An Associated Press report this week reported that one of the UK's top soccer players was removed from a nationwide school soccer promotion because of his swearing at referees.
Wayne Rooney, a 19 year old who came to the spotlight at last years European championships with a world class display, has been dropped from appearing as the star guest at the under 13 semi-final for the Coca-Cola Cup due to be held next week.
A spokesperson said "we just feel there are better role models at the moment for schools football. Secondly, we see a lot of bad behaviour these days on the field and we just feel it's not a good example for all these young school children out there."
Rooney has been shown swearing repeatedly at referees during televised matches.
The spokesperson went on "That has been seen by millions of children on the TV and there is no excuse for that. There's no doubt his skill as a player but there's also no doubt about some of his antics on the field and we should explain to children why we don't like that.
The very young ones especially will copy him but at the end of the day somebody has to make a stand about the current behaviour on the field"
This follows a recent incident where two team mates in the UK fought with each other and were both ejected from the game.
I am not naive enough to know there will suddenly be an end to swearing by sports professionals in the heat of a game at officials, but players who set themselves up as icons to youth in any sport have to expect some kind of backlash if their behaviour exceeds the 'accepted' norm.
We have seen corporate sponsors before withdraw support from celebrities who 'overstep' the mark, but it would be great to see more celebrities be responsible and set better examples and for more of their peers to speak out.
For your own personal brand remember that anything you do in the public eye – good or bad – can reflect back on your brand and even a momentary lapse of judgment can come back to haunt you later, especially with the growth of people using the internet to check your history.
Coca-Cola currently still maintains its endorsement contract with Wayne Rooney.