Wednesday, 17 March 2010

'Should sportsmen's personal problems impact on their day job?' - Article published in the Oxford Mail on 15/3/2010

The life of a professional sportsman carries many privileges. When considering the astronomical income received by John Terry, Ashley Cole and Tiger Woods, it should come as no surprise that they are subjected to intense media scrutiny. Having seen the benefits of life in the spotlight, each of them should have been wary of the effect that their extramarital activities would have upon their reputations. In the UK, Terry has had to bear the brunt of the public reaction to current events. As such, an impact upon his day job was inevitable. Footballers make a career from a team sport in which trust is a major component of success. Terry’s affair appears to have caused some division within the Chelsea changing room and his dramatic loss of form is constantly linked to tabloid headlines. Terry’s deterioration has a negative impact upon his team, manager and importantly, fans. A proportion of a footballer’s wage is paid by money put into the club by supporters. Whilst this remains the case, all players have an obligation to enhance the reputation of their club both on and off the field. It is in this respect that Terry and Cole have failed. Although Woods’ sport is individual, he plays a similar role to Terry and Cole as a worldwide role-model. The sportsman has a responsibility to act appropriately with consideration to their status. When showing such disregard for morality, it is understandable that their integrity is questioned both within their occupation and away from it.

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