Athletes as Role Models

Topics: Professional sports, Sportsperson, Amateur sports Pages: 6 (2445 words) Published: December 7, 2010
Athletes good or bad role models?

Professional athletes in American sports play a large part in the views of a good role model. Many children and young athletes look up to them as Heroes in our society. There may be numerous reasons that prove professional athletes can be true idols, but more evidence corrupting the idea of heroic athletes. Athletes are good at what they do; they work hard in order to make it in the big leagues. Working hard to get what you want is something to look up to. Though it is they taking advantage of that fame and money they obtain that is questionable towards being a role model. For example Pete Rose bid against his own team, gambling on his game for the other team to win. He is supposed to be someone kids idolize; this is nothing to be proud of. No one wants their child to admire someone who lies and cheats the system while betraying others that trust him. Also the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League have had several players get arrested during the course of last season” (Professional athletes: role models for good or evil?). Not something that today’s youth should be hearing about their role models. These athletes have a rather divine lifestyle; with the money they are paid for making it to the professional level. There are many children, especially those from underprivileged neighborhoods, who wish to become famous wealthy athletes when they are older. (Professional athletes: role models for good or evil?). What is sad about that is they aren’t playing because the love the game but for what comes with it all. Americas Professional Athletes are poor role models for our youth, society is overlooking their bad behavior, their crimes committed and misguided fame because of who they are.

With all the media of some athletes misbehaving or breaking the law comes up the question of whether they actually are good role models for these kids. There have been many stories of athletes getting in trouble with the law. Baseball players, for example, are using steroids including star players Barry Bonds, McGwire and Sosa. Is this what mothers really want their little athletes to learn? That it’s okay to do whatever needed in order to get ahead in life? Lying, cheating and hurting themselves on top of breaking the rules in order to succeed in something whether its sports or not isn’t healthy for anyone to do. High school athletes more and more each year are choosing to follow the professional athlete’s example they have given students. This is creating an all time high for high school students with steroid use. “A 2004 national survey reported that 3.5% of high school seniors reported using steroids, an increase from the 2.1% back in 1991.” (Athletes Shouldn’t Be Role Models). That seniors only, so imagine adding the other grades into the factor. These athletes who live under the influence of the law have a bad influence on these students. Children as well look up to professional athletes as a guide for themselves in the sporting world.

Not only do many athletes lie and cheat in the games by using steroids some also cheat the system by breaking the law. There are a few star players that should have a record but because of who they are they get off with a slap on the wrist. For example recently a member of the Bronco’s team was pulled over for speeding. Al Axford, the police officer who pulled him over, said he saw that he was intoxicated while driving and should’ve been sent to the hospital and gotten arrested. He didn’t though because of whom he was to society. A week later he got pulled over again for the same reasons. This time he got let off with a fine. Young athletes should not be taught that if you have a lot of money and are famous you could get away with anything. Another sport star getting off lightly with seriously breaking the law is DeShawn Stevenson. In the year 2001 he raped a 14-year-old girl only getting put on probation. His probation consisted of giving...

Cited: Axford, Al. Personal Interview. 20 February 2010.
Fox News. “Sports.” 22 Aug. 2007. 21 Feb. 2010 .
James S Michael. Zeimer, Tracy. “ABC News: Are Youth Athletes Becoming Bad Sports?” ABC News: Online news, breaking news, feature stories and more. 20 Aug. 2000. 21 Feb. 2010 .
Las Angeles Times. “Michael Phelps suspended 3 months by USA Swimming - Los Angeles Times.” Los Angeles Times - News from Los Angeles, California and the World. 6 Feb. 2009. 01 March. 2010 .
Longuevan, Sandra. Personal Interview. 12 March 2009.
McCarthy, Michael. Athletes lightly punished after their day in court. 4 May 2006. 28 Feb. 2010 .
Mojtabai, Farzin. Athletes shouldn’t be role models. 10 May 2006. 01 March. 2010 .
Robertson, Ryan. “Professional athletes: role models for good or evil? | The Auburn Plainsman.” The Auburn Plainsman | A spirit that is not afraid. 31 Jan. 2007. 28 Feb. 2010
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