An Expectation of Athletes?

June 8, 2008
By
Athletes that perform their athletic skills at a highly competitive level are subject to the utmost criticism, like any public figure. The characteristics that make these individuals perform on the field are not necessarily ideal qualities off the field. Along with newfound fame comes temptation. The media has a knack for exploiting these wrong doings, constantly showcasing athletes’ lives at every wrong turn. However, in reality these athletes are just like everyone else, we can all make mistakes, and we shouldn’t expect more out of them.

At every school there are positive role models who represent their school. Those students don’t always make the best decisions, and at times can ruin their image in an instant. Take one school for instance, where all names were changed to protect those individuals…

Marley athletics, known for its high academic standards and outstanding athletes, produced another state contending tennis team. Capping off the district with a nice 9-0 win, Marley was rightfully seeded number one in the state. As the team approached Regionals they encountered more high level players, but nothing they couldn’t handle. The boys squeezed through in an intense 5-4 win that led them on the road to Blacksburg, VA to compete for the State AA tennis championship. Stalworth Bravington, Marley’s number one singles player, was an outstanding player, and was always a sure win for the Mavericks. However, when news broke about his DUI, the coach had no choice but to abide by school policy, and pull him from the line up. This came as a shock to many, since it was the State finals, and the number one player was suspended. A state title that the team had once counted on was slowly slipping from their grips. The coach had no choice but to place their number six singles player into the number one position. The Mavericks knew that they must step up their game; however it was not enough when their efforts fell short in a 3-6 defeat. In tears Bravington finally realized that his inconsiderate and stupid actions had cost his whole team a state championship.

Bravington was not asking to be a role model, but being the number one seed on his team left him with the responsibilities of being a leader. Society cannot expect him to be infallible, but he needed to realize he had to set a good example. His DUI charges were exposed the day before the State Finals, and he couldn’t do anything but sit and watch his, as well as his teams’ hard work go down the drain. Bravington became a reverse role model for his school system; being number one does not exclude anyone from the consequences of his or her own actions. The spotlight of fame can showcase positive as well as negative performance and unfortunately for this young athlete his fame is now tainted by the DUI incident.





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