One of the big questions when it comes to professional athletes in modern day society is whether or not they should be role models.
In fact, I wrote a huge piece on it for school. In that piece, I gave the athletes the benefit of the doubt and basically said that these men and women are not superhuman and they are going to make mistakes, whether it be Michael Phelps getting caught smoking marijuana or Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jiri Tlusty posting naked pictures of himself on the Internet.
But as an athlete, there are certain things that just come with the territory, like signing an autograph or getting a picture taken with a fan.
Athletes need to realize that they are the heroes of children around the globe, like it or not.
Alex Rios, right fielder for the Toronto Blue Jays, clearly doesn’t understand that.
I was shown a video about an hour ago of Rios having words with a Blue Jays fan, after he refused to sign an autograph for a kid on the streets on Toronto.
Alex was walking on the street, with his girlfriend or wife, when he was approached by one kid for an autograph. Not only did Rios not sign the kid’s piece of paper but he didn’t even acknowledge that the kid was standing there.
It was then that the situation escalated.
The fan, possibly the boy's father yelled, “The way you played today Alex you should be lucky someone wants your autograph.” Alex struck out five times in a game that day.
Alex responded so eloquently, “Who gives a f***.”
The two went back and forth for about twenty seconds yelling at each other, Rios doing most of the swearing, until Rios finally got into his car.
So let's rewind the situation. Rios’ first mistake was not even acknowledging that the kid was standing beside him asking for an autograph.
If that kid had a poster of Rios in his bedroom, you can bet it’s gone now.
You know, I’ll give Rios a small break here in terms of signing the autograph. But at least acknowledge the kid and say, "Hey listen buddy, I’m so sorry but I gotta run."
Rios then goes onto to drop the f-bomb three or four times to a fan on the street, in front of this young kid. Are you kidding me? Alex get into your car and walk away, you’re not only a professional athlete, but an adult, and there is a kid standing right there.
Rios later apologized saying that it was a long day, he was upset that he couldn’t help the team win and he lost his cool.
Sorry Rios, I don’t buy it and let me explain why.
In February, I was in Florida with my girlfriend's family, and we ran into Alex Rodriguez. Ironically, it was the same week that A-Rod had admitted to using steroids.
My girlfriend's two little brothers, being sports fans, wanted to meet A-Rod, so we went up to him. Rodriguez didn’t come off as the best guy in the world, but at least he shook the boys hands and threw on a smile. He could of just as easily brushed the kids off and walked away.
Point is, he made the kids' night doing something so simple, and I think he was going through a pretty rough day to. Considering at the time, he was probably the most hated man in sports.
Athletes and celebrities need to realize that doing something so small for a fan, like giving a handshake, can go a long way.
Sad that Rios needs to take a lesson on how to be a role model from a cheater.
check out my blog at www.dustinsdleague.com and the Alex Rios video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au7J9MZ7SX0