Are Athletes Obligated to Being Role Models?
WHO’S RAISING YOUR CHILDREN? October 19, 2011 By: anonymous Michael Vick four times pro bowl, ESPY award best NFL player, in 2006 Michael Vick was the highest paid quarter back for the Atlanta Falcons. Vick was sentenced to jail for 23 months, for the funding of dog fighting, and numerous deaths of dogs, in his very own back yard. Ben Roethlisberger offensive rookie of the year, two time super bowl champion, pro bowl 2007, arguably one off, or the best quarterbacks in this century, recently beats his 3rd Rape charge. Javaris Crittenton a guard from the Washington wizards was charged with the shooting and death of young women Julian Jones.
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Athletes in today’s society are looked upon as heroes, idols, or role models for many people and young children. The general public believes athletes are “obligated” to being role models, because of their performance on specialized events, fame, and riches. But, what is a role model? Word net search states “it is someone worthy of imitation, and every child needs a role model. ” If this was the case people would highly disregard what some controversial athletes such as Michael Vick, Ben Roethlisberger, and Javaris Crittenton do off their field of profession.
Why should the public care about what athletes do off the cameras, if we only value them for how they perform on stage? Athletes are morally obligated to being role models, due to the fact kid’s look up to them as inspirations for exceling in their profession, they have countless times been faced with competition, and they continue to surpass and succeed. Kids feel if a certain athlete has made it in their sport, “I too can make it”. Athletes should take it more into consideration that they are always in the limelight; their actions will eventually be looked upon as being morally good or bad.
However When athletes make it to the big leagues there isn’t a contract or clause that states they have to be role models, therefore it’s not in the job description. They are realistically only liable for their productivity on the field, and what they do off is their own personal business, but how they contribute to communities and foundations will only brighten their image as a noble giving person. You cannot expect 18 year olds who go from less than 200 dollars one night to having over millions of dollars the next, to be completely mature in how they behave (LeBron James Nike contract 93 million prior to playing one game in the NBA).
The fact is they are still young and still lack that guidance, they will continue to do what most people their age do off the cameras (drink, club, women, gamble) and society can’t blame these athletes because unfortunately nobody’s perfect, and they do not sign a contract that forbids them from doing so, but by all means they will be held accountable for their actions and freedom if abused wrongfully. Being an Athlete myself, I know what it feels like to be looked upon by little kids; they set you to higher standards and expect positive things from you, on and off the court.
I feel like yes it is important for me to recognize when there are youth and to value their presence and act in a professional manner. But when I’m out with friends or home, whatever I do pertains to my own lifestyle and it will not change, this is how big time athletes look at it as well. Just because there’s a person who looks up to them, doesn’t mean they will change their lifestyle and actions. Studies have shown countless athletes in the NFL, NBA, and MLB have come from low income families, one parent homes, notorious cities, and known some of the most highly profiled gangs/members, drug dealers (ARNet).
Many of these athletes are affiliated with these types’ people on a regular basis today. Athletes in interviews often credit their struggles as youth and believe if they hadn’t of grownup up in these dangerous settings, they wouldn’t be who they are; as fierce competitors, they believe they are a product of their environment. With all this being said, the general public cannot be too judgmental, when athletes are in trouble with the law, because they personally do not know these athletes, and understand how they go upon their everyday lives, who they associate with and the people they face every day.
Society should only continue to judge an athlete by their performance not solely by their affiliations off the profession. Parents need to keep in mind they themselves are the prime role models in their youth’s lives, when children get in trouble athletes don’t get contacted it’s the parents that gets called first. Parents bare biological obligation from birth to be role models of their children. Children will only be idolizing athletes if they like the sport.
The public shouldn’t rush into conclusion when an athlete gets into trouble with the law, because that’s the athletes own personal life and has absolutely no effect on anyone else but themselves. Parent’s job is to raise their kids, and teach them what’s right or wrong not athletes; children imitate athletes’ game and try to incorporate it with their own to an extent. Retired basketball player Charles Barkley said it best in an old interview “I’m not a Role Model; just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids”
References http://www. politicolnews. com/roethlisberger-3rd-rape/ http://oudaily. com/news/2010/mar/24/column-idolize-athletes-athletic-prowess-not-perso/ http://academicpapers. info/social-issues/should-athletes-feel-morally-obligated-to-act-as-role-models-for-today-youth-and-why-or-how-might-these-athletes-not-be-capable-to-act-as-the-role-models-that-society-would-like-tem-to/ http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Michael_Vick http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Javaris_Crittenton http://www. americansc. org. uk/Online/walters. htm