
She also probably didn't think that pretty much every camera in the stadium would immediately zoom in on her nether regions if she made the wrong move.
Keep Your Eyes On The Ball
Venus Williams, as well as her sister Serena, are known more for their athletic dominance and stylish outfits than they are for their mishaps. However, that's not to say that they haven't had any. Venus wore these skin-toned shorts underneath her skirt during one of her outings, and while they're not really that bad on their own, it had some wondering if she was wearing anything at all underneath her outfit.
We could see where one might get confused, especially if you were sitting far off in the stands or even watching from home, as the cameras are usually zoomed out.
Hyping Up The Crowd
Being a cheerleader, especially at a high level, is probably a lot more difficult than most people think. The training camps for cheerleaders are pretty intensive, and it takes a lot of strength for some of the acrobatics. And you can still go through the camps and learn all the moves only to have the crowd pay zero attention to you while you're performing. That is if you're anyone but the cheerleader in this photo.
She probably didn't have too much trouble getting the crowd into it after her strap seemed to somehow break during the middle of a routine. And she also just kept going with it, at least for a moment.
Water Polo Mishap
Compared to a lot of other sports that involve athletes and water, the uniforms for water polo are usually pretty tame, which is why this photo, and a couple of others on this list, are so surprising. But it would seem that slip-ups in the sport are actually fairly common. But that doesn't stop the athletes from making sure they're covering their players, even if they aren't fully covered themselves.
We're sure it's also probably pretty hard to tell when you have a wardrobe mishap in the pool since you're spending most of your time splashing around trying to chase down the ball and opponents.
At Least It Didn't Rip During The Event
This one is honestly kind of sad. Italian swimmer, Flavia Zoccari's swimsuit, suffered a pretty bad rip right before an event, and it ended up costing her the race. She was disqualified because of the rip, which, if you ask us, is a bit much. You would think that the officials would be able to postpone the race for five minutes to allow someone to change into a different swimsuit, but we guess not.
Swimmer's suits have to be pretty tight in order to limit drag, but we're not sure why this particular suit, which was probably very, very expensive, ended up ripping and costing her the race.
Letting It All Hang Out
We've never seen a race quite like this, and we're sure neither had the crowd back in 2017. That was when runner Jozef Urban, in the middle of a marathon, let it all hang out on his way to the finish line. Honestly, we can't really blame him. What could you actually do in a situation like this, stop and risk getting passed up? Still, it takes some guts just to ignore this and continue running.
That's especially true when it looks like everyone in the crowd suddenly decided to take out their cameras and zoom in on the wardrobe mishap. We're pretty sure he went with tighter-fitting underwear during his next outing.
Just Another Day In The Legends League
If you're unfamiliar with the Legends Football League, it's a women's American football league that was started back in 2009. Although, it was aptly named the Lingerie League when it first debuted. Anyway, the sport sees female footballers on the field and playing American football with very similar rules to their male counterparts, but with one big difference. And we're sure you can spot the difference just by looking at this photo.
Since football is such a heavy-contact sport and uniforms in the Legends League are pretty scant, wardrobe mishaps like this aren't all that uncommon in the league. You have to wrap up somehow when you're tackling.
Oh Hey, Look Over There!
For as long as figure skating has been around, it's been plagued by wardrobe malfunctions. That's mainly because figure skating puts a heavy emphasis on costumes. Unlike a lot of other sports, athletes don't really have what you could call uniforms. And a lot of times, those costumes are meant to dazzle judges instead of account for all of the acrobatics involved in figure skating. Enter Russian figure skater Ekaterina Rubleva.
Rubleva's shoulder strap broke once during the European Figure Skating Championships, leading to a mishap that we're sure the athlete was not prepared for. Despite this, the skater bravely managed to finish her routine.
Unfortunate Design Decisions
Often, athletes' wardrobe mishaps are entirely out of their control. Such was the case when Colombia's national cycling team unveiled their new uniforms all the way back in 2014. Needless to say, the skin-tone portion of the uniform raised a couple of eyebrows, not least because it also featured a very unfortunate line running down it. The uniforms were even somewhat translucent in certain areas, which were areas you don't really want translucent material.
After the photos were released, a lot of people took to social media to vent their outrage, and Twitter even labeled photos of the uniform as sensitive material for a time.
Jockeying For First
This one is a bit perplexing. Not because of the exposure but because jockeys probably practice countless times in their uniforms before a race. So, there really shouldn't be any reason that your pants fall down while you're galloping down the track, right? Well, tell that to jockey Blake Shinn who had the bottom portion of his uniform fall down while in the middle of a race, leading to this photo.
We can't imagine the embarrassment that must've accompanied a situation like this. However, Shinn kept going and finished the race while also bearing all for the stadium and the cameras.
