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Should Athletes Be Role Models? Maybe Not…

Al Bello, Getty Images

A good role model is hard to find, particularly in the sports world. With all the scandals, shenanigans and general stupidity running around, you’d be hard-pressed to find an athlete who hasn’t been disgraced, or at the very least embarrassed. Even the most talented and revered figures in their sport are not immune to having their name dragged through the mud. (Tiger Woods? Joe Paterno? Micheal Phelps? Any of these names ringing a bell?) But shouldthe role of role model really fall upon the shoulders of athletes?

Tim Tebow touched on this issue during an Easter Sunday sermon in Georgetown, Texas yesterday. Tebow talked about his faith, of course, and how it has affected his professional and personal life. But then, he criticized those professional athletes who say they are not role models by replying to them, “Yes you are. You’re just not a good one.”

Tebow brings up a good point. If you are in the public eye, society deems that you are a role model to somebody. Somebody is always watching you and trying to be like you. And professional athletes are the perfect example of this. After all, what little boy hasn’t donned the jersey of his favorite player and pretended he was in the big leagues? Whether they want to be one or not athletes are role models, and as we’ve seen, they don’t make the best role models.

Here’s a thought to the parents out there: instead of letting your kids worship these sports “heroes,” how about you set the example and be a role model for them?

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