Rory McIlroy was brutally honest when asked about his decision to withdraw from the 2016 Rio Olympics and some people are not happy about it.
If you haven’t seen or heard it already, this was Rory’s response when asked about the Olympics during The Open press conference in Scotland: “I didn’t get into golf to try and grow the game. I got into golf to win major championships. I get that I have a responsibility to the game. But at the same time I got into golf to win. I didn’t get into golf to get other people into the game.”
After this statement, he added a jab at the whole idea of having golf in the games at all: “I’m very happy with the decision I made. I have no regrets. I’ll probably watch the Olympics. But I’m not sure golf will be one of the events I watch.”
One person in particular, golf analyst Brandel Chamblee, made his own statement about how he felt after hearing what McIlroy had to say.
“I think it’s likely that, at the end of his career, he’ll regret that moment more than any other moment in the history of his career,” Chamblee said. “It is an insult to everyone who goes and plays in the Olympics.”
He goes on to basically say that Rory used the Zika virus as an excuse when he first withdrew and with this statement has shown his true colors.
“Initially, when he choose not to do that (play in the Olympics) he cited the Zika virus, but in effect today, he said I’m not going, I’m not playing, I’m not watching because it doesn’t matter,” Chamblee said. “That is an insult to everybody that has spent time to further this game for its inclusion in the Olympics.”
I can’t say that I disagree with Chamblee. No matter how Rory feels about his decision, people took the time and considerable effort to try and get golf back into the Olympics. And although they succeeded in doing so, their efforts have been for not with all of this back lash coming from the professionals themselves.
Whether you think golf should be in the Olympics or not, they are. That’s the reality and the reality is the professional golfers have been using the Zika virus as a scapegoat to withdraw. The schedule should have been better organized to focus on the games but it wasn’t and the pro’s have known about this for years now. Take the time and represent your sport and your country as an athlete and as a golfer.
It’s a shame that Rory feels the need to focus solely on his own triumph rather than the triumph of the sport as a whole.