Role Models

I remember Charles Barkley’s “I am not a Role Model” commercial for Nike, and it got people talking about whether athletes should be role models. Athletes are admired for doing great things on the playing field, but with some of them doing terrible things off the field it opened up the discussion whether they are respectable role models or not. There are a lot of athletes who are doing good both on and off the field and that is commendable. Growing up I was cheering for the likes of Willie Stargell, Franco Harris, and Lynn Swann for being great athletes and representatives of the city of Pittsburgh. Being at Steelers training camp shaking the hands of John Stallworth and Mel Blount, or going to the opening of Burger King to get Randy Grossman’s autograph. Today, it’s hard to look at the sports pages and read about another athlete getting busted for a DUI, drug charges, spousal abuse, or gun charges. Other times athletes are holding out for more money and refusing to give fans an autograph or even saying hello. Should athletes be role models? The conversation certainly exposes the many pros and cons, personally my role models are the ones covering the athletes and telling it like it is.

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