When You Accidentally Declare War
There have been a couple of different mishaps involving the flag of the Philippines over the years and not all of them involve sports uniforms. However, this one does. Observers noticed something weird about sprinters Eric Cray and Kayla Richardson's uniforms during an outing at the Southeast Asian Games. The flag on their uniforms was inverted or flipped upside down. This wouldn't normally be a big deal but inverting the flag of the Phillippines so that the red strip is on top is actually only done during times of war.
Luckily, it turned out that the country wasn't actually at war, and instead, the mistake had been caused by suppliers. We're sure that brought some sighs of relief when it was announced.
Small beach waves might not seem that powerful, but they're actually pretty strong. They're strong enough to sweep away your clothes, at least. That's what happened to surfer Stephanie Gilmore during a 2014 photoshoot for Vogue, in which some random waves almost carried away her top. Fortunately, this wasn't during a public competition, and she was able to get it back on quickly, but we're sure it was quite the surprise nonetheless.
Oh, and did we mention that all of this happened while she was on a surfboard, and she still managed to recover? That's honestly some pretty impressive balancing skills.
Bobsledding Is Never A Dull Sport
While there aren't that many awkward positions and poses involved with the sport of bobsledding, there are a couple. And those can lead to some pretty embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions. British bobsledder Gillian Cooke's uniform ripped in one of the most unfortunate spots right when she was getting ready to launch at the 2010 Olympics. That's rough; it's one thing to have your pants rip on national television but to have them rip in front of a worldwide audience?
Fortunately, Cooke was a good sport about it and has said that she now uses the incident to break the ice with new teammates. That's honestly the best way to go about something like this.
Raise The Flag
No list of unfortunate athletic uniforms would be complete without the uniforms worn by Singapore's water polo team. The issue with these uniforms wasn't necessarily that they were skimpy (though that certainly played into it). Most men's water polo uniforms are shaped like this. The issue was instead the placement of the flag. As you can see from the photo, the crescent is right in the middle of the uniform.
The designer later commented that it was supposed to be more to the side, but that didn't stop a lot of people in the country from complaining about it.
The Lingeri... We Mean Legends League
Formerly referred to as the Lingerie League; the now-named Legends League drew a lot of criticism during its time and still today. It saw women dressed in pads and not much else playing American football. That's both probably where it got its name and the reason it had to change it. We're not exactly sure where or when this photo was taken, but scenes like this aren't uncommon for the sport.
And given that this is a sport that's played pretty competitively (the hits and tackles are actually very hard), it's no wonder that some would try and grab at anything they can to get an opposing player down.
Looking The Other Way
Here's a photo from a match of women's water polo. We're not sure when it was taken, but one of the teams is obviously Spanish. It also doesn't seem like she notices her uniform is kind of doing its own thing in this photo, but when you're a professional athlete, all of your attention is going to be on the game. You probably don't even have time to worry about slight wardrobe malfunctions.
At least, not in the moment. We're sure after the match; there were some awkward posts and questions going around on social media and in the press briefing room.
Leaving It All On The Ice
There are a lot of repeat sports on this list, and some of them aren't all that surprising. This figure skating incident involved a skater named Nora Hoffmann back in 2010 during an event in Beijing. The worst part about this particular incident is probably that it really isn't as bad as some of the others on this list and would've gone unnoticed had a photographer not managed to snap this photo.
But that's the way things sometimes go, especially when you have a stadium filled with people fixated on you and your routine. Unfortunately for Hoffman, this wasn't the only time she suffered a wardrobe malfunction.
When Your Skating Partner Causes A Scene
French ice skater Gabriella Papadakis found herself trying to keep her dress from falling down while also carrying out her routine during the 2018 Winter Olympics, but it actually wasn't her or her wardrobe's fault. During one set of moves, her skating partner accidentally undid the back of her dress, causing it to fall. Luckily, Papadakis had enough composure to keep it from falling down completely while also finishing her routine.
Still, we can't imagine she was too happy with her partner after the performance. That said, the two have had tremendous success in the sports and are two-time world champions.
Rugby Is A Brutal Sport
As hard as it might be for some who don't follow the sport to imagine, The U.S. actually has a national rugby team. To prove it, take a look at this photo of a championship match between the women's teams of the U.S. and England. England managed to get the win, but during the match, one of their players had her pants pulled down by someone that appeared to be on her own team.
Luckily, the team won in a convincing fashion, and the player, Sarah Hunter, laughed about it on Twitter after the game was over, calling out the teammate who pulled her pants down.
What Are Friends For?
The last thing you want is for your post-game victory photo to be marred by a slip-up. But that's exactly what happened after Middlesbrough beat Sunderland back in 2016. Their midfielder, Adam Clayton, had a little slip-up when something slipped out right before this photo was snapped. Luckily, we have his friend to the right of him to thank for pointing out what was during this exact moment in time.
