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Athletes This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Athletes

by A. K., Westford, MA

I am very disappointed in the American job system. I cannot believe that athletes are paid millions of dollars to have fun while fire fighters who risk their lives every day get paid next to nothing. I think this should be rethought.

Some athletes squander their money on expensive cars, houses, electronic equipment, and sometimes illegal things such as drugs. If they are getting paid so much they could at least act responsibly and realize that they are role models to children. Thousands of young kids and teenagers look up to these athletes. The next day their idol's picture is on the front page of the newspaper for crimes such as rape and drug abuse. There are many classic examples of this. Mike Tyson, heavyweight champion of the world, was convicted of rape. Imagine the person you looked up to being convicted of such a disgusting crime. Then there's our own Celtic's player, Robert Parish, who was caught with drugs. Some young fans might get the wrong idea and think, "Hey, if he did it and everyone likes him, why can't I?" It's very important that we let children know this is wrong.

I don't want to sound like I think all athletes are a bad influence. Some do commercials telling kids that drugs are wrong. We just have to hope that they truly believe this. Others donate money to charities and visit sick and needy children. Michael Jordan is probably the most respected athlete by kids. He spends time with kids and helps them to realize that drugs ruin your life. Patrick Ewing, center for the New York Knicks, starred in numerous commercials with a "Stay in School" theme. Mo Vaughn, a Red Sox first baseman, recently hit a homer for a young boy with cancer at Children's Hospital. That was probably the best present that boy could have received. Mo Vaughn continually gets involved with community issues. Living in Boston, I am very fortunate to have athletes who do their part for our community.

Though some sports figures are super role models for our kids, I think it would be more beneficial for children to look up to doctors, fire fighters, etc. There is a shortage of competent workers for such needed jobs, yet there is never a shortage of professional sports athletes. By having kids look up to these extraordinary people, more children will want to become involved to help people in our community.

I understand that there is not enough money available to pay these miracle workers more. But they certainly deserve more recognition than they currently receive.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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sophie said...
Nov. 22, 2008 at 12:20 am
ok. here is what i think. the fire fighters DO get recognition! honestly. its not like the fire fighters are being forced, they think saving lives is FUN! okay? also don't even start criticizing the ATHLETES!!!! its the actors, and celebs. everyone is doing what they love!!! okay? sorry
 
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