Why is a Sports Star a Role Model?

Heather StidhamCorrespondent IFebruary 27, 2008


Why do you think that the world has become accustomed to referring to sports entities as role models?


Is it because they possess incredible skills or they get to be on TV? Since when does being good at something make you a higher power?

I don’t doubt the fact that I am incredibly biased in my views of this topic.


I grew up in an environment that taught me to view sports and TV personalities as immense talents, but not role models.

Sports are the comfort blanket that I have always cherished.


I turn to them when I am sad, I cheer to them when I am happy and I am comforted by them when I am lonely, but I do not in any way look to my sports heroes as an example for how I want to live my life.

There are hundreds of athletes who give to charity, work with kids and help their communities in all sectors of the sports world. I absolutely applaud these figures for their willingness to give back in a meaningful and nurturing fashion.


I also applaud athletes like Craig Biggio and Hank Aaron, who have demonstrated what it means to play the game the right way.

However, I look for my role models with my eyes wide open.


I look at the single mother working two jobs to send her kids to college or my co-worker, two offices down, that lets a little girl that she befriended sleep in her spare bedroom when her parents let her down.


I find that role models can be found across the street, down the hall and almost anywhere you look.

To me, true role models are those that make the world around them better, not by being blessed with a gift, but by gifting themselves to those who are lost.

I learned a long time ago that my talents would not define how I was remembered in this life.


I have found through the years that who I want to be is not a famous writer, but a person that gives of herself everyday in an effort to make the world a better place. I want to leave my mark on the lives of other people not through my performance on the court or the field, but in the Fifth Ward of Houston and on the heart of other human beings.

I have become passionate about this topic because of the controversy in baseball. I have heard so many people refer to these athletes as role models and I am simply saddened by this gesture.


I know that it is naïve to believe that children do not idolize sports stars, but I think that we all have a responsibility to teach others to look past a talent and into a life.

Am I saying not to admire and cherish sports figures? Of course not.

What I am saying is that I hope that our young people will learn for themselves that sports heroes are simply people and that the quality of the person is what should be admired, not their ability to play a game.