“I am not a role model.” This statement was made by Charles Barkley, some years ago. Not only talking about himself, but athletes in general. I, respectfully disagree on that statement. Athletes have always, and will continue to be looked up to, and put on a pedestal.
Signing that multimillion dollar deal
For every athlete that signs a huge money deal, there is a kid with their poster on his wall, their jersey on his back, and their shoes on his feet. At the apex of Michael Jordan’s career, everyone wanted to “Be like Mike.” Kids went out and bought his Air Jordan’s and whatever they could purchase to dress like Mike. They even tried to dunk like Mike.
Athletes are looked up to by the youth
Due to large money deals being paid to athletes, being pro is the way to go. So many of our children and young people look up to these athletes as heroes, therefore, the athletes have an obligation to set a good example by refraining from bad behavior and using drugs. Responsibility comes with fame and money.
Limelight and attention
Without an audience a professional athlete is nothing. He doesn’t perform for himself since he earns his living and respect by his actions and attitudes. Therefore it is his duty to control his actions and attitudes. As a professional athlete enjoys much attention from his supporters and fans; it is both moral and professional for him to uphold his conduct in public and act as a role model for the general public.
Importance of professionalism
Maintaining professionalism should be the responsibility of all professional athletes. It is a key component to the position of a role model. It is very important for them to act appropriately and be good role models because they are role models to many people, especially kids. Professional athletes are looked upon by kids who sometimes want to grow up to play sports as well. If a pro player acts unprofessional and badly, the kids could think it’s cool or okay to do so, when it’s not.
Moreover, there are a good number of pro athletes that perform well in their sport and possess the right human qualities needed to be role models. Sadly, their noteworthy charitable works coupled with their honorable human conduct are oftentimes ignored by the mass media.