Are athletes role models? That’s the big question that a lot of people try to answer. Athletes do a lot of extraordinary things in their sport. High flying dunks, coast to coast rushes down the ice for a spectacular goal, and amazing bending free kicks from 40 yards out. This can be why they are idols to a lot of kids. Kids idolize Lebron James because of what he can do on the court. Though he can also be a role model to people of all ages what he does off it. Yes, there are many athletes that have done very unacceptable and horrendous crimes and acts. Though this should not overshadow what many athletes do outside of their profession or even inside of it. They should be considered role models.
Sports can be a way out of bad places for many kids growing up. Being in a bad situation, living in a rough neighbourhood, or just not having the right mindset. Having good role models in a sport can help lead kids into it. Many start playing a sport from following in the footsteps of an athlete they idolize. In the mid 2000’s, Sidney Crosby influenced so many kids to lace up the skates and play. Sid is an incredible role model. His whole career no things negative about him have arose that have impacted him as a person. He has stayed out of the public eye and shown hard work and dedication to the sport. This can show kids to not only work hard in sports but life in general. Showing that hard work can get you to whatever your dreams are. Players stories can inspire people that are in a bad place. You see it all the time of players growing up in a small trailer to making it to the NFL (Jarvis Landry). To have players like this to follow can set the right tone for kids.
In the media you see stories all the time of players doing bad things and making bad decisions. This can be looked at players shouldn’t be idolized by people. The perspective that should be looked at is it teaches people on how you shouldn’t be acting at your job and outside of it. Especially in the NFL there are a lot of situations that are brought up where domestic abuse has occurred. Just recent A video of Kareem Hunt (Former RB of the Kansas City Chiefs). It shows him confront a woman, pushing her and kicking at her while being heled back. This happening while being intoxicated (Belson, Nov. 30, 2018). This whole situation showing kids how you shouldn’t treat women and the consequences of it. He has since been released from his organization and most likely won’t be picked up by any other teams. This is no different then what would happen to someone at their workplace. They would be fired from their position and would be hard to get another job. As much as people want to say that athletes aren’t role models. This can be looked at as its showing kids what not to do, in their life and allowing them to follow other players that have a positive impact. The media portrays all these incidents in the right way that, they are always bad. Showcasing that it is not acceptable at all. So, with this happening every kid thinks they are the “bad guy” and their favourite player may be someone like Crosby that shows exceptional leadership and hard work. The whole point of this paragraph was to show that even though there are negatives that happen, it allows kids to learn from it. As well they are learning important qualities through the role models in sports that they follow. The players with a positive impact are shown so well that they make every kid want to be looked at that way, while disgracing the people that make bad decisions.
There are so many things that athletes do outside of sports or in them that get recognized. Small things that always show a very positive impact. While Donovan Mitchell was out at the apple store he overheard that a man didn’t have enough money for his phone to be repaired (who was slow in development, said by his brother in a tweet he posted about it). So, he covered the cost for him. This is something that says great about someone’s character as many people and athletes would just ignore it and not think twice about doing it. A big thing about it as well is that he did it without having any cameras around him and didn’t say anything about himself doing it. This speaks levels of his character. As well he is heavily involved in the community and hosted the Strikes for Kids Utah Bowling Classic in February to raise funds for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake City (Chiari, Aug. 2, 2018). Then there are big things that athletes do for the community. Take Russell Wilson for example, every Tuesday he goes and visits a children’s hospital, on his free time since becoming an NFL player. He has well gives first class seats to armed forces veterans. PK Subban, donated $10 million dollars to Montreal’s children hospital and Andrew Wiggins who is donating $22 (his number) to help underprivileged kids to gain better access to organized sports for every point he scores (Chiappelli Oct. 27, 2018). In the 2017-2018 season he scored a total of 1,451 points, if he averaged around that this year his total donation would be $31,922. LeBron who has his LeBron James Family foundation which has been around for a decade. The main focus is to help children’s education is rough areas. He opened the I Promise School, in Akron, Ohio (his hometown) to help children at risk (Kolur, July. 29, 2018). This is what a great leader and role model is. Yes, he is the greatest basketball player of all time, won many awards and championships but it’s his impact off the court that speaks volumes. To use his platform and wealth to bring awareness and help all these kids in needs is not only things that kids should try to follow in. No matter how big or small their impact is, doing something positive goes a long way. More athletes should follow these athlete’s footsteps because they have left a great impact on the community which is what being an athlete should be about. With this massive platform they have they can create such a positive impact on this world that they can change it for the better in realizing the opportunity they have.
If I was a parent would I be happy if my kid’s role model was an athlete? Someone like LeBron or Sidney Crosby? I would love that. These players show so many good qualities and create such positive impacts that they can help lead kids down the right path. Bringing them into a sport, drawing them away from all the negatives surrounding them. Influencing people to start to do more things to help people out, no matter how small. Showing them that hard work pays off and you need to earn what you want through determination. People look at good teachers, siblings, parents, a motivational speaker or someone who has grown their business from nothing and now is very successful from hard work. So why can’t athletes be looked at as role models?
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