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Athletes as Role Models By - Jay Roland

Von: Ablang (ron916@gmail.com) [Profil]
Datum: 04.08.2007 20:38
Message-ID: <1186252717.437250.245880@e16g2000pri.googlegroups.com>
Newsgroup: alt.sports
Athletes as Role Models By - Jay Roland
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Remember Charles Barkley's old "I'm not a role model" ad for Nike? He
caught a lot of flak, as Charles tends to do, and even I recall
feeling like, "Tough. You're an NBA superstar with a high profile and
you're getting paid millions to sell shoes to kids. You're a role
model whether you like it or not, so don't screw up."

Of course, the real message of the ad was that your parents or
teachers or coaches or someone other than a high-paid athlete should
be your role models. And in the wake of the Mike Vick indictment, that
idea is as relevant as it's ever been. Unfortunately, even the best
dads in the world have a tough time competing with someone who shows
up on the cover of their kids' video game or has his own line of shoes
or scores touchdowns every week on national TV or shows up on
Sportscenter with a dunk that brings fans to their feet.

But plenty of those same idiots-in-jerseys also wind up on TV and in
the newspapers alongside phrases such as "domestic abuse," "drug
violation," "rape investigation," "paternity suit,"
suspension," "DUI," and other gems. It's gotten to the point where my
13-year-old son will ask, "Is he a good guy?" before he'll wonder if
his stats are any good. And yeah, I get it that athletes and rock
stars and actors are real people with flaws and weaknesses. And we
can't know what it's like to live in that spotlight. Blah, blah, blah.
Well, I say too freaking bad. If you can't handle the apparently
overwhelming responsibility of just being a decent human being, then
stay out of the public eye. It would be great if every athlete was a
David Robinson or a Warrick Dunn, but that's obviously never going to
be the case.

So what should dads do to be the role models that Charles Barkley
didn't want to be? Nothing heroic, just do the right thing. Play catch
with your kids, help them with homework, teach them what you know,
take them along when you vote, love their mom and remind them in words
and deeds how to live life right.

It's also important to talk about flaws and weaknesses, too. It's okay
to admit that you struggled with math in school, but you worked hard
to get better. Or if you want to lose weight, tell them it's tough,
but you're trying because you want to be around a long time for them.

And since they're going to cheer for someone and have posters on the
walls, whenever possible try to steer their sports allegiances to
players who seem okay, like someone you'd want to root for if you were
a kid. It's tough, with players changing teams more often than they
used to and with the media reporting every detail of their lives, but
the good guys and good stories are out there.

If you're impressed with Dunn providing homes for single moms in honor
of his late mother, share that with your children and maybe they'll be
touched too. Kids are always going to be drawn to the "bad boy" image,
but deep down, they just like nice people. What's the first thing your
child says if you ask about his teacher? She's either mean or nice and
they always want to be with the nice ones.

Though they don't always make headlines, nice guys can be role models
too. And how great would it be to hear your son say someday that his
greatest role model was you?

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