Are There Any Role Models Left?

Nick SignorelliSenior Writer IMarch 23, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 7:   Donte Stallworth #18 of the Cleveland Browns points on the field during the game against the Tennessee Titans on December 7, 2008 at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

I remember a few years back when Charles Barkley did a Nike commercial. He stated, "I am not a role model."

That was a great marketing campaign. Nike had baby face Michael Jordan, and his opposite Barkley.

Barkley would later go on to explain that it is not an athlete's job to be role models for these kids. It is their parents.

The problem is that, regardless of what these famous athletes think, they are by default role models.

Very few athletes are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. To their credit, many have come from poor families, broken homes, and other unfortunate backgrounds.

Santonio Holmes said prior to the Super Bowl, as a youngster, he was selling drugs. Holmes thanked God that he was able to escape it.

There are countless others that have come from nothing to make something out of themselves.

The divorce rate in this country is climbing every year. Unemployment is at its highest in the last 30 years. Single mothers have to work to support their family.

Times in this country are as hard as they have been since the Great Depression.

So when you have a kid in their early teens coming home from school, with their mom is working and dad not in the picture, who do you think they are going to look up to? 

The man on TV that was in the same situation as he is, and made something out of himself.

I think professional athletes should be honored that children look up to them in the way that they do. Athletes should be held to a higher standard than every other person.

Here is the problem. Too many of these professional athletes are not living up to any standard, but their own.

Lets look at some of the athletes that have let us down in the last year.

D'ante Stallworth, from the Cleveland Browns, struck and killed a pedestrian last week, while driving with a rumored BAC of .12. That is 30 percent over the legal limit. This was also just after 7 a.m.

New York Yankee Alex Rodiguez was accused of taking steriods, when the supposed "secret" steroid teas that MLB gave its players a few years back made its way public.

After his explanation, it was found to be mostly lies.

Matt Jones, formerly Jacksonville Jaguars, was arrested early this year for possession of cocaine. Instead of going to jail like you and I would, Jones got probation.

Then last week was jailed for four days for violating his probation, by drinking while playing golf with friends.

The list goes on and on.

One of my favorite sites, has a "days without an arrest" meter for the NFL for every time an athlete is arrested

I can honestly tell you, I cannot remember the last time I saw it reach 10.

Warren Sapp said a few years ago, they get paid a kings ransom to play a kids game.

It is time for these athletes to stop acting like kids, and be someone they can look up to.