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Monday 21 August 2017

We might laugh at Rory The Club Throwing Cad, but it's not funny

Rory McIroy
Rory McIroy

When I played in the National Cup basketball final way back in the late 80s, I was on the under-18s team and we were deadly.

The day after we beat our arch rivals from Waterford, I was subbed up to the senior team. It was one of the most exciting and terrifying moments of my life.

I played for most of the match and scored seven points. Boom! It was an incredible experience and I loved every second. But I remember another moment that wasn't so cool.

The referee made a call against me and I was furious. I flung the ball in the air out of rage. I was given a technical foul and my coach killed me.

When you play a team sport, with team mates around you and a coach on the sideline, you are constantly encouraged, but also kept in line.

When you are on your own, it must be much more difficult to contain any disappointment, frustration or anger.

petulant

When McIlroy threw his golf club into the lake in Florida last week, it was, on the one hand, funny. The petulant young sports star losing patience. On the other hand it was uncool, embarrassing and not how we expect our sports stars to behave.

International sports heroes have a huge responsibility to their brands, to their fans and, more importantly, to young children who look up to them.

Listening to David Beckham speaking about Alex Ferguson recently was insightful. Before a game in Wembley, Ferguson went over to Beckham who was sporting a ridiculous Mohawk and told him to shave it off. Beckham was going to tell him no, but, he knew better.

Ferguson demanded the highest level of professionalism from all his players.

They knew that a quip, a quiff or anything that he deemed as unprofessional would result in the wrath of the boss.

So we might be chuckling at Rory The Club Throwing Cad but when you earn millions of euro annually and have little kids looking up to you, it's juvenile...and totally unacceptable.

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