The problem being athletes portraying themselves as something they are not, possibly taking support and recognition away from others. Noa Deutsch has already commented on this and her post is a much more concise and well written version of my opinion. I highly recommend reading her post.
I would simply like to say that during my short time in triathlon I have had the opportunity to train with (and around) athletes that embody the pure ideals that athletics strive to instill within society. Whether they are Pro, elite, or age-grouper, they show up to training and work hard everyday because it is what they love to do. They set goals that are realistic (although sometimes lofty ;) for them and take pride in reaching them. When not racing they take pride in sanding on the side lines and cheering their training partners, finding joy in seeing their friends succeed.
As a grassroots athlete that has received a lot of support (see my wonderful sponsors) my issue is not with "lower" level athletes receiving support. There are many athletes that get support because of the work they do in their community, and there are many companies that have grassroots programs. I take issue when an athlete misrepresents himself to his sponsors and community at large. When someone make false claims it not only discredits themselves, but damages the sport as a whole.
I can only hope that hard work, honesty, and integrity will win out in the end and people that deserve support are not hurt by the dishonesty of others.
I have dedicated my life to sport education because I believe it is the best way to teach the values that society builds upon. Thank you to all the fantastic athletes that continue to present themselves in a manner that makes me proud to be involved in sport (even in my small way)!