Last updated: March 19, 2019
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It seems that a day cannot go by without us either picking up a paper or listening to the evening news and there is a story surrounding a predominant athlete that has somehow gotten themselves in trouble with the law. These are the same people we glamorize night in and out on the stage in which they perform. Sport Center gives us all their individual accolades along with astonishing highlights. They’re obviously really good at what they do.

Should parents today recognize where appreciation for the athlete ends on the court or field, and tell their kids that these athletes should not be looked at as role models? A role model is defined as a person who serves as a model in a particular behavioral social role for another to emulate. Geoff Griffin says that: Athletes are there to play sports, nothing more nothing less. We can enjoy and envy all they do on the playing field but that’s where the idolization should stop. Parents and those that are close around one person are their true role models (Griffin).

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Good role models are ones that are leaders, have a great work ethic, and good morals for everyday things. Maybe society needs to enforce the idea that their children need to look up to other individuals and not put the burden on the athletes because it doesn’t look like they’re displaying the right things. A reporter on Chicagonow. com makes you really think by saying: The specifics behind the relentless parade of NFL behavior cases — illegal gun possession, drunk driving, and sexual harassment — are all serious issues in their own right.

Taken together they illustrate the underlying problem, which is that these players, regardless of background or circumstances, are a bunch of arrogant clowns who think they can do anything they want and get away with it (Chicagonow. com/blog). This really lays it out that athletes may in fact display exactly the opposite of being good role models, and these just states professionals in the National Football League!

A really big thing to keep in mind is how much people admire professional sports, and how almost every little thing that these players do are documented by the media for every kid to see and feel like it’s all right to do just because the athlete does it. “Many kids look beyond the homegrown – they’re aspiring to make something of their lives and turn to the athletes. Once we look to this realm of “famous” people, what choices have kids got” (Barzeski)?

Although at first you could easily make sense of this statement but if you really think about it there are plenty of other role models that kids can look at. What about teachers or doctors? Kids in society often times look at what profession is the easiest but in all reality don’t get that you have to work in life, and life is hard work for most working people. The next subject is athletes on the field of play because this is when they are really watched the most, and how they conduct themselves while playing says a lot about how they really conduct themselves everywhere else.

A big thing that spectators look at is the appearance of the athletes. If athletes were really trying to give out a good message would they have revealing tattoos all over there body for the world to see? “Over 70% of the NBA players have tattoo’s (Wiki. answers. com). ” As a lot of people know most professions do not except tattoos. They are a personal thing and these are fine to have if you are in a career that excepts it but what a lot of kids don’t get is most of them don’t end up making it to the pros.

A survey named “The Hartford Financial Game Plan Survey” said that “approximately less than 2 percent of basketball or football student athletes go pro. ” (Wiki. answers. com). A lot of time kids get tattoos at an early age because they want to be like there so called “role models”, but when it’s time for them to pick a career it in a lot of cases is going to make it a lot harder for them with tattoos. Kenyon Martin a Basketball player has lips tattooed on his neck. If you look around different high schools you will see different kids that don’t even play sports with these lips tattooed to their necks.

With an era ending with steroids and some athletes coming forward and those that still deny any allegations of use, is there any surprise that normal human beings may be tempted to use such a product given its benefits? The response of the sports community is that of outrage. Fans wonder why an athlete would compromise the whole sport when in actuality they should not have that burden on them. Athletes sometimes look at themselves first and the sport second. It’s might because they want to be the best at what they do for as long as possible, but isn’t that just the easy way out?

When congress called upon Major league players to a formal hearing in 2005 players such as Mark McGuire and Roger Clemens, denied such activity to save face in front of the whole nation and the world and hope they still had a place in the hall of fame (Pound). Some players came forward and admitted wrong doing, some half truths, others sobering confessions. It was like our perfect, delicate, virgin idea of the sport and athlete came crashing to the ground and landing in a million pieces. If you think about it all society talks about when they bring up steroids is how it benefits the player.

