Role Models - A Look into Athletics

Essay by RandelleCollege, UndergraduateA-, March 2004

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Kobe Bryant is accused of rape. Sammy Sosa is caught cheating. Tanya Harding tries to kill Nancy Kereagan. Despite the way athletes are often portrayed through modern media, they can be and are positive role models.

Modeling commendable behavior, athletes often beat the odds and achieve astounding goals. The act of making it to the professional level, in and of itself is quite an accomplishment. Athletes have to overcome physical as well as mental weaknesses to a degree inconceivable to most. Looking to the NBA, Americans see a percentage of black players which exceeds that of the total population by twenty-one points; the NFL comes in closely with fourteen excess points. The reality is the majority of NBA and NFL players are minorities from low-income households. They beat the odds; they beat the welfare; they beat the ghetto life. Such individuals become very wealthy people. These are the citizens that pay most of the taxes in the United States.

Through their taxes, governmental programs are able to exist and assist a vast amount of children. By paying taxes, the athletes give back to the community tenfold, but they do not stop there. They often hold and contribute to charities.

After the September eleventh attack, many athletes showed their truly admirable characters. With the major baseball games postponed and cancelled, 35 players from the New York Giants found themselves at Ground Zero aiding the relief efforts. The Yankees even donated their stadium tarp to cover the disaster area. Across the country, the San Francisco 49ers donated seventy pints of blood to the Red Cross. Is this not admirable? Is this not the behavior every moral parent would have their children emulate? An individual might submit that such acts are done on a daily basis by all-economic levels and groups; such acts...