Professional Athletes Are Not Role Models…

…just because they are gifted physically. A lucrative contract does not make a man or a woman the kind of person we ought to leave our kids with at night.

I will let the Smash Media penetrate the walls of the NFL. Just now, the NFL has a plethora of very visible cases of domestic battery, child abuse and other alleged acts of victimization of persons who cannot defend themselves. Children and women are rather easy targets but, frankly, anyone of the fellows who is mentioned on the sports news each night could easily defeat the majority of our American population.

And, so, what are we to do? The idolization of sports and sportsmen is a manic kind of fever among us these days. In this space in past years I have advocated a sabbath from sports viewing. I have practiced it myself, mostly to prove I could. Much of my life has been spent around athletes and athletics. I have seen the good in many athletes and the special bond between coaches, officials and players up very close. There is great good in many, many athletes and coaches. I believe the criminals, if criminals there are among the players or coaches, should be removed and punished according to the law that impacts any other citizen.

I truly believe we ought to dial down the American emphasis on sports. I remember how devastated I felt when Pete Rose was banned from baseball for life because of gambling issues. He denied the allegations for many years, but finally confessed. I felt only a slight twinge when he finally admitted his actions. Each time the MLB Hall of Fame ballots are passed out, I take only a second to consider the odd coupling of these facts; that the all time hit leader in a sport where the hardest thing to do is hit a baseball will probably not be in the HOF in his life time.

Years ago, when the Dallas Cowboys were still relevant as a football team (they are still relevant as a business but not as a football team), various players kept a house where they would meet with prostitutes. When this knowledge became public, one of their huge lineman defended the practice, saying, “We are not role models for your kids. You be a role model for your kids. Don’t expect me to be a role model for your kids. You do it.”

I will note the gentleman later did prison time for drug distribution. He admitted living apart from his own children most of their lives. He regrets his words and actions. He should be shown mountains of grace. My heart goes out to him.

His words ring true. No one thrice removed from us should be a role model for your child. You and I should be role models for them

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.