Thursday, March 7, 2013
Athletes are Role Models
Pro sports are extremely popular in America; however, nothing can compare to the popularity of many of the top professional athletes. These athletes are put on a pedestal and admired by many people especially young children. This unquestioning adoration can be both good and bad as some athletes are great role models while others serve as examples of all that is wrong in American society. The question for debate: Are pro athletes role models?
Not my job! Some athletes would argue that their job is on the field or court; they are not paid to be a role model. Charles Barkley, retired NBA All-Star, has said repeatedly that he is not a role model. He believes that being a role model is for parents, priest, and teachers. Michael Vick, former NFL quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, was considered by many in the league to be a selfish player. Yet, kids idolized his swagger and his #7 jersey became very popular. It turns out that he was a poor role model as he served time in prison for his dog fighting ring.
Admiration & respect comes with the territory! A role model is someone that people look up to and want to emulate. As an athlete, serving as a good role model is simply part of the job. Playing sports does not give an athlete the right to act like an idiot on (or off) the field of play. If anything, athletes must be on-point in their actions and words at all times. The youth of today need positive male and female athletes to hold in the highest regard. Athletes need to understand it is a privilege to play sports. Thousands of people pay to watch them play and the least they can do is have great character and display solid sportsmanship. It takes everyone to build a positive society and athletes are role models whether they want to be or not. Michael Vick realized this during his in prison and changed his image. He is now a great teammate and leader both on and off the field. But most importantly, kids respect him for his accomplishments and are still wearing his #7 jersey.