It sure seems like what is not being talked about enough are the negative consequences of steroids. Maybe society needs to have a mental shift in all of our thinking, not just young adults, about how these athletes should be perceived. Maybe we put to many high expectations on an athlete today that make it hard for them to live up to, and the parents could just be the role models. Athletes are looked up to so much around the world. You will even find older people looking up to athletes that are sometimes very immature. The athletes today are mere kids themselves.

For example, the average age of an NBA player for the 2007-2008 seasons was just under 27 years of age (Wiki. answers. com). This is a very impressionable age itself. NBA commissioner David Stern said, “You mimic behavior, good or bad, and what you see on televised games. Looks like Athletes may just need to accept that they are role models! ” (Rote/Pettigrew). The kids are looking at players actions on the court. Such as in a heated display by going into the crowd, like Ron Artest did on November 19, 2004 when the Detroit Pistons were playing the Indiana Pacers.

Shouldn’t Players have to control their emotions just like everyone else has to? This shows kids if there athletes they can get away with a lot more. So what about off the court? Are they any different than people in society? Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said that players in his league committed less crimes than males in society in General (Rote/Peddigrew). Even though in a book titled Pros and Cons: Criminals Who Play in the NFL. This book is by Jeff Benedict and Don Yeager. It says that “21 percent of NFL players have committed serious crimes (Benedict/Yeager)”.

The point is that these other people are not being looked at as role models like these athletes are. The crimes that these players commit vary from homicide to domestic violence. The list goes on. Shannon Sharpe a former Denver Broncos player is at one of the top spots for being chosen to go into the hall of fame which is a big deal. But at the same time he has past charges on him for an incident with his family. He physically moved his former wife from his house after her saying that she wasn’t going to go because her kids were there. The cops ended up coming and he got charged with simple battery, a misdemeanor (wiki. nswers. com). Whether it’s Shannon Sharpe or some rookie athlete, it shows that you really can’t count on all of them to display a good role model, do you think we should? Other than society putting pressure on these athletes could it also be that the leadership of leagues for which the players play in is also adding to this pressure? What really are the leagues motives? Do they just want athletes to be truly great role models for the young fans benefits or is it because they are trying to benefit themselves by displaying a good image?

Part of the image that they are trying to display is them reaching out to the community and helping others in various ways. What is not known, this is included in their contracts when they first sign them. Part of the reason that we know that the different leagues are just trying to protect their image and not actually trying to make these players into good role models is this sort of thing. You never see replays or any footage of when the athletes are getting in trouble with the law.

On the other hand most professional games that you watch has different types of commercials presenting these athletes cleaning up there community or spending time with needy kids. Even though the media shows the private and public lives of these professional athletes, looks like the things that they show are the things that want us to see. It’s not just that athletes don’t try to conduct themselves in a good manner because a lot of the time they do, but a lot of the time society looks at these athletes and think because of the money aspect that if they follow the players ways they will be more like them.

Really the professional athlete field requires natural, unique talent that most people do not have. Shouldn’t Society really be looking at different types of role models? What about Role models such as doctors where you don’t need so much unique skill but the right attitude and the brains to be successful? Having the right work ethic is one thing, but in this case professional athletes not only need to have a good work ethic but certain skills that not everyone has. Society since the early ages have always had people do what they are naturally good at such as the hunting and gathering era where they had men hunt and women collect food.

Shouldn’t society be realistic and fallow patterns that have always benefited them? If they were doing that they would need to be showing kids that they should be going after whatever the kid’s natural skills are and showing that whatever career they go after they have to have the right morals and ethics to do well in their professions. For example, in an interview that people from all over watch and lots of time laugh at is Allen Iverson a franchise basketball player stating the words practice isn’t important over and over again. Then he goes on to say that he’s too good for it and he only needs to be there for the games.

Now this shows the kids the opposite of what is really right because most people in any type of career had to practice really hard to get good at what they do, and that the reason why they have that career in the first place is their good morals. Athletes according to society are suppose to be very motivational, but a lot of the time they end up getting into parting, being lazy, or just doing what they want. Is this the right way of showing how to succeed at something? Carmelo Anthony a superstar NBA player that kids from all around the world look up has broken different types of laws multiple times throughout his career for everyone to see.

