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Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson: Only controversial athletes surpassed Floyd Mayweather

Lee Cleveland Updated
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How popular is Floyd Mayweather in the U.S?

(Image courtesy of Showtime)

According to Google Trends, among athletes, only football players Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson piqued public intrigue more last month in Google U.S.

10 trendiest athletes in Google, September 2014

1. Ray Rice
2. Adrian Peterson
3. Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
4. Derek Jeter
5. LeBron James
6. Jameis Winston
7. Hope Solo
8. McKayla Maroney
9. Cristiano Ronaldo
10. Josh Gordon

NFLers Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, for better or worse, failed to make the top ten as well as tennis legends Serena Williams and Roger Federer.

Despite Floyd Mayweather's incredible popularity and innate ability to draw the attention of the masses, it's hard to imagine Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson not finishing in the top two among searched athletes.

Rice and Peterson were not simply starters on their respective teams, they are superstar, MVP-level sportsmen embroiled in mega scandals that rocked American sports.

On September 8, 2014, TMZ released riveting footage from an elevator camera showing Rice punching his then fiancee (now his wife). The NFL's Baltimore Ravens ended Rice's contract as a result.  Soon afterward, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Rice had been suspended from the league indefinitely.

Just days later, Adrian Peterson was indicted on child abuse charges on September 12, 2014, and subsequently deactivated for Minnesota's Week 2 game against the New England Patriots. Amid child abuse allegations, on September 15, the Vikings reinstated Peterson and he was scheduled to play against the New Orleans Saints. But then, on September 17, Peterson was placed on the NFL’s Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, which requires that Peterson "remain away from all team activities.

Boxing sensation Floyd Mayweather, of course, defended his welterweight titles by defeating Argentine Marcos Maidana in their rematch on September 13 in the midst of all of the Rice-Peterson drama.

Despite rumors the masses may be losing interest in Floyd, Google Trends told a different story.

On Friday, September 12, the query "Mayweather vs Maidana" was the second trendiest search in Google U.S. just behind "Adrian Peterson." Had the NFL star not sent shockwaves through the sportsworld that day by being charged with child abuse, "Mayweather vs Maidana" would have been number one.

But on Saturday, fight day, the query "Mayweather"was the trendiest search in Google U.S., finishing ahead "David Haines" and "Beyonce."

Who is rocking Google this month?  Access Google Trends to find out.

Google Trends is a public web facility of Google Inc. that shows how often a particular search term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages. In essence, Google Trends shows how new events impact search popularity


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