Professional Sports and Their Athletes: Are They Role Models?

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Professional Sports and Their Athletes: Are They Role Models?
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images
Texas Rangers superstar Josh Hamilton

Every day there is some "breaking" news about how a superstar athlete did something stupid. Don't believe me?

Look at Josh Hamilton. It is well documented that he has addiction issues, so in the offseason when he had a drink or two or three or how many ever it was, it was huge news.

Still not convinced? How about the news about Patrick Kane and his hard partying ways in Wisconsin a little over a week ago. It is such a "detriment" to the Chicago Blackhawks image that some people are calling for him to get traded. This is a 23 year-old kid who has 369 NHL points in 399 NHL games. Last time I checked, there are teams that are begging for that type of production.

And the list goes on and on with big name superstars that have had some type of run-in with the law or have been caught out on the town living it up just a little too much.

Can you blame them though? In a world where winning is everything and the chosen career path is short, is thinking they are going to blow off some steam somehow really that hard a concept to grasp?

Look at how teams celebrate winning a division or a championship—champagne baths. The clubhouse or locker room attendants know that there need to be goggles handy to protect the athletes eyes from the stuff going everywhere.

Then there is the profanity. How often does a television crew accidentally catch a star swearing profusely after something goes wrong? It happens in football, it happens in hockey, and it happens in every other sport, too.

Many people argue that is the price of being a professional athlete; that they get paid for both their ability on the field and their "leadership" off of it.

I, however, say they are just regular people who have great gifts. Instead of combing through every last part of their personal life, journalists should do what every athlete is taught—leave it on the field.

That is where it is supposed to end for a player, so why doesn't it end there for those covering these athletes?

It is certainly okay to tell the youth of this country to try to play like a superstar, and it is absolutely necessary to teach them that the hard work of those superstars is what got them there, but just because they make a lot of money doesn't make them role models or heroes. It just makes them rich.

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