Who Should be a Role Model

April 13, 2011
By Anonymous

Throughout history many people have looked up to athletes as role models. Sports stars are ordinary people too and try to show good qualities on and off the camera. Many of us don’t know their personal and off-camera life which is why many people don’t want their children to look up to athletes as role models. Lots of young athletes choose athletes as role models and look up to them. Athletes have a responsibility to show good behavior to act as role models for younger athletes. There are positive role models in athletes, but children just have to pick the right one. Athletes are going to be role models whether they like it or not. Young athletes will always look up to them and it’s their responsibility to show good qualities and fair play on the field or court. Athletes motivate kids and teenagers to grow up to be or play like them. Like Mickey Mantle said, who had an alcohol problem, “Play like me; don’t be like me.” He didn’t want fans to look up to him to be an alcoholic, just to be a great baseball player.

Athletes are real people like everyone else. Parents should permit their children to choose athletes as their role models because some athletes have all of the qualities of a good role model. Although they appear like “heroes” with their athletic ability, they make mistakes and some aren’t good role models. I understand athletes like Tiger Woods or Michael Vick did make mistakes, but there are good athlete role models like Derek Jeter or Michelle Kwan. A role model is someone who you look up to or admire a lot. Some athletes like Kwan have qualities that good role models should have. Jacques Rogge once said, “Athletes, you are role models and your achievements both on and off the field of play will inspire and motivate the future generations. Please compete in a spirit of fair play, mutual understanding and respect, and above all, please refuse doping.” Athletes will continue to be role models and should provide good examples for young athletes even if they don’t like it. Good athletes illustrate good sportsmanship and fairness on their field or court and show good qualities for younger kids watching.

A lot of great athletes try hard to be positive role models for children. Players like Peyton Manning or Alex Ovechkin try not to commit crimes and keep their profile clean to be role models for children. Some athletes raise money or volunteer their time for charity to help kids or programs. Younger children want to be like athletes because they deal with challenges that an average person can’t normally do. They educate us that success comes with exercise, hard work and determination. But, even the best players in sports still have their flaws. When an athlete commits a crime or face problems in their private life, fans are let down and disappointed. Fans shouldn’t look up to a player just because of his skills, they should see if the athlete has qualities to be a good role model and see if you can learn things from them. Sports stars should be role models, but not all of them. When choosing a role model, you don’t have to attempt and be exactly like that person. It’s ok if you want to look up for a sports star for their skills, but you can also learn from their mistakes that they make and learn not to make them. Former NBA star, Charles Barkley told everyone on TV that “I am not a role model.” He could’ve said this because he spit in the face of a nine-year old girl during a game. Parents should take responsibility and if a child wants to look up to an athletes, parents must make sure that they have good qualities and not get in trouble with the law.

Even though there might be some good athletic role models, there are also bad role models like Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire. Athletes who create crimes or take steroids aren’t good role models for kids. Some parents will agree that because of these “bad” athletes, children shouldn’t be allowed to look up to athletes. The parents could possibly be looking at the wrong athlete. Olympic athletes and competitors should be role models to kids; every kid should want to be in the Olympics. Kids should have role models, but parents want to be the person that they look up to, not some over-paid athlete. But, kids should be able to look up to athletes like Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in 1947. Or some swimmers could look up to Gertrude Ederle who swam the English Channel, breaking a record with 14 hours and 31 minutes in 1926. Kids should run track should look u to Jesse Owens for his achievements in 1935 and his gold medals in the 1936 Olympics. Kids should look up to great athletes who break or complete great achievements and not over paid steroid users.
Athletes will always be role models if they like it or not. Some athletes try to be role models and show good qualities, but some don’t care and don’t try to be role models. Usually when a player does something bad, their fans are often disappointed and it shows that he/she shouldn’t be a role model. Athletes aren’t superheroes, but people make athletes look like “heroes.” They are people too and just because they can hit a homerun 400 feet doesn’t imply they are a role model. “Student athletes are role models for youth and the local community. As role models, they live in a 'glass house' or a 'fish bowl,' where every action is closely viewed and judged very closely.” Professional athletes aren’t the only athletes who should be a role model. As Crissy Schluep said, student athletes should also try to be role models. There are good athletic role models, but people just have to choose the right athlete to admire.

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