Unluckily for Clayton, his friend failed to give him a heads up and instead just pointed and laughed as the picture was taken. But all in all, it made for a hilarious photo.
When You're An Athlete Someone Is Always Watching
Spanish diver Jenifer Benitez was having a pretty routine Olympics in 2008, right before this slip-up. She was coming off a dive and went to adjust her swimsuit, which normally would've been perfectly fine. However, there was a camera above her, and it caught a quick slip. It didn't last long, but it did last long enough for people to take notice and eventually post it online, where we still talk about it to this day.
But the worst part might just be that she failed to advance after this dive. That would've at least made the whole situation a bit more bearable, if not entirely worth it.
An Incident That Will Live In Infamy
Most people are pretty familiar with this image, and if you're not, then it's an image of soccer player Paul Scholes laid out on the field after an attempted slide tackle. It happened all the way back in the 1990s, but it's still an image that most people who follow soccer are relatively familiar with. In the image, Scholes appears not yet to have noticed that he had something hanging out of his shorts.
But we bet this is one that he wishes he could have back. That said, he's now a very successful coach and owner, so it didn't really dampen his career all that much.
Giving It All During Try Outs
Chris Jones was at the NFL Combine participating in the 40-yard dash when suddenly he gave NFL scouts and viewers a bit more than they were expecting. After he finished the race, he dove to the ground and scrambled to cover up, but the damage was already done. For those not familiar with the combine, it's basically a test for potential players expecting to get drafted into the NFL.
Your score can add or subtract millions of dollars from your eventual contract, so it's pretty important that you perform well. Luckily for Jones, he ended up scoring well despite the mishap.
For The Commonwealth
If you're not familiar with the Commonwealth games, just think of them, kind of like the Olympics, but only countries associated with the old British Empire are invited. Anyway, during one of the opening ceremonies of the games, the cameras snapped this photo of a dancer before she was able to duck behind some towels. However, she took the whole incident in stride after it was all over.
"Last night I was feeling really BUMMED... BUTT that’s all BEHIND me now!" she later wrote, adding that people should remember "the camera adds 5kgs." That's honestly kind of funny.
Getting More Than You Bargained For
A lot of photos on this list were probably only captured coincidentally. We're sure most of the photographers that captured these photos were just firing off photos and happened to catch some athletes with their pants down. However, this might be the most random of them all. English soccer club Huddersfield Town was playing Bournemouth in 2018 when the camera turned to get a shot of the team's manager.
They got their shot and a little bit extra. It seemed one of the players on the bench had chosen this moment to readjust their shorts and, in the process, accidentally flashed whoever was watching the game.
A WWE-Sized Gaffe
It's kind of a surprise to us that there isn't more nudity in the WWE. We mean, the sport actively tries to draw up whatever it thinks will create drama and excitement. And while there have been a couple of moments of scripted nudity, it really hasn't been very prevalent, which makes this incident all the more noteworthy. Daniel Bryan had his tights pulled up during a match, leaving his junk exposed.
People in the stadium and people at home were pretty shocked, but maybe none more so than the referee in this photo, who has a pretty priceless look on his face.
Trying To Hold In The Pain
With a name like Billy Burns, you just know you're destined to show your stuff on video for the world to see sooner or later. Joking aside, this was a kind of unfortunate incident that happened during a rugby match between the Penrith Panthers and the North Queensland Cowboys. Burns had just gotten tackled when he rolled over, and the cameras caught this image. It also resulted in a penalty on his team (we're assuming the tackle and not the exposure).
However, Burn's team went on to win the game. But all most fans could talk about, according to new outlets, was the wardrobe malfunction that happened towards the beginning of the game.
What's Going On Guys?
What's going on with Rugby? Is it really that hard to tell who your teammates are while you're in a pile? Rugby player Josh Eden-Whaitiri had his pants pulled down by his own teammate during a match in 2020, and sports photographers snapped this shot. In it, you can clearly see that his own teammate is trying to bring him down, while he just looks like he's trying to figure out what's going on.
It's not just one player, either. His teammate on the right side of the image also has his hands on his pants, even though it looks like he should be on the opposite side of the play.
The Show Must Go on
Despite it being a pretty fun sport to watch, most people have never heard of indoor lacrosse, and even less probably know that the sport has cheerleaders. Well, that all changed for a brief second when a cheerleading routine didn't go as planned during a game between the Buffalo Bandits and the Calgary Roughnecks. During the routine, one of the cheerleaders somehow managed to get her outfit pulled over her head.
She didn't let it affect her, though, and continued to perform her routine while in sync with the rest of the squad. She also managed to bring a bit more recognition to the sport singlehandedly.