India’s first Formula One racer Narain Karthikeyan has sparked off a debate that sportsmen should not indulge in showbiz so much so as to make it their priority over their sport. Karthikeyan, on his recent visit to the Capital, reacted when we asked him what he thinks about the London Olympics return contingent that is busy with glam events. Boxer Mary Kom is busy walking ramps and attending events since she’s returned, and shooter Vijay Kumar is showing interest in film offers.
Badminton bronze winner Saina Nehwal has also signed a Rs 40cr endorsement deal with a sports management firm, after making many social appearances.
“If you make that your priority then it’s really bad. You should remember that it’s only a small part of your life,” said Karthikeyan, 35. Former Test cricket team captain Bishan Singh Bedi agrees. “They deserve the attention. But, as Olympians, they are not supposed to show this kind of promotional indulgence. They are who they are because of the sport and they should not forget that,” he said.
Former Pakistan cricket team captain Imran Khan told us over the phone, “Too much glamour has always been an issue with cricketers but now it’s extending to other sports too. Making money is important but it should not get in the way of their performance.”
Showbiz-savvy pugilist Vijender Singh, however, defends: “I don’t think it hampers our focus. Both victory and glamour are important to reach out to the masses.”
too much show-sha already?
SAINA NEHWAL- Badminton champ
Has attended three private glamour events since her return.
The 22-year-old has also signed a R40cr endorsement deal with a sports firm.
VIJAY KUMAR- Shooter
The silver medallist recently revealed that he is being offered action roles in Bollywood, and says he is open to acting.
MARY KOM- Boxer
Has walked the ramp, attended high-profile parties with celebs such as Deepika Padukone and Raj Kundra, wants to act in her own biopic.