Professional Athletes as Role Models

Topics: Professional sports, Basketball, Amateur sports Pages: 6 (2332 words) Published: December 12, 2007
Are Today's Professional Athletes Good Role Models?

Everyday today's youth are asked what they want to be when they grow up. Some say teachers, firemen, police officers and a large response to that question is a professional athlete. Something that all these professions have in common is that they are all role models to children. Firemen, teachers, police officers have an easy job at doing this; they are after all the people that save children, teach children and protect children. But professional athletes on the other hand have a difficult task assigned to them when it comes to being role models. Professional athletes are not given an option as to be a role model or not. Just because they have a special gift does not make them have to be looked up to. Professional athletes are not good role models because of the things they do off the court, the false identity they put on, and because of the fact that in a lot of instances they are just an image on TV.

A role model is a person who is looked up to by a younger person because that person sets good examples and is an ideal model of where a child should be later in life. Role models play a big part in everyone's life. For some they are a parent, some an older brother and like I said earlier some are firemen, policemen and teachers. Athletes are considered to be role models to many people across the world. Professional athletes are people who can do something athletic extremely better than any other person. They can run faster, throw harder, hit further and jump higher than anybody else. This is what makes them professionals. They don't save lives, protect people from harm or do things that really have a severe impact on people. Professional athletes are just people with better athletic ability than others. It is a job for them to perform on a daily basis, whatever skill they have. They don't get paid to be role models, they get paid to run fast, throw hard, hit far and jump high.

The issue at hand is whether or not being a professional athlete automatically makes them a role model. There are arguments for both sides. Some say they are considered to be role models because of all the hard work they put in and the payoff they get, and another reason people believe athletes are good role models is because of the things they do off the court which, helps people. This is an important issue because not all professional athletes are prepared to become role models and many young people look to them to be their role model.

Sheila Globus is a person who thinks Athletes are role models and good ones at that. In her essay "Athletes as Role Models" she claims that Athletes set good examples for the children of today. They do a lot of charity work, volunteer to help kids get better educated and other means of action which help kids. Another reason she says athletes make good role models is because they work hard and have a good work ethic. This is something that children can look up to and follow in the same paths. She refers to Jackie Robinson in her essay to show how all is hard work paid off and made him become the first African American to play the game baseball. This is just one of the examples Globus states in her essay which show why professional athletes make good role models.

Sheila Globus states in "Current Health 2" "Many high-profile players work hard to be positive role models to children. They raise money for charities and act as mentors, talking to student groups and volunteering their time to programs that help kids stay off drugs and stay in school".(25) There is no doubt that athletes do these things in their free time. I agree, but not all professional athletes do so. Some professional athletes do this but a majority of them are out partying and spending the millions of dollars they make in their free time. A good proportion of professional athletes don't want to waste their time helping out others when they have their own free time.

Globus's argument...

Cited: Brown, Ashley. "Are Players Role Models?" The Lantern 5 Dec. 2003: 3
Globus, Sheila. "Athletes as role models." Current Health 2 Feb. 1998: 25-27.
Malone, Karl. "One Role Model to Another" Sports Illustrated 14 June 1993: 84
Sailes, Gary. "Professional Athletes: Cultural Icons or Social Anomalies?" USA Today Sept. 2001: 57-59.
Temander, Rick. "The Wrong People for the Job." Sports Illustrated 23 Dec. 1991: 108.
Trovato, Peter. "Today 's Role Models Disappoint." Daily Collegian 6 November 2003: 75-76
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