Do I feel a certain responsibility to be a role model? Yes I do. But I don’t think it’s my job to raise people’s kids.
She said that on a panel of athletes at the espnw conference last year. Not surprisingly, the younger the athlete, the less moral pressure they felt to set an example for “the youth of America.” The ones with families recognized the difficulties presented when the most privileged and fortunate in our society misbehave with seeming abandon.
This isn’t a political article about greed among the top one percent or an assertion that every successful public figure has to be Tim Tebow-esque in their rectitude. I think most of us acknowledge that no one is perfect, that everyone makes mistakes and that we put too much pressure on our entertainers to be moral leaders.
And yet, sometimes it is hard to be a NFL fan. I love this sport, but it is a violent game and a lot of people are offended by that fact. I understand. My husband is a boxing fan and I had to learn enough about the sport to co-exist in the living room during a bout. I did come to appreciate the skill. But it is too brutal for me. And I know that’s how some people feel about football.
It can be hard to explain why I set aside every Sunday from August—February for the express purpose of devouring as many NFL contests as possible. And I don’t need arrest headlines waved in my face when I’m trying to discuss the allure of a high-flying offense or the awe inspired by a masterful D.
I’m a fan of sports because, unlike many jobs where success is a function of which social group into which you are born, to be a star athlete you actually have to able to do something. And do it well. I respect that and I believe that it is the essence of why sports can provide valuable character lessons about how sometimes being really good at what you do matters.
So, yeah, I get angry with a bunch of over-paid, purposefully ignorant boys who can’t manage to control their testosterone enough to refrain from:
1) Abusing women and animals (15 percent of arrests are for domestic violence and I found multiple instances of animal neglect and abuse)
2) Starting fights with people much smaller than themselves (21 percent)
3) Drinking and driving (28 percent)
4) Carrying guns to social events (eight percent)
5) Either cheating with or dealing drugs (13 percent are criminal drug charges)
6) Variations and combinations of the above, almost always including “resisting arrest” (15 percent)
And here are the NFL pros who (*$^&%$%^ me off the most.