Honestly, athletes shouldn’t be considered role models. They should only be people who you admire and like; not someone you would like to aspire to be. Dating back a few months ago in June, three big name athletes ruined their careers because of the poor choices they made. Many other professional athletes have messed up their careers as well because of their actions. Professional athletes in general have their actions put under a microscope every time they do something. In turn, ESPN and other news networks talk about them, thus making it hard for them to set good examples for future athletes and young adults.
Athletes are held up to high standards because of who they represent and because of the people who follow them. By disregarding the rules and doing whatever they feel like doing shows how selfish and stubborn they can be as individuals. It shows their lack of accountability and displays their immaturity. To be viewed as a good role model, one has to show respect, display maturity and be accountable for the choices they make.
One of the major things athletes have a tendency to do is drugs. New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez and cyclist Lance Armstrong broke their respective sports’ rules by using performance enhancing drugs (PEDS). Former NBA player Lamar Odom and star NFL linebacker Aldon Smith, for the San Francisco 49ers, had DUI charges and possession of illegal drug charges going against them. Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and Alex Rodriguez was suspended from the MLB. Lamar Odom and Aldon Smith had to check into rehab centers for their addictions and leave their respective teams. Because of their choices, they each had severe consequences.
Drugs aren’t the only thing that’s catching up with professional athletes. Violence and gang affiliations are having negative effects on the players as well. NFL player Aaron Hernandez, Tight End for the New England Patriots, was charged with murder and has been connected to other murders that took place before his last indictment. Because of the choices he made, Hernandez was released and won’t be able to play football again.
Each of the athletes listed above did what they wanted to do, but in the end had to face punishment. To be fair, no one is perfect, and not all athletes are bad role models. Out of the thousands of professional athletes in the world (past and present), there are a few hundred that shouldn’t be mimicked and looked upon as role models. There just comes a point in time where young people have to look past some of the things they see on TV regarding the athletes who’ve made bad choices.