UK Sport, which is the body who oversees funding for British Olympic and Paralympic athletes, has warned its athletes against, “attending a lap dancing or strip club regardless of gender” and had placed this new policy on their list of unacceptable behaviours. If athletes were caught doing this, they would loose their funding. Now the question that I will raise is, is it fair that athletes can be held to policies in regards to what they can and cannot due in their personal lives and be reprimanded on those basis?
On one side, athletes are being funded by this body to perform as athletes and to represent the British Olympics and Paralympics. This means that these athletes are being recognized in the media and they are responsible for acting in a respectful manner as they are representing UK Sport. Anything these athletes do that is not responsible can create a bad image for the British Olympics and Paralympics and going to a strip club could put athletes in a position where they do not uphold an image that UK Sport supports. In addition, these athletes are intended to be role models and attending a strip club does not uphold such morals that would necessarily be a good model for younger fans.
However, to look at it another way, these athletes are being funded to be athletes not to sign their entire personal lives away. Whatever an athletes chooses to do in their free time, should be their own choice and their careers should not have to suffer as long as they are not doing anything illegal. They should not be threatened to have their funding being taken away because of legal actions they choose to do in their free time and a policy like this is infringing on an athletes personal freedoms and rights.
Considering both sides of the argument, I would tend to agree that this type of policy would be infringing on an athletes personal choices and freedoms. Theses athletes are humans too and what they choose to do in their free time should be their choice as long as it is legal. Going to strip clubs is a legal action, and therefore, I believe that these athletes should not have to follow a policy like this.
This policy was recently dropped by UK Sports. What are your opinions on the subject? Should athletes have to follow a policy that controls their personal lives? Do you think that this policy should have remained in tact or do you believe it was a good decision to drop this policy?