Should well-known athletes be role models? Can they?
Lately, the sports news seems to be inundated with stories of arrests, affairs, and assinine behavior by our “sports heroes.” It’s probably been this way all along, but we never found out about the indiscretions before the boom of information technology.
Let’s be honest. These guys aren’t really any worse than others in our society; they are just crucified because they live in fishbowls.
I’m not condoning the behavior of Brett Favre or Tiger Woods or Michael Vick. I’m just saying maybe they should have never been on the pedestals in the first place. They are just guys who happened to be good athletes, not guys who claimed to have good character. Whether or not they have a responsibility to be character role models is a whole ‘nother debate.
I wish we could lift up our sports heroes as role models for our kids. But too often, we are instead having to explain their irresponsible behavior.
So what do we do? Give up on the idea that athletes can be role models?
I don’t think so. I think there are still some really good guys out there, athletes who set good examples for our kids by being faithful husbands and loyal fathers, and who give back to their communities.
Let’s talk about them more. And not focus so much on the shortfalls of our tarnished heroes.
I’d like to hear who your favorite positive role model sports heroes are.
Read more about why athletes have such a difficult time behaving.