There are many that think and argue that professional athletes should be better role models and that when they engage in unsportsmanlike behavior and criminal activity it just plainly sets a bad example to today’s youth.
Many will also argue that athletes are hired by their employer and are paid to do their job and are not paid to be role models. This makes sense and it is true that they are not paid to be a role model but whether they like it or not athletes are role models.
Now, does that mean they will be a good role model? Of course not, there are also bad role models! But yes, they are role models, it is just one of those things that come with their job.
Most athletes do try to conduct themselves in a positive manner when in public view but there are those who just don’t care what anyone thinks of them. The minds of those that say “athletics are not role models” are doing some wishful thinking; really they should not be role models but they are and that’s a fact that no one can change.
The fact that so many kids look up to all these baseball players, basketball players and football players simply makes them role models. Here is an example, when you become a parent you automatically become a role model whether you like it or not. You can not simply say I am a parent and not a role model. The old saying “Do as I say, not as I do” does not work. Because you are a role model in that childs eyes! Kids look up to parents. Not only parents but also to big brothers and other family members, teachers, doctors, police man and the list goes on.
These professional people are all role models for today’s youth whether they like it or not. Even the drug dealer can be a role model, he of course will be a bad role model but when the kids around the neighborhood are looking up to him and wanting to be like him he has become a role model in their mind.
So to ask the question “Should professional athletics be role models?” is not a valid question because they have no choice in the matter – THEY ARE ROLE MODELS!