Are sports stars letting us down as role models?

The latest sporting scandal to cause public outrage sees Wayne Rooney dropped from his lucrative sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola. But should sports stars be held in such high esteem or are they only human?

Wayne Rooney has already joined the ranks of disgraced sports stars including Tiger woods, John Terry and Ashley Cole, but the footballer seems to have gone for a double whammy following his alleged romp with two prostitutes.

Last October, the footballer was disgraced over allegations that he had slept with two prostitutes while his wife Coleen was pregnant. Now the Manchester United star’s fate is hanging in the balance of the Football Association after his vile swearing outburst on lunchtime TV last week.

Yesterday, Coca-Cola disclosed that it had permanently ended its four-year sponsorship deal with the footballer, which began in 2006 and thought to have been worth £2.5million.

But should Rooney be so heavily penalised for his emotional response or as an internationally acclaimed footballer earning £250,000 a week, should he accept the responsibility that comes with the job?

Margaret Morrissey of the Parents Outloud campaign group agreed with the move by the soft-drink giant, saying: ‘These footballers are held in high esteem by this nation’s youngsters and there is an onus on them to show a decent face to the children.’

Rooney has since apologized for any offence caused during the goal celebration on Saturday in which he screamed the F-word twice, blaming high emotions for his inappropriate, heat-of-the-moment reaction.

The incident comes just months after Andy Gray was fired in January from Sky Sports amidst a sexism storm following derogatory comments about a female official.

The FA will today announce the result of Rooney’s challenge to his two-match ban for using offensive language during the West Ham game. But should stadiums be no swearing zones? Are sports stars put under too much pressure to be good role models? Are you worried about the examples set by those in the public eye?

Marie Claire wants to hear your thoughts by posting a comment below.

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