Athletes as Role Models

The Life of Professional Athletes

Micheal Phelps poses for Sports Illustrated
Coaches, fans, the media and other authority figures regularly promote professional athletes to serve as role models for our youth.  David Stern, commissioner of the National Basketball Association, once said,
"[We] mimic behavior, good and bad, and what [we] see on televised games.  Athletes need to accept that they are role models."

 At their best, athletes are a tribute to human spirit and are honorable competitors.  Therefore, is it through coincidence or a change in morality that there has been an epidemic of scandals plaguing the media?  With pro quarterback Micheal Vick having served 18 months in a federal penitentiary for his involvement in an illegal dog fighting rind, home run king Mark McGuire's recent admission to steroids, and the controversy surrounding arguably the most well known athlete, Tiger Woods, now seems as bad a time as any to argue for professional athletes serving as "role models" for our youth.  It is evident that professional athletes are getting in trouble all too often.  Thus, the recent media scandals involving professional athletes have redefined the term "role model" in sports to describe an athlete only as an expert in their particular field.