An example is on April 14, 2008. He decided to drive while he was under the influence of alcohol. He does admit his wrong doing, but that doesn’t substitute or really make up for what he did, and because he is an athlete he got off a lot easier than a lot of people. LaLa, Carmelo’s fiance quoted, “She was willing to pick him up, but the officers said they would drive him to her” (Wiki. answers. com). Normally the rules in any DUI for any other man would be that he would have to stay in jail for the night. This shows society that they can do such things as this and have no repercussions.

Doesn’t he display poor motivation to the kids, considering he would just have to miss games and pay fines which really don’t affect him? He has plenty of money and obviously doesn’t really care about missing games for his teammates or he wouldn’t have made the mistake in the first place. Where has athletes morals gone these days? It’s crazy what some of these superstar athletes value as fun, when really a lot of the “fun” they are having is just not the right things to do. These actions are far from normal or okay to do and kids can’t always see that.

For instance, Michael Vick a superstar quarterback has so called “fun” in a very cruel way. He and his friends bet on dog fights and actually killed little pit bull dogs. Investigators came to his house and found several dead pit bulls. Michael Vick got suspended from the league and had to go to jail for 2 years. Another example of an athlete getting out of line that people have probably gotten tired of hearing about is Kobe Bryant. He is a basketball player that is looked at as one of the greatest, but looks can really be deceiving.

Bryant was arrested and taken to court for alleged sexual assault, the only people that know if it’s really true is him and the person who accused him, but ether way we know he’s a cheater and is still being looked at as one of the greatest. Both of these athletes are starting and making millions still! So are athletes forgiven because of their talents even though they break laws and behave poorly? These little instances show the morals of a lot of these superstar athletes are way off, and these are just few as there seems to be a new incident with an athlete every week.

Speaking of recent things that have happened that may make you think is Brett Favre, one of the most influential quarterbacks that is playing in the National Football League has been accused at the beginning of October, 2010 for sending sexual pictures to people. David Solar says: Not only is Favre dealing with ankle problems and tendinitis in his throwing shoulder, but he is also facing potential disciplinary charges based on his alleged harassment of former Jets employee Jenn Sterger (Solar). Society’s norms are far from something so provocative such as this.

Should kids here about things like this from someone who is so respected? As it looks Brett Favre just might be able to slip away with this one just as many other athletes have done when they are in any type of legal trouble. David Solar then goes on to say: In another interesting turn, Pro Football Talk speculated that Sterger and Favre had reached a financial agreement to silence these claims that Favre was “sexting” the 26-year-old Sterger. This makes sense on many levels as neither Sterger nor Favre have said a word about the allegations since Deadspin posted the story (Solar).

Does it sound true to you? Who really knows but what it really comes down to is athletes putting themselves in situations like this. It seems society takes these sort of things in and accepts them as norms after a while because of how powerful athletes are and how much people look up to them. So what should people in society look for in a role model? Is it being wealthy or prestige’s, or will this just fog up what’s truly important to look at when looking up to somebody in society? Cheryl Weldon a psychologist says that: All of us have a role model; though not necessarily a positive one.

We intentionally or subconsciously try to follow the behavior of our role models whether or not our actual traits match up with our role models’ (Weldon). It looks like people aren’t as aware as they really think they are about what kind of role models they really have, and how they fallow they’re role models steps purposely or really not even knowing. A recent survey of over 1,000 teens conducted by “The American Bible Society” found out certain things kids consciously think about when finding the best traits in a role model. “22. 3% of all teens said honesty is the most important trait for a role model. 6. 1% of girls said loyalty is an important quality while only 63. 8% of boys agree” (Weldon). ” From all the evidence thus far in this paper, is these professional superstars really supporting honesty, and loyalty for society to see? These athletes no doubt are amazing at what they do, and people no matter what are going to examine these athletes from year to year. Maybe people just need to think twice and take a look at other types of role models. Athletes although good at what they do seem to have negative attributes. At the same time are still role models to so many kids around the world.