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IELTS essay, topic: Some people think that it is fine for professional athletes to misbehave on or off the field, as long as they are playing well (opinion)

Some people think that it is fine for professional sportsmen and sportswomen to misbehave on or off the field, as long as they are playing well.

Do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Sample Essay

Although most professional athletes are aware of their position as role models for their fans and behave accordingly, there are sportsmen and sportswomen who behave poorly during matches and in their private life. While some people find it acceptable as long as their performance on the field is not impacted, not everyone agrees with that point of view.

Those who put athletes’ performance on the field above everything else point out that competitive environment and immense pressure the sports people are under affect their behavior. They argue that athletes are entitled to privacy and their actions before and after games should not concern the general public. I find this hard to agree with, because poor behavior in sports people is incompatible with their role in public’s life and also for the reason that their actions could negatively affect their entire sports industry.

The main reason why I believe athletes should behave well at all times is that their behavior is tremendously influential. Spectators respect players and many copy their actions and behavior; therefore, if top players misbehave or violate laws, some of the fans may feel compelled to follow their example and behave badly. For example, after an acclaimed baseball player was caught using drugs some years ago, the number of people who were arrested for the same crime significantly increased. This shows quite clearly why high profile players should consider their actions very carefully in order to promote a peaceful society.

In addition, the behavior of athletes might affect the popularity of their sports. Some companies sponsor successful athletes who boost their brand recognition and sales of their products. Players and sports industry executives are financially compensated for endorsing products and participating in commercial advertisements. If they demonstrate poor behavior, sponsors could direct their money elsewhere, and as a result sports matches could suffer due to lack of funds. To illustrate, Sumo, a traditional Japanese sport, is held every season thanks to resources donated by companies. In a year when a Sumo player was involved in a violent crime, no matches were held, resulting in a large deficit of funds.

In conclusion, I completely disagree with the opinion that top athletes are permitted to behave badly because their behavior may negatively influence the public behavior and sports industry itself.

Assessor’s comment: This response addresses both sides of the argument by exploring the reasons why some people think athletes are allowed to behave poorly as long as they play well, and the reasons why others think poor behavior has no excuse. This response deserves a high score for task achievement because of that. A good range of cohesive devices is used in this essay; that and the organisation of ideas makes it easy to follow. Sentence structures are varied and the vocabulary is quite rich, the author also showed good control of grammar and spelling. It is worth noting that this sample is longer than the recommended 260 – 285 words, however, this isn’t an issue provided the author can complete an essay of this length and quality in under 40 minutes. Overall this is a good example of a Band 8 essay.

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