30 Stories When Someone Destroyed Their Solid Reputation In A Few Minutes, As Told In This Online Group
In 1988, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson won the Olympic 100m with a new world record of 9.79 seconds. The next day, the doping test of the champion was positive and he was disqualified. One of the newspapers came out with the great headline "From hero to zero in 9.79 seconds."
Why are we telling you this? Because, in fact, world history is full of cases when a person carefully built their impeccable reputation for years, and then, by some incredible coincidence, spoiled everything, turning into an absolute outcast. Of course, not as fast as 9.79 seconds, but nevertheless...
There is a popular thread on Reddit where a topic starter asked: "Warren Buffet said, 'It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.' What's a real-life example of this?" By now the post has gained almost 50K upvotes, and examples are still being added. From Rudy Giuliani to John DeLorean, from Jim Marshall (sorry, Vikings fans!) to Lance Armstrong, from hero to zero in almost 20K comments.
Bored Panda compiled a selection of the most popular examples from this thread for you, so feel free to scroll to the very end with pleasure, and if you have your own candidate for this list, be sure to write in the comments!
More info: Reddit
Rudy G could have retired as America’s mayor, instead his obituary will have a picture of his make up dripping during a press conference at a landscape parking lot
The CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch when he said something like “I want cool people to wear our clothes, not fat people” when asked why they didn’t carry any plus sized clothes for women. The term “cancelled” wasn’t really a thing back in 2013 but man did A&F get cancelled HARD after that
That lady that got accepted to the NASA internship, wrote an explicit tweet about it, and when someone told her to watch her language, she told them to STFU. He was a head or something at NASA. she did not have that internship for long.
That flat earth documentary where they try so hard the entire time and then in the last five minutes they do the measurement with the laser and realise the earth isn’t flat.
My grandpa. For 23 years of my life, I thought he was the most honest and upstanding person I had the honour of knowing. Then last year, I found out he’s always had a habit of manipulating his dying family member’s/friend’s wills into leaving him and his wife the good, expensive stuff (houses, cars, etc). It’s how he’s avoided bankruptcy for so damn long. Selling off these stolen houses to pay for his own. He stole a house out from his own step daughter after her son had been in a near fatal accident, and she herself had just survived a suicide attempt. So yeah. Turns out the best man I know is one of the worst. And what’s better? He passed on his house stealing skills to his cvnt daughter (my aunt). So the cycle continues. Ugh. Sorry for the rant.
Travis Scott’s apology and behavior during the Astroworld tragedy. Dude is an awful person and people just give him a pass because he’s rich and famous and is married to one of the Kardashian relatives. Ppl pick and choose man I swear. They will blindly defend people if they like them enough. Dude basically let 10 people die. His fans are brainwashed by his garbage music
I will never forget that morning on Reddit watching videos of dead fans being crowdsurfed while people screamed and he just carried on with his garbage auto tune s**t.
I was just reading a story about how a police officer with a perfect career, ruined everything by buying donuts and scanning a barcode for a carrot to make it cheaper. Lost his job for that.
Bill Cosby. He was "America's Dad" for 50 years until a random Hanibal Burress cell-phone bootleg went viral and women started speaking out in droves.
Haven’t seen Lance Armstrong’s name yet. Scientists studied his body for years to find the cause of his incredible performance, just to have him openly admit to using steroids.
at one time 'Ratners' were a nationwide chain of jewelry shops in the UK, they were known as an 'affordable' jewelry shop.
In 1991 he was a guest at the 'Institute of Directors' and made a speech where he called the stuff sold by his shops, 'total C**p'. A popular range of earrings was described as being cheaper than a prawn sandwich and compounded it by saying the prawn sandwich would last longer.
shares in the company dropped like a stone and he was fired by the majority company shareholders
A pizza delivery guy was belittled out of tip by rude local car dealership employees. They went really off on one, treating him badly, and threatened to get the pizza delivery guy sacked. The incident was caught on camera, and the internet went out for revenge. The car dealership was review bombed and I think one of the colleagues were fired.
Michael Richards who played Kramer in Seinfeld.
Ruined his image literally in five minutes when he lost his cool and went on a racist rant
At one point, Ryan Lochte was arguably on the way to becoming as big in the swimming world as Michael Phelps. Then his lies about being robbed at the Olympics torched his reputation and career
There was a PC building company earlier this year that disqualified a prize winner because the company owner thought the winner's social media presence was too weak. Not fake, mind you, just not popular enough to be worth sponsoring.
Former Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers baseball player and executive Al Campanis.
