Expert Says Athletes Skipping Olympics About More Than Just Zika

Article ID: 657125

Released: 13-Jul-2016 1:50 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: Ithaca College

Expert Pitch
  • Stephen Mosher, Professor of Sport Management and Media

Newswise — With Jordan Spieth's decision to skip the 2016 Summer Olympics, the world's top four golfers will be absent from Rio. At least 14 others have made the same decision, and many have cited concerns over the Zika virus as a reason.

Ithaca College Professor Stephen Mosher, an expert in sports ethics, contends that while concerns about Zika must be taken seriously, there is likely more at play in these golfers' decisions to the games.

"Professional male golfers are individual contractors responsible for their own economic well being and those golfers who have withdrawn are very wealthy men," said Mosher. "Golf was last an Olympic event in St. Louis in 1904, so there is nothing of economic value for them to gain by participating. Nor is there a significant historical or cultural benefit to be gained."

Mosher has coached youth sports himself for over 25 years and studies the issues of sport in popular culture. In 2001, he wrote a series of columns for ESPN.com on the Little League World Series scandal involving pitcher Danny Almonte, who played despite being two years over the age limit.

More information on Mosher’s expertise and background is available on the Ithaca College website.

Mosher is available for interviews and can be reached at smosher@ithaca.edu, or by contacting Dan Verderosa in the Ithaca College Office of Marketing Communications at dverderosa@ithaca.edu or 607-274-1440.


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