So, what really is considered a role model? According to the Webster dictionary, a role model is a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people (Collins). Growing up one of my main role models was my mother. She was, as still is someone who is a hard worker, raised four kids while in school and working two jobs. She is someone who sacrificed so much just to give her kids everything and that is what I consider a role model in my eyes.
In the 2009 Nike Air commercial, ex NBA star Charles Barkley quoted, “I am not a role, I don’t get paid to be a role model.. ” (White,1994), which sparked a huge controversy with many sports fans. He believed that just simply putting a ball through a hoop does not make him a role model, which I agree. Majority of these athletes today don’t even have a college degree and some can barely read so why should they be a role models? If an athlete is going to be a role model at least be able have a education so that you can teach younger kids that education and knowledge is the key to success in this world today.
An athlete’s job is simply to entertain you, that’s all. “Athletes get paid to beat opponents; athletes don’t get paid to be paradigms of morality. ”, (Greenberg, 2013). Today’s society has place athletes on such a high pedestal to display how great they are as a person and some athletes are not able to obtain that “role model” image. The types of people that do deserve the recognition of a “role model” are parents, family members, teachers, doctors, surgeons, coaches, firefighters, police man, preachers and so on.
Police officers and firefighters put their lives on the line everyday to make our communities safe, get criminals off the streets, rescue up in the time of need and protect us at all times-that is example what a role model is to me. Every few months we hear about an athlete doing drugs, raping young girls, breaking the law, abusing women and so on from the NBA, NHL, NFL to soccer. That does not go from all athletes but if you look at the recent events that has happened over the last few years, majority of them are doing these horrific things.
Take Ray Rice for example, in 2014 he was caught on video knocking his wife out unconscious in a elevator and dragging her body in the hotel lobby where they were staying. For six years of boy that looks up to Ray Rice, how do you explain those horrible events? Same thing goes for a countless number of players from Mike Vick’s dog fighting scandal, Aaron Hernadaz gang related killings, Greg Odens domestic violence behavior with his now ex-girlfriend and Gibert Arenas gun conviction. How do you explain these graphic behaviors to the younger kids that look up to these athletes and consider them a “role model”?
It’s complicated because the media builds athletes into the good guy/role model person. One day they’re the hero on the court or field and the next day they can they’re name can be slandered into pieces. These athletes are no role models. There are many other great honorable, courageous, smart, positive, influential, impactful people that deserve the title of a role model. There are plenty of talented and amazing athletes on and of court but they should not be considered role models.
All athletes are not perfect, they get paid to beat the opposing team, score points and make goals but not A person’s main role model should be there parents or either teachers, coaches and pastors are people who deserve the recognition of a role model. Role models are people that can come into your life spiritually, mentally and emotionally and can change your life for the better. Winning a ring or celebrating a game winner does not make a one simply a role model but someone you can admire and who can make you a better you is a role model.