If Professional Athletes Are Role-Models, Society's in Big Trouble

Mark HauserCorrespondent IIFebruary 17, 2009

I understand that there are of a lot of athletes who are well-behaved and do a lot for their community with volunteer work and donations. However, the percentage of professional athletes who behave improperly is amazing high compared to other professions.

I think we can all agree that whether they like it or not (whether they should be or not is another story), professional athletes are at least secondary role-models. And our children, not surprisingly, are not witnessing good examples of proper behavior by these athletes.

It is not difficult to see why they behave that way, and society is partially to blame.  Not too much to blame, mind you, since people are always responsible for their own behavior. However, most of these athletes have been stars since they were young, and stars in our society can behave improperly and society often turns a blind eye.

The star athletes learn early on that not all of society’s rules apply to them because they are looked up to for being physically gifted. And, their feats bring happiness to their fans—especially in team sports where people root for their hometown heroes. As a result, many of these athletes develop a selfish and destructive sense of entitlement, which, of course, leads to all of this improper and illegal behavior.

Unfortunately, I do not see this problem going away. However, if people start taking more personal responsibility and society stopped treating star athletes as special people where rules don’t apply to them, maybe, just maybe, our children will get better secondary role-models.

But, don’t hold your breath waiting for this happen.