Refusing to shake hands with your opponent is deemed to be the rudest sporting behaviour according to a national study by pub company and brewer Greene King.
Almost half (47%) of UK sports fans feel that disrespecting your opponent in this way is the worst behaviour you can display in sport. Smashing a racket in tennis is also a notable pet peeve to many Brits (41%), while seeing tennis players argue with the umpire polled more than a third of the vote (36%).
Displaying good manners in sport is important to Brits, with almost a third (29%) believing that athletes should receive match bans if they display disrespectful behaviour in the sporting arena, more than any other type of punishment.
When it comes to respect on the pitch, male rugby players come out on top, with almost one in five (16%) of the UK citing them as the most respectful athletes, beating the likes of cricketers (12%) and footballers (11%).
To celebrate the start of the international rugby tournament in France, Greene King has teamed up with former England captain and 2003 World Cup winner Jason Robinson OBE, to talk about the importance of manners and respect in sport and wider society.
Jason Robinson OBE said:
“Whenever I took to the rugby field, it was always fiercely competitive but played with the highest level of respect towards your opponents and everyone involved.
“Although it’s important to display good manners on the field, it’s certainly even more important to do so off it. Treating those around you with respect should be the foundation for any social interaction, whether playing sport or ordering drinks in a pub – treat others how you’d want to be treated yourself.”
Manners mean everything to Brits, whether that’s saying please and thank you, saying sorry or being kind to others. In fact, almost four in five (79%) admit they’d look for this above any other characteristic when looking for a prospective partner.
When it comes to manners and behaviour in pubs, customers clicking their fingers at staff when ordering at the bar is seen as the rudest behaviour, with more than six in ten (61%) Brits believing this.
Jumping the queue is also highly resented (53%) while more than two in five (44%) think customers are at their rudest when they don’t say please and thank you.
Michelle West, Head of Sport Marketing for Greene King said:
“Having good manners and being polite and respectful are such important character traits to so many people across the UK whether in sport or in the pub.
We pride ourselves on offering our customers a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, whether they’re joining us for a drink with family and friends or tucking into great food while watching the game.”
“We can’t wait to welcome them into our pubs and get behind the home nations as they take to the world stage in France this autumn.”