Spoiled Sports?

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Before the U.S. Olympic team left off for Athens, members got some last minute coaching on how to win with grace. Team America understands that the last thing international viewers want to see is the ugly American celebrating victory with chest thumping and finger pointing. Then there’s the money. U.S. athletes thrill for victory, but the sponsorship payoff behind the gold medal is equally inspiring; like the $1,000,000 bonus offered to the swimmer Michael Phelps by his sponsor Speedo if he won seven gold medals.

Has sportsmanship taken a back seat to sponsorship?


Kathryn Jay, author of “More Than Just Game: Sports in American Life Since 1945,” and Director of American Studies at Barnard College

Allen Barra, author of “Brushbacks and Knockdowns: The Greatest Baseball Debates of Two Centuries,” and regular contributor for the Wall Street Journal

King Kaufman, Sports Columnist for Salon.com

Jim Caple, Senior Writer for ESPN.com.