In the recent months there has been a great deal of chatter about athletes being role models and how when they misbehave they are letting down the younger generation that looks up to them. This happens in college and professional sports all of the time and honestly I think that may be a big problem.
This past weekend in our hometown two rivalry colleges played one another…the game ended with trash talking, a push, a punch, a kick , a lot of suspensions and many people calling for the kids to lose their scholarships and be thrown in jail. Others claiming that this isn’t something that they want their children to model in their athletic endeavors and the talk goes on and on. Here’s my take…most college athletes don’t ask to be role models. They are given that title when they throw on the uniform. When entering college, the athletes are still kids. In big universities, their playing ability along with that of their teammates makes big bucks for the university, therefore allowing others to have scholarships of the academic kind. Like it or not, sports sells and academics don’t. There isn’t a Wii game that mimics scientists finding the cure for cancer and if you lose, many patients die…nope that wouldn’t sell. But Madden and NCAA games are found on most little boys Christmas lists and in their stash of games. We as parents let this happen. We let the kids look up to these athletes…they want to throw like Peyton Manning, tackle like Michael Oher, have miracle finishes rain down on them like Tim Tebow. But, why don’t they want to find the cure for cancer or diabetes…why can’t they speak of the person who created important vaccinations and use their names in everyday conversation? Why, well because in my very humble opinion our society is broken. But don’t hate the player, hate the game.
Pro-athletes make millions upon millions of dollars…it is kind of a crock if you ask me, but that’s the breaks. Their athletic ability has allowed them to perform on a professional level. It is their job, they have worked hard and it isn’t their job to be the sparkling person that Susie or Tommy aspires to be. Their job is just like any other, do your job and do it well. There aren’t many lawyers or doctors have their professional lives picked apart daily on Sports Center or the local news. But why are they role models? Why are our kids looking up to them? Why aren’t our kids grasping the idea of looking up to their parents and guardians; the people who feed them, cloth them, and take care of them? I am not sure of why, but it has something to do with societal values and morals. Set good examples for your kids and they won’t need other role models, in my humble opinion.