Professional Athletes as Role Models

2343 words 10 pages
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
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Another reason why athletes should not be considered role models is because they put on a false identity. Ashley Brown in her essay "Are Players Role Models?" from the Ohio State U-Wire states "Although the media reports both the public and private lives of professional athletes, what we learn about those athletes is for the most part what they want us to learn. With some obvious exceptions –Dennis Rodman and Mike Tyson – most players attempt to portray themselves in a positive light when in public."(3) I agree with her on this claim. People really don't know what a professional athlete is like when they are not in the camera. We shouldn't have children admiring someone who puts on a phony face for everyone else. A role model is someone that is looked up to at all times, not just when they are in the public eye for doing some good deed. Another claim as to why athletes make bad role models is because what they do is a job and has no significance whatsoever on a child. A child may have a favorite player on the field or court but what they do there has nothing to do with being a good role model. A professional athlete might show the child how to hit a baseball better or throw a ball further but according to Rick Telander "The Wrong People For The Job" in Sports Illustrated "None of an athletes skills have much value away from the playing venue."(108) He is absolutely correct. Why does a professional athlete have to be


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