He had a brief career as a player with the Brooklyn Dodgers, playing only 7 games with them in 1943, but spent a lot of time in the minor leagues and played one season in the minors with Jackie Robinson the year before Robinson became the first African-American player in the majors. After retiring as a player he became a scout and moved up in the organization to become the General Manager of the Dodgers in 1968.
On April 6, 1987 Campanis was invited to appear on the TV show *Nightline* to be interviewed by Ted Koppel about Jackie Robinson, as April 15th would be the 40th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first game in the majors and they were good friends until Robinson's death in 1972.
Koppel asked Campanis about why there were so few Black managers and no Black general managers. Campanis answered, "I truly believe that they may not have some of the necessities to be, let's say, a field manager, or, perhaps, a general manager." When pressed later in the interview by Koppel, he said "Why are Black men or Black people not good swimmers? Because they don't have the buoyancy" and also saying that the Black race "certainly are short" on individuals with strong decision-making capabilities.
He was fired from the Dodgers less than two days later and never worked in baseball again, passing away in 1998.
Had a supervisor who decided to get blitzed on morphine and alcohol before writing a racist, incomprehensible, unprofessional email and sending it to every subordinate. Every single person turned against him, and he was gone from his job really quickly after that. (And he was tenured and everything). Happened in an instant.
Nelson Rockefeller was governor of New York before serving as vice-president under Gerald Ford. He was found dead at his secret townhome. His wife wasn't there but his girlfriend was. She was 49 years younger than him.
"Rockefeller's Law" states, "Never do anything you wouldn't be caught dead doing."
The PR chick traveling to South Africa who tweeted something like, "heading to Africa, hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding, I'm white!"
Turned her phone off for the flight, and by the time she turned it on when she landed, it had gone viral and, if memory serves, she had already lost her job.
Edit: Quite a few people commenting that she must be awful at her job and/or she should have known better.
1. in the earlier days of social media, it was reasonably expected that your posts would remain private among your network. This is one of the first cases of a non-celebrity post going viral and being publicly shamed for it. There was no precedent. Bad judgement? Of course, but 2013 and 2022 are very different times
2. her ability to craft effective corporate communications is not diminished by the poor judgement mentioned above that she exercised *once*. Presumably, she was hired by other firms (and perhaps rehired by her old firm) not because of her "fame," but because she was actually skilled at what she does.
Edit 2: while I haven't seen it, the sheer number of references to The Family Guy seems to indicate that yes, they did parody this situation in an episode. Seems like Seth McFarlane's brand of humor.
10,000 Instagram pictures and thousands of social media likes and share. vs one sandwich photo. Rip Fyre festival.
I believe there were some other social media posts at that time that was also bad for Fyre Festival's reputation.
And there was that one guy who for months in advance was warning people that the Fyre Festival was a scam.
And this is on multiple fronts.
-bugged launches, lying about game content, having games with microtransactions totaling up to over $100,000 as a pay to win scheme
Their actual company?
-"Cubicle romps" to harass women co workers, the "Bill Cosby" suite, harassing a woman to suicide, passing over women for promotions because they might "get pregnant and take time off work," etc.
There is so, so much wrong with that company and the kicker now is that their "in house investigation" said they did nothing wrong.
The r/antiwork mod that did an interview with Fox News and completely tanked the sub's momentum almost overnight.
Howard Dean. Was either Lt Governor or Governor of Vermont from 1987 to 2003, and making a respectable run for president when it stopped dead in its tracks when he made...a weird sounding cheer at a campaign stop. That was it. No sex scandal, no bad policy proposal, no poor debate performance, a clip that just sounded kinda funny.
That X Factor judge who told a contestant, wearing a SUIT that he was trying to copy her husband lmfao. I think Natalia Kills was her name
On the Gold Coast in Australia, the theme park Dreamworld lost all it’s reputation after 4 people [passed away] in an accident.
Jim Marshall. One of the greatest defensive linemen in NFL football history.
To quote vikings.com : "A valued member of Minnesota's "Purple People Eaters" defensive line, Marshall holds numerous NFL records that include the most seasons played by a defensive player (20, along with Junior Seau and Darrell Green), most consecutive games by a defensive player (282), most consecutive starts by a defensive player (270), and most career fumble recoveries (30). Marshall, who was still a starter at age 42, helped the Vikings win three NFC titles along with the NFL championship in 1969."
However, one day, in one game, Jim Marshall had a quick lapse in judgement and now almost EVERY NFL fan remembers Jim Marshall for one mistake he made: He picked up a fumble and ran the wrong way.