27 September, 2020

'Colas Are Killing Local Drinks'

On why the no fuss, no fizz badminton star turned down a soft drink giant even though it meant kissing a lucrative contract goodbye.

'Colas Are Killing Local Drinks'
Pullela Gopichand is an unusual sportsman whose motto could well be—no fuss, no fizz. The Hyderabad-based reigning All England Badminton champion is refreshingly different from most other sports superstars who have no qualms about endorsing a product as long as it brings them a fat cheque. While some players do say no to liquor and cigarette commercials, few face moral dilemmas when it comes to aerated drinks.

Gopi, however, is an exception. This talented young man with old-fashioned values had no hesitation recently in turning down a soft drink giant even though it meant kissing a lucrative contract goodbye. Gopi says principles are more important to him than money. The five times national champion believes carbonated drinks are bad for health. So, he refuses to have anything to do with them. He didn't hesitate in turning down the offer even though badminton remains a relatively low-paying game both nationally and internationally.

The soft drink company had approached Gopi through his Chennai-based agents soon after he won the All England championship last year...


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