Friday May 13 2016
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Role Models

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When I think of a role model, usually the first people I think of are athletes, and why not? We can access so much of what they do during their careers by reading an article online, or watching sports news stations.

But what is sadly becoming a trend in the world of sports are talented athletes—with kids who idolize their every move—showing up in the news for getting arrested on one charge or another. What kind of examples are they setting by doing that?   

Athletes are great role models to have because they can inspire young boys or girls to pursue their dreams—both sports related and non-sports related—by showing them, “If I can get where I wanted to be, you can get to where you want to go, too.”  

Unfortunately, some athletes have a “Do whatever you want because you won’t get caught” mentality, and it is sadly giving kids the wrong impressions. I think that if a child hears about stuff enough in the news, they will get the impression that they can also do the things that these athletes are doing, and they won’t get caught either.

Think of how many kids might be tempted to modify their bodies using substances that in the long run are hurting their bodies. What happens when they stop playing sports after college, but they have already done permanent damage to their bodies? Those are definitely not the people I want to be like.  

I know there are still great people in sports that do good things when they aren’t playing that help families and communities in their hometowns, or the towns they play for, and those are the people who need to be publicized more. Sadly, though, these men and women get pushed aside so the news can focus on the next athlete getting charged. How can we let our kids make these kind of people their idols?

I think that the best thing a parent can do is talk to their kids about why these stars are getting in trouble, and let them make the good people in sports their heroes.

Senior Jeff Grantz of New Castle is a student at PA Cyber Charter School's "Ellis Cannon Academy of Sports Media and Broadcasting," taught by PSR publisher Ellis Cannon. Click here for details.