Atheltes As Role Models Essay Research Paper

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Atheltes As Role Models Essay, Research Paper In today s society, we are running out of good citizens for our children to look up to in a positive way. For many years, there have been many controversies surrounding the lifestyles of America s professional athletes. A great number of children love to play and watch sports every day. An interesting question that comes up frequently is should athletes be role models? For many years athletes have been role models, and I have trouble understanding why they should not be considered role models. Each day athletes get an enormous amount of attention on television and they have become the most popular and influential figures in the media today (Daulton). Athletes have a great work ethic, which is also a good influence on today s

youth. Young people see sports stars every day, and understand that they have what it takes to be successful. These are all good reasons why athletes should assume the position of role models. For many years, sports heroes have traditionally been role models for youths. Recently, athletes have been getting paid millions of dollars for their efforts, and their names and faces appear on everything from sneakers to billboards (Globus25). Their words are repeated and broadcast around the world. This was all brought to a new level when the professional basketball world came into contact with a man named Michael Jordan. Jordan, in the intense environment of professional basketball, does things that amaze everyone (”Michael” A28): “Many knowledgeable judges reckon he is the most

thrilling player to ever step foot onto the basketball court”. To be successful in athletics, people must have qualities such as perseverance, dedication and the ability to keep cool under pressure situations (Globus 25). Jordan has been successful due to all these qualities on and off the court. Jordan is intelligent, articulate, notable for good sportsmanship, and devoted to charitable work, all of which make him an excellent choice for a positive role model. Much controversy began in 1994, however, when professional basketball star Charles Barkley let the entire world know that he was not a role model (Edwards 32). He stated that what he does with his life is strictly his own business (Georgantas and Gilbert). Some people agree with Barkley, saying just because someone is an

exceptional athlete does not mean he or she is the perfect parent, friend or spokesman (Globus25): “Even rich, famous, and successful people get sick and face the same problems other people do. The also make mistakes. Separating an athlete s professional and personal life can be tough for everyone especially young people.” Many people are shocked by this statement, while others feel that sports figures should not have anymore social responsiblity than anyone else (Edwards 32). The reality is that Barkley may well have been speaking for an entire generation of athletes. These people have a good point that the main responsibility of athletes is to do well at their respective sports. They all must try to understand that children are easily impressed and are going to mimic what

they see and hear. Charles Barkley for instance saw himself as a child, like Julius Erving or Wilt Chamberlain. He must know how important they were to his dream and desire to be a basketball star; or maybe he just chooses not to accept it” (Georgantas and Gilbert). There are athletes committing serious crimes such as murder, rape, drug abuse and more. “Even the smallest off-color remark by a high profile athlete is likely to find its way into the sports column” (Edwards 32). Do we want our children to look up to people who cannot take control of their own lives? Maybe this was good advice by Barkley; perhaps we should choose someone else to fill the position. Many athletes have been shown to be positive role models. Many high profile athletes work hard